Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Generation Y-Not?

Written by Ms. Berman

My first post... previously blank... but I just discovered the "edit posts" icon!  This blog will obviously be a lesson in tolerance.  I was asked to create a blog by a current student who shall be deemed as S.  Okay, so you sophomores have already figured out my code but I will protect the privacy of my students throughout my blogging.  What am I doing on here?  I am an educator.  For me, it is not just a job, nor a profession... it is a calling.  Many days I wish that it could be otherwise, but that is not in my make-up.  Most days I thank God that I am on this earth to encourage the students who so generously give of themselves in an attempt to make this world a better place.  Teenagers are the most highly underestimated group of citizens in the world.  Talk about discrimination?  Assumptions are made everyday in the worst kind of way but the truth is... I have worked with and raised my own children for the past 23 years.  Young adults are amazing.  If we, as a society, would treat them with a little more respect and set our expectations higher, they would achieve them.  My current high school students are nothing like I have ever seen before.  After grappling with this dilemma for weeks, I did what I do when I can't find the answer to a question... I texted a student... and here is what I learned...

MsBerman: A philosophical question for you: students currently in high school are classified as generation Y but are not the same as students from 5 years ago. Why?
MsBerman: The upcoming students will be in generation Z with its own host of traits.  You guys are a culture that I can't verbally define…
Nathan: Well, we typically think of a cultural generation as modeled after a biological one, so we have X and Y and soon Z, every 15-20 years, but since collective identity is so closely related to technology and mentality due to outside forces (i.e. idealism during a progressive political era, cynicism in times of repression) and our environment is changing ever faster, exponentially so, then these old generational distinctions are nullified.  Short answer: we are a different generation than kids a few years behind or ahead of us :p
MsBerman: Well, I've decided to call you guys Gen Y.5 and redefine you as a sub-culture.  Let me know if you have any more thoughts about this...
Nathan: What abt generation Y-not?  I think the time we live in is like the apex of possibilities so more people are just doing things.  So it's like why not for everything?  You know?
-Nathan (c/o 2010)
Thanks, Nathan, for your insight.  And for reminding us that life is all about point of view.  Students, you are just at the beginning of an apex of possibilities and it is important to remember this when you feel caught up in the homework trap.  You are members of one of the most driven, generous, and philosophical generations in the history of America.  Each morning when you wake up think "Today I will do the best job that I can."  Notice that I did not say a perfect job... merely give it your best.  And that is enough.  Gen Y-Not? You should live your life with pride.  I have taught thousands of students.  I should know.  As a wise elderly woman once said: "You deserve the best because you are the best!"


  1. I agree wholeheartedly! Hopefully with the internet those large generational gaps in ideals will be bridged by the new paths of communication.
    As older generations take the time to listen to youth (as you always have! Thats why you gain your students trust and support) I think they acknowledge that learning didn't end with their education.
    I spend quite a bit of time talking online with older generations in my work, they say the same thing-- the ideas of the youth are infiltrating the internet and blogs and areas of advancement, and I believe the general consensus I get from them is that this isn't a bad thing in any way.
    I think Blogs have given youth the voice they don't necessarily get from speaking out loud-- it's a very powerful tool! And important, especially when keeping in mind the idea of collective identity that Nathan described, because as the world changes at a faster rate the rate of communication exchange needs to increase as well. (imo)
    Keep up the good work, And I'm looking forward to hearing your TLC rap!!
    Oriana -- Class of '06

  2. Ms. Berman asked me to do some research on the next upcomig generation(generation alpha) and here is some interesting info.

    An Australian news site says that researchers and sociologists say generation alpha will be the most formally educated gen in history. But I think that at the rate the world is globalizing this won't really continue because we will start becoming more and more independent in technology to the point where the whole involvement of the thinking process is limited. That is after 50 years or so...


  3. I would just like to say that what Ismaeel said has something to do with what we talked about in my english class last time. We spoke about how technology is changing all of us. We ARE going to be dependent on technology, BUT what about the people who are against technology, won't they rise up and argue? Also, think about those new E-book-reader things. They do NOT replace the wonderful feeling of holding a book in your hands. (I know the original topic was about generations, but I had to get this out...)

  4. The people of our generation (more specifically, the sophomores, juniors, seniors, and college freshmen) really are the generation of “y-not”. We live in a time of questioning the “higher-ups”: our parents, the government, religion, and everyone who has power over us. So why cant we do this? Why not? Why cant we smoke weed? Why can’t we procrastinate? Why can’t we drink? Why can’t we have sex before marriage? These questions define our generation, not as a group of reckless rebels, but as a group of advocates to explore what the generations before us were too conforming to achieve.