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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Generation Gap: Generation X

The past year I've become very interested in generations and their characteristics. Part of that is due to the difference I see in the classroom with Gen Z compared to Millenials. Another part of that is the global world we're in and the lack of the Baby Boomers to fully understand that and a little the backlash and complaining I hear about Millenials.

I was born smack in the middle of Gen X and am4 proud to be in that group. We are smaller in number and squished between two giants: the Baby Boomers and the Millenials. Before I go into my thoughts and opinions it's necessary for you to understand who Gen X is.

You know you are Gen X if you sang along with Michael Jackson, Boy George and Prince. Banged your head to Metallica and AC/DC and actually watched videos on MTV.

You know you are Gen X if you remember getting all excited about the Atari 2600 even with its horrible graphics and upgraded to Nintendo playing Mario and Donkey Kong. Video arcades were everywhere and you probably played Pac Man and Galaga.

You know you are Gen X if you remember watching Top Gun, St. Elmo's Fire, Sixteen Candles and Cheech and Chong. You probably sunck out and watched Porky's, Risky Business and Nightmare on Elm St. too.

You know you are Gen X if you remember cruising and picking the change from your cars seats to give the bum on the corner money enough to buy you and your friends a 6 pack of beer which you gave the corner bum 1 can for his time.

You know you are Gen X if you walked to the corner store without any ID at fifteen and bought a pack of cigarettes for less than a dollar.

You know you are Gen X if you experimented with ecstacy, acid and smoked pot as regularly as possible when you were young. Maybe you still do but we'll keep that on the down low.

You know you are Gen X if you watched the space shuttles take off from inside the classroom on TV and remember the cold war and the fall of the Iron Curtain.

You are Gen X if your birthday falls between roughly 1965 to 1980. We are sometimes called latch key kids. We are independent, self-sufficient and street savvy.

I grew up as the middle of child of parents who aren't Baby Boomers but part of the Silent Generation in the San Francisico Bay Area. My opinions are my opinions based on my life and experiences.

I wasn't the "latch key" kid. My father worked and supported our family and my mother stayed home and took care of us and everything else. This wasn't completely uncommon where I lived, most of my friends grew up in similar environments but not all.

My generation was frowned on as young adults similar to today's Millenials. We didn't "understand". I'm pretty sure older generations think and feel that way about every young generation coming of age. You don't understand us and we quite possibly don't understand you.

It was my generation when cable TV, video games and computers became the thing. It was my generation that learned to use a computer in college and we did actually have them in public school. They were Texas Instruments and booted up in DOS. Windows didn't exist but we had them and were taught to use them. Keyboarding class consisted of learning to use a typewriter which I balked at. Once Windows hit and the availability of the internet even slow dial up I was there using it. I'm self-taught and proud of it. As my children grew (both Millenials) I taught them to use it, search the net and take advantage of what it had to offer. Most Gen X did.

Today we don't fear technology but embrace it. It makes our lives much easier and if we want to blame Millenials for being too dependent on technology we first need to look at ourselves. We are scanning social media daily and using it in almost every aspect of our lives. Yes, our children learned from us and their children are learning from them. I will do a piece on Gen Z in the future because they are a truly interesting group.

We had cell phones, although, huge bricks. Most people used pagers. Remember those? You punched in a number and it beeped that person to call you. They didn't last long before cell phones became stream lined and everybody had one. Even my children had their own by highschool.

In today's work force from my experience Gen X is running things. We are in positions of power and doing an excellent job. At my work there are few Boomers, mosty Gen X and Millenials. Through that we are making change and progress. We have taken over the workforce.

We aren't considered politcal people and generally aren't out spoken about it but we have ideas and opinions.  According to FactTank (read article here) 2016 saw the largest voting turnout from Gen X. It appears that Gen X and Millenials voted similarly and together we equal nearly the same amout of votes as Baby Boomers. Unfortunately there were those who didn't vote. Get out there and do it. We need you. 

What this says to me is that Gen X although small is not forgotten or silent. We are now adults with professional careers, children in college and have moved on and are ready for change. Change that we think needs to happen. Change that will bring this counrty into the global age.

According to Boomer or Bust, it appears Baby Boomers have ran this country for 28 years. Yet it seems or at least I hear this group do the most griping about politics. Get out of the White House! Go on Baby Boomers leave. Drop any thoughts about going for a political seat and back away. It's time for Gen X to rule the roost. 

In my opinion we need a Gen X president because we get today's world. Gay marriage; so what? Your transgender? good for you. You are in a bi-racial relationship? What do you mean? We're all the same species who cares what you look like. Those are silly examples but also very true. We don't see the differences our older counterparts do and neither do our children nor their children.

We are adults and wear our big boy and girl pants. We are survivors and activists, we don't quit and are hard workers running the majority of the work force. Mom? Dad? we can make decisions for the better of all people. We have compassion, understanding yet are lovable and fun-loving. Believe it or not we get it and we don't see party lines as divided as our previous generations. We understand it takes a little give and take, compromise. Yes, all the things we were taught, only we've made them ours. We own who we are.

One last tidbit concerning education. In the US teachers and students alike abhor standardized testing. Well, all I have to say is George Bush and No Child Left Behind. Yup, a Baby Boomer.

I leave you with this, a tidbit that humored me from the Washington Post, author Dana Milbank, "This deterioration on the boomers’ watch was no accident. They grew up selfish and unyielding and have governed that way, creating the polarization that has paralyzed our politics and left us unable to solve the nation’s problems."

Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentines Giveaway!

It's here! This time of year I like to do a little giveaway. This year I'm offering a $20 Amazon egiftcard to one lucky winner.

Enter everything and gain 18 entries right now. A few can be done more than once and others that can be completed only once have high entry values. 

Giveaway ends on Valentines day 2/14 so enter now!