Is anyone else amazed by what comes out of the mouths of youngsters and how far ahead of us they are sometimes? I’m
so grateful I have more experience than they do because otherwise I’d be so intimidated (and scared of looking dumb.)
A few years
ago I was driving my 8 yr old, soon to be 9 years old, nephew home from my parents’ house and he decides it’s
a good time to have some important “life” discussions.
The first conversation was about his future career. So, he started with what
was invented when. Did the computer get invented before he was born or after? Before I was born before or after? Before or
after his grandparents? And, it wasn’t about the year, it was about who was around to see it.
Then, he asked what about the telephone? Which one I asked
and we proceeded to talk about the different phases the telephone has gone through including the days of party lines and switchboard
operators. I told him how the switchboard operator in my dad's town had a window onto the main street and could tell people
if who they were trying to reach had just gone over to the drug store for a cup of coffee. He laughed ‘cause it’s
preposterous compared to what he sees today. (The same holds true for many of my students because that reality is just so
farfetched to them.)
Finally, he says, “Well I’m inventing something really important so I can become amazingly rich.”
I said, “great!” and what I didn’t tell him was that’s the new reality. Anyone who
can create their own product and their own opportunities has a lot more independence and a lot more fun if they are good at
it. I'm just hoping he will give me a job when I'm old....
On to conversation # 2:
He then decided the next conversation had to be about colleges and started comparing online colleges with regular colleges.
I’m thinking “Oh good, a second grader is discussing his college options with me. This is going to be interesting.”
So the conversation goes for
awhile and then he announces, “ Well, I’m not sitting in my bedroom to go to college. And, I’m not going
to a college that doesn’t even have a cafeteria.” Even the youngest of students gets that the caliber of
adults around them on a day to day basis decides the quality of their education and their lives.