An Open Letter To The Older Generation— Baby Boomers

An Open Letter To The Older Generation— Baby Boomers

The problem with the "superior" generation.

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One of my favorite things to hear is how bad our generation is… Everyone hates Generation Z/Millennial's or whatever they call us kids aged 14-30.

The older generation just yells at us for being "too sensitive" or lazy and saying that their generation has better music or taste. Excuse me Carol, but last time I was at work, I was not getting yelled at by a younger kid but rather a grown adult who thinks that if they yell loud enough or threaten to shop somewhere else, they can get their money back. Before you start complaining about a generation that is far more advanced than you, look at yourself. Look at how the times have changed. The LGBTQ+ community has so many more rights than they have ever had before, women are pushing ahead in politics and the corporate world, equality is being considered, and society is understanding that mental health is important.

You're a baby boomer. You were born between 1946 and the late 1950s. You had Woodstock and the Stones in the '60s, discos and coke in the '70s, Wall Street in the '80s, Bill Clinton in the '90s and now you're retiring to Colorado and Florida on the backs of your stressed-out kids whose own children stay at home with them into their 20s because they have no jobs. Tom Brokaw once wrote a book about the "greatest generation", those brave people who survived the depression and fought in World War II. Unfortunately, that great generation spawned a generation of narcissists: the baby boomers.

When you look at those "white only" diners and drinking fountains in those photos from the 1960s you just can't believe it. Or how women were treated. And gays. But many of our beloved boomers were teenagers back then, living with parents who watched Ozzie and Harriet and were raised to believe that people who weren't white weren't to be trusted, women were meant to stay at home, and gays were sinners. Over time, these attitudes have changed, mainly because people in their 20s and 30s are smarter, better educated and more open-minded. Unfortunately, and although we've even had a black President, the last remnants of the boomer generation who still use power in their churches and companies are doing their best to keep women out of the corporate suite, protest against gay marriage, keep racism on the forefront, and fight immigration reform.

The good news is that the baby boomer generation is quickly getting older. Ten thousand boomers are retiring each day. We can't ship them all off to an island, unfortunately. But I'm optimistic that the next generation of leaders will not make the same mistakes. Governments will take care of people who are truly needy—not just because they turned 65 and have a car—and this will help fix our deficit problems. Racism will continue to decline as the world becomes smaller and more social. Our environment will improve because kids in elementary school are being taught to care about the planet. Ultimately, these generations will fix the problems that the boomers created.

This goes for any generation. Stop trying to complain how these "millennials" don't know what it's like in the real world or how sensitive they are. If you are constantly talking about us, then it seems like your jealous of us. You keeping talking about us like we're that one person who got away. You wish you could understand but you don't. So go back to trying to figure out how the computer works. You complain about us too much and we have better things to do, like figure out how to clean up the mess you guys left behind. You should spend more time trying to set up your Gmail on your flip phone than talk about us.

Has the world gone mad? Or did it ever stop? Why is it so hard for people to let others be? Why it is hard to realize not all young people think the way you do? I have my own reasons, the younger generations have them as well and it is time to respect everyone.

I understand we do not all have the same beliefs but let us try to respect everyone anyways.

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I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

"You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that."

cpabel
cpabel
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This is my third semester student teaching in an elementary school classroom.

It has been an absolute honor and joy to work with elementary age students. They are so full of excitement, energy, curiosity, and ambition. It's such a breath of fresh air to be around these children and help them learn, grow, and develop into who they will eventually become one day. Going into this experience, I knew that I was going to be making a difference.... but I didn't know how much of an impact I would make on some of my students.

Growing up, I was very fortunate, loved, and cared for. I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from or when I would see my parents again.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality that a lot of my students live in. They live in my nightmare.

There have been several times that I have arrived to my school to see a child crying, absent from school, or secluding themselves. My first semester student teaching, I didn't think much of this. It's not abnormal for children to cry over spilled milk or to seclude themselves from their friends because they've had a fight.

These inferences were far from the truth. These children are living a life that I could not even begin to understand.

At the beginning of this semester, I had a student say to me: "You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that." When this student said this to me, I said yes of course and that I'll do everything to help her. Little did I know, there was so much I didn't understand in that one sentence. After a few weeks, I learned that this little girl was being raised by her elderly grandmother because her father had committed suicide and her mother was so high on drugs that she couldn't even take care of herself and was in and out of jail.

Wow. No child deserves to start their life off this way or live this way. What can I do? How can I help? How can I make a difference?

Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching students how to add/subtract, read, or complete a science project. You're teaching children to someday become young, knowledgable, and responsible adults. But how can we do this if they don't even have responsible adult figures in their life at home? It's so important to be more than just this child's teacher. If you gain their respect and trust, you can make all the difference in their life.

This student and I had created a bond. For some reason unknown to me, she gravitated towards me as soon as I stepped in the classroom. The first few weeks we made small talk, but in recent weeks, she has told me that she feels alone. She feels unloved. She feels responsible for her dad's death and her mom's pain.

Talk about having your heart ripped out of your chest.

I hid my tears. I didn't dare cry in front of her. I stayed strong. I want to be a rock in her life. I want to remain stable and help her through her pain. I want to make school an enjoyable and safe environment for her. I want to see her succeed. I want to see her make meaningful and great friends. I want to see her blossom and overcome the struggles that she has endured in her short ten years of life. Being a teacher is such a wonderful experience, but it definitely is trying and hard. When you see a child, treat them like the beautiful souls that they are. You may not have a single clue in this world what they're going through at home.

They may be stronger and more mature than you are as an adult. Be kind. Love one another. Make a difference.


cpabel
cpabel

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.

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The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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