Sep 1, 2006

Kids these days

They're lazy, tardy and can't follow instructions. And that describes the kids at Harvard! Donald Kagan looks at the literature.
Employers complain that they are habitually tardy, lazy, and unable either to listen carefully or to carry out instructions. [Derek] Bok blames this, too, on their undergraduate experience: grade inflation has undermined standards and professorial laxity has encouraged negligence. “If undergraduates can receive high marks for sloppy work, routinely get extensions for assignments not completed on time, and escape being penalized for minor misconduct, it is hardly a surprise that employers find them lacking in self-discipline.”
They're no better in graduate school.

I remember hearing tales from my father about the rigors of graduate school: Orals to get in the program: He was asked to give an impromptu history of the spur. Defending your dissertation, etc. Admittedly Columbia's history department in the 1950s and 1960s is a far cry from the Rutgers University library school in the '00s, but in one of my first courses, an introduction to what is laughably known as library literature, we had to take time out to introduce students to the concept of scholarly citation--and many of these people already had so-called advanced degrees.

I was also amazed at the number of people I went to library school with who routinely missed deadlines. Again, these were older people, some of whom had been in the workforce for decades.

What happened between then and now?

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