August 29, 2010 Story Ideas…

The first idea we’ll call “what aren’t kids (and adults) being taught (or are learning on their own)”. And no – not the moralistic preachy type of thing. Just a nuts and bolts set of ideas. Some skills I feel are essential that seem to be lacking.

We’ll start with our young folks. A few years back I had the (then) brilliant idea to have my students build a set for our upcoming daily bulletin program. I sketched out a simple desk design, complete with studs, plywood overlays and dimensions and gathered a small group of volunteers around.
The first question I asked when they joined was, “Have you ever used tools before?” Resounding YES! “How about power tools?” “SURE!”
Uh oh.
We discussed tool use and safety … primarily hammers, screwdrivers, saws plus a couple of power tools – a drill for drilling holes and setting screws.
My memories are horrendous…and fortunately short-lived. I pulled the power tools first and then the hand tools and gave up.
So MY lesson learned that week was…teenage boys know everything. They may never have done it, seen it, heard of it, but they sure KNOW it.
Story idea: what skills do you think are good ones to have even in these highly technological days and do most students or young adults in your area have them? Can they work a saw? Hammer a nail straight? Push in a power drill to set a screw? Focus really might be, can they do simple home/apartment maintenance? In questioning the guys I found that none of their families really had or used tools. And with the push for no child to be left behind and every child to go to college, hands-on classes are disappearing. No more woodshop, auto shop.

Now for the old(er) folks. An essential skill set everyone under the age of 30 has hardwired into them is social networking. The old folks have it too – but to them it is done with letters, in person. The difference is technology.
So I’m trying to work with my husband’s church as they try to build up some excitement in the community about their new home – a renovated restaurant – in a pretty spiffy part of town (yeah – that word alone dates me. Spiffy.)
A website is up and running and a facebook page too. (Transparency: while my family are members of this church, I am not…but have close ties with it.)
Snail mail invites are in the works for the dedication…and e-vites have been sent to facebook friends with little success. What’s up?
Story idea: can the older generation learn the different rules for real world and online social networking? They’re pretty much the same…there is the formal invitation and then there is the talk…soft gossip if you will. Using the rumor mill in a positive way. Getting folks to talk about you or your project to build up excitement.
Interesting to me that the two generations are doing pretty much the same thing effortlessly in their own worlds…but don’t always communicate with each other very well exactly what they are doing. The teens say they’re just talking, hanging with friends…but are accomplishing exactly what their grandmothers are with lunch dates with friends.

Until next week…

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