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October 06, 2009: "Isolation" 
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Post October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
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Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:16 pm
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Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
Aw man, Mr. B...

This RealThoughts hits home, specifically, with "the growing self-absorption of today." No where do I see this more than in my classroom. I have said before, I am a high school teacher, and it is sad...very sad to think of the future when the kids are more concerned with their I-Pods, their text messages, what their "friends" had to say on MySpace...amongst other shit that have not a damn thing to do with Geometry.

Most of my students don't have the slightest idea what respect is and how to receive it. God forbid I tell these kids to be quiet while I am trying to get them to understand the current lesson, lest I be told that I am "disrespectin" them.

Quote:
Today's culture is one in which compromise is becoming a lost art, and where people are no longer interested in understanding an opposing position.


Key word...compromise. For the greater good.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:52 pm
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Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
"When you send an e-mail or respond to a forum post, it's too easy to forget there's a real human being at the other end. Self-absorption is becoming a way of life. People don't just care about expressing their opinions; they want to win."

This is so true! How else do you explain the vicious insults that people post on Facebook groups or during online chats. It's startling how we are descending into a phase where exercising your right to free speech can get a million people jumping on you and brutally insulting you.

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Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:53 pm
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Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
You might as well be writing about me in this ReelThoughts, that's how much this hits home for me. As a student living alone in an apartment in Philly the theme of isolation is something that I deal with on a regular basis. I post on forums and Facebook and I have a blog and AIM, but while all that dulls the isolation, it doesn't replace real people and social interaction. I don't have many friends here at university, but I know that it's no accident on my part that I don't. There were times when I could have been more active in that pursuit, but friends are work and friends are a pain. How many times during the summer after working for 10 hours did I have old high school friends call me and bug me to go out? More than I wanted to deal with. No matter how easy it is to blame technology for the growing self-importance and celebrity obsession of Generation-Y it is still a conscious decision on the part of the person.

Technology gives us the means to be self-absorbed, but society has told us that it is okay to be self-absorbed, because we are the most important thing in the world according to society. I just see the growth of self-importance as an extension of living in a society that is focused so heavily on the "individual" and the "rights of the individual". The example of the guy with the phone in the theater is a perfect example of this. I'm sure he has been told his whole life "you can do what ever you want, this is a free country", that translates to "nothing is more important than you in your life, nothing is bigger than you". And so, as culture has told him, it's his phone, his money, and his movie ticket so he can do what he wants because no one can tell him otherwise. It's the product of cultural norms, fueled by the growth and mobility of technology.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:54 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
moviemkr7 wrote:
"When you send an e-mail or respond to a forum post, it's too easy to forget there's a real human being at the other end. Self-absorption is becoming a way of life. People don't just care about expressing their opinions; they want to win."

This is so true! How else do you explain the vicious insults that people post on Facebook groups or during online chats. It's startling how we are descending into a phase where exercising your right to free speech can get a million people jumping on you and brutally insulting you.



Well, the internet is serious business after all.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:55 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
I never understood the appeal of texting, mainly cause it's a such pain in the ass to type one out cause of those small buttons and all those bad grammatical errors, my sister on the other hand is pretty much a prime example of that sort of thing and she got in big trouble when she ran up a huge phone bill due to her excessive texting. I can proudly say I will never end up like that.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:56 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
This was a relief to read, to hear someone so articulately express the evolution of someone's isolation.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:09 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
I find this younger and younger, with kids as young as 4 or 5 having severe entitlement issues. I am a school librarian in a middle class suburban school--but god forbid if I tell those kids "no." Once I told a boy "no" he threw a book at me. Another time I told someone "no" he threw a chair at me. (he was also 7)

I see a lot of this stemming from parents that are my husbands and my generation--the children of the "80's" where it was taboo to deprive a child of anything. Unfortunately now parents seem to blame everyone else (the teachers, the principal, the government, siblings, friends, ex-husbands, ex-wives, deaths in their family, etc) before they blame selves or their children. So, when parents come to school when they argue the grades that the children get (and teachers end up changing them) or arguing a punishment, the kids think it is not my fault. It is sad. One student last year, ran out of the school because the teacher told him he do something and he didn't want to. The principal caught up with him and he cursed him out (this kid must have been 10). He was promptly suspended. When he came back to school the teacher told him that he should apologize to the principal for acting a certain way. He simply said "My mom told me I don't have to. It wasn't my fault"

Until people stop feeling guilty about punishing their kids, or even spanking them when appropriate, or not giving them everything their heart desires, I don't see anything changing any time soon.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:57 pm
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Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
Vexer wrote:
I never understood the appeal of texting, mainly cause it's a such pain in the ass to type one out cause of those small buttons and all those bad grammatical errors, my sister on the other hand is pretty much a prime example of that sort of thing and she got in big trouble when she ran up a huge phone bill due to her excessive texting. I can proudly say I will never end up like that.


Yeah, I agree. It puts people away from one another when we should have a nice talk face to face. I like technology, but I won't get the new I-Phone that's released every six months.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:25 pm
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Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
Starearedkid wrote:
I find this younger and younger, with kids as young as 4 or 5 having severe entitlement issues. I am a school librarian in a middle class suburban school--but god forbid if I tell those kids "no." Once I told a boy "no" he threw a book at me. Another time I told someone "no" he threw a chair at me. (he was also 7)

I see a lot of this stemming from parents that are my husbands and my generation--the children of the "80's" where it was taboo to deprive a child of anything. Unfortunately now parents seem to blame everyone else (the teachers, the principal, the government, siblings, friends, ex-husbands, ex-wives, deaths in their family, etc) before they blame selves or their children. So, when parents come to school when they argue the grades that the children get (and teachers end up changing them) or arguing a punishment, the kids think it is not my fault. It is sad. One student last year, ran out of the school because the teacher told him he do something and he didn't want to. The principal caught up with him and he cursed him out (this kid must have been 10). He was promptly suspended. When he came back to school the teacher told him that he should apologize to the principal for acting a certain way. He simply said "My mom told me I don't have to. It wasn't my fault"

Until people stop feeling guilty about punishing their kids, or even spanking them when appropriate, or not giving them everything their heart desires, I don't see anything changing any time soon.



I don't believe in whippings or spankings, but parents are too easy with children today; in high school I wanted to beat down the students that talked back to the teachers. Now in college, the students better respect the teachers or they'll look like brats.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:30 pm
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Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
Quote:
The lesson I learned in 1985, when I was first tasting the freedom of adulthood and emerging from the safety of home and hearth, is that it's possible to achieve a state of personal isolation while remaining a member of society. I believe that lesson is as valid today as it was then; it's just that fewer people seem to be learning it.


Then what do you propose as a solution? If it has to be accepted that the technology promoting self-absorption is here to stay could we suppose that we're in the middle of a social 'transition' period and, once the technology has lost its novelty, things we'll return to a less excited/rude state?


Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:40 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
Anybody else get a weird Pickpocket vibe from this edition of Reelthoughts? No? Just me? Okay.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:33 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
I can definitely relate to what James is talking about. I just started college this year so it really hit home. I've made a few friends I guess, but my roommates are not in my year and do their own thing so we don't talk much. I feel like I'm still in the state of isolation that James describes, but I'll hopefully break out of it soon.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:31 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
The best thing I ever did to break out of my isolation was to make friends with the theater department. They do have the wildest parties.


Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:34 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
Patrick wrote:
The best thing I ever did to break out of my isolation was to make friends with the theater department. They do have the wildest parties.




Drinking games:


Patrick: So, how many allusions to penises are in 'The Blackboard Jungle'?
Anonymous Party Guy: Five!
Patrick: Take a drink.
Anonymous Party Guy #2: Two.
Patrick: Naaah. Bud up, son.
Anonymous Party Guy: There are none. GIVE ME BEER.
Patrick: You have issues, dude!


Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:44 pm
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
I too have somewhat felt the isolation thing, only i'm not really bothered by it, I know a few kids in my class but I haven't really made any college friends yet, and honestly I don't really care if I do, cause I already have best friend from high school that I still see, and that's more thn enough for me, my sister on the other hand has so many friends that i'm amazed she can even keep track of them all!


Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:03 am
Post Autobiographical revisionism?
"After the final, which was an oral exam, the professor said he thought I deserved an A- but that if it would hurt my GPA, he was willing to give me an A. I took the A-."

I assume you agreed with the teacher's evaluation of your performance on the final--or at least respected his opinion enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise, have you possibly romanticized your refusal to accept from him the grade you deserved as noble rather than unassertive at best, cowardly at worst? If the latter, would you speak up for yourself if you had the chance to do it over again? If not, am I wrong to assume you'd still be content to accept a GPA-damaging grade, however false, from someone as long as they're in a position of authority?


Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:15 am
Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
Give 'em hell Jimmy.

BTW, D&D was for fags :)

jk


Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:18 am
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Post Re: Autobiographical revisionism?
brettrobbins wrote:
"After the final, which was an oral exam, the professor said he thought I deserved an A- but that if it would hurt my GPA, he was willing to give me an A. I took the A-."

I assume you agreed with the teacher's evaluation of your performance on the final--or at least respected his opinion enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise, have you possibly romanticized your refusal to accept from him the grade you deserved as noble rather than unassertive at best, cowardly at worst? If the latter, would you speak up for yourself if you had the chance to do it over again? If not, am I wrong to assume you'd still be content to accept a GPA-damaging grade, however false, from someone as long as they're in a position of authority?


All these years later, I can't remember WHY I agreed to the A-. In my freshman year, I don't think I was very GPA conscious and figured I wouldn't go through all four years with a perfect 4.0, so the occasional A- was fine. Also, it wasn't a core course. If I had been in that situation with an engineering professor, I would have fought tooth-and-nail for the A.

And I did respect the guy. Brilliant mind.


Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:08 am
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Post Re: October 06, 2009: "Isolation"
MrGuinness wrote:
Give 'em hell Jimmy.

BTW, D&D was for fags :)

jk


Based on my experience, D&D was for virgins. :lol:


Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:09 am
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