Friday, March 23, 2007

Unintelligent Conversations

This afternoon while strolling on the beach to see some more “Eye Candy”, I stopped at one of the Tiki Bars to get a quick beer and to rest my knees. There were two young people sitting next to me, a female and a male. I’m not sure if they were a couple or just friends down for spring break.

The girl was in a pink bikini and sitting next to me. My eyes kept glancing down at her small but perky breasts and her legs. I don’t recall what the guy was wearing except that he was shirtless and had a hairy chest. She would giggle every once in a while, I like that quality in a women.

Being the “Nosey Nellie” that I am, I couldn’t help but to eavesdrop on their conversation. They were talking about school and their plans after graduation. Obviously they were seniors. The language that they were speaking burned my ears. It wasn’t obscene but it was obscene to my ears. A lot of the terms that they used are what I call “ghetto talk” or Ebonics. I hope that they can write better than they speak.

I was sitting there and wondering how these two people could make it into their senior year in college without learning the English language. My assessment was that they were obviously illiterate. Yet they were both college seniors preparing to graduate later this spring. How could this be? They seemingly will be functional illiterates with a college degree.

They were silent for about a minute, so I took my eyes off of the girl’s tight Bikini bottom (her Camel Toe was showing as she was sitting with her legs spread wide apart - very unfeminine) and I began to speak to them:
“Which school do you attend?”
The male answered “Ball State University in Indiana”.
“What’s your major?”
He said Business and she said Communications. I was overjoyed to hear that they were not Education majors.

Listening to their past conversation and then talking to them for about 10 minutes, I feel that she isn’t going to do very well in her chosen field of endeavor; she had no command of the English language. Or perhaps she just speaks in that manner with friends; it’s the vernacular of the younger people in our society today. However, it is offensive to my ears.

I don’t blame the kids, I blame our educational system. What has happened to the “Three R’s” that were taught to us in grammar school. Our society is becoming less and less literate. They’re unable to speak the English language properly. They’re unable to write a cogent paragraph. This bothers me. I can just picture a college classroom or lecture hall filled with 50 or more Jeff Spicoli act-a-likes.

Is it our educational system that is at fault? I believe so. They have lowered their standards of admissions and subsequently lowered the standard of getting a passing grade. Most professors’ use curves for grading purposes; now it’s a lot easier today to get to the high end of the curve today than it was 40 years ago. That is, if you study and are willing to learn.

We emphasize the importance of having an education to our children. Nowadays having a college degree doesn’t mean that you are smart, intelligent or educated. It means that you took four years (or more) out of your life, sitting in classrooms. Why? To get a piece of parchment paper that you can frame, hang on your wall and proudly say “I am a college graduate.” I find that most of today’s youth are not educated but are just simply accredited with an education.

The Beach Bum

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Anonymous Richard Feder, Ft Lee NJ said...

I find I must agree with you in that the current generation of college students have not apparently received the same education as those of our generation. In my opinion this is the result of "lowering the bar" in terms of what is required to not only gain entry to the halls of higher education, but also in the requirements to successfully move through each level of those institutions.

But then again, apparently other changes have taken place as well. Back in our day, all the girls I knew had but one Camel Toe . . . but according to your article, some of them now have at least two.

Interesting possibilities . . . .

Sat Mar 24, 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous DaveE said...

I don't think the educational system is the major problem. I think it's mostly a social phenomenon - more kids from all of society's classes and cultures are going to college than ever before, and they bring with them all the characteristics of those diverse backgrounds. And, in the case of so many white kids, they'd like to "be black," or at least they try to appear as cool as they think the black kids are. So we see them many of them adopt that stylized almost-ghetto talk, the icy bad-ass stare, and mega-decibel hip-hop music in their cars.

And the colleges? They go along with it. Perhaps not so much because of the system's academic failings as political correctness.

Sat Mar 24, 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Peg said...

I'm a chronic eavesdropper. CHRONIC! And, I, too, find the total annihilation of the English language incredibly disturbing.

As a kid, I was NOT allowed to use slang or poor grammar in the house. It was fine to use it w/ my friends, as long as my mom or dad weren't w/in earshot. That general respect for the "King's English" has served me very well, in both my business & personal lives.

And, in the tradition of my parents, I can assure you that my five year old's grammar is better than some adults'. We'll see what happens after she's had a few years in the public school system!

Seems the Bachelor's Degree is the new H.S. diploma...which may in fact just translate into an additional four years of screwing around before heading out into the 'real world'. That being said, I can't help but wonder if the vernacular of today's young adults won't get quashed when the young-uns join us here in the 'real world'.

Sat Mar 24, 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Yes, I've told my kids that you can still get a good high school education... in four years of college.

I have also heard language in mixed company that I wouldn't have used in a locker room. It's not cute and it's not attractive.

Sun Mar 25, 05:53:00 PM  
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