Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Me Neither!

The ever usually sensible Megan McArdle whines a little about high school and college kids who angle for her to do their work for them:

Sorry, Kids. This Columnist Won't Write Your Essay for You.
I am in receipt of your recent e-mail, requesting that I provide you with my insights into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Or perhaps it was the stimulus. Then again, you may have been interested in my thoughts on carbon taxes, and global warming more generally.

You are not the first such hopeful who has e-mailed me. Like many columnists these days, I periodically receive requests from high school students who are apparently interested in everything from the workings of the Federal Reserve to the macroeconomic prospects of Macedonia. Some petitioners helpfully include the structure and word count they are looking for. Which I presume to be very similar to the structure and word count their teachers are looking for.

Academics of my acquaintance report that they also receive these missives, and that indeed, some of them are sent at the behest of high school teachers who apparently worry that the nation’s public intellectuals are at loose ends, unable to fill the bleak and empty hours without assistance from our nation’s young people.

Before I proceed to the substance of your request, I want to say this: You give me hope. From time to time, people tell me that your generation is made of weaker stuff than the mighty folks of Generation X: timid, lacking initiative, without a speck of imagination. Hogwash, I say! Judging from your correspondence, the motto of the millennials is “L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace!”

No, I’m not going to tell you what that means. Google it. . .
She goes on the blame millennial laziness, claiming that her own generation, the Gen Xers would never take such a path. I suspect this is the beginning of the idealization of her golden youth.

I'm here to tell you I mentored, and took as interns a bunch of Gen Xers, and they weren't above having an expert do the hard work for them. This was particularly obvious in high school science fair, where it was a matter of some pride to be able to drill down into a glossy project, only to discover that the student had no clue, and was being largely carried out by either a parent with lots of resources, or a mentor willing to do a lot more than provide direction, or, in the most egregious cases, a combination of the two in one parent.

Found at "In The Mailbox, 12.15.15." I could save myself the trouble, and just subscribe to Megan's page, but then I wouldn't stumble over the interesting and amusing things that Wombat-socho collects.

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