Generation X Goes to College
Account of Teaching in Postmodern America
This is the
incredible, amusing, horrifying, yet true story, of how the
author, a journalist turned college professor, came face to face
with Generation X: jaded, unachieving, highly demanding, yet
lacking any respect for standards or intelligence.
These scholars wore
bored looks, ample attitudes, and reversed baseball caps. They
expected to earn top grades by just showing up in class, which
they often interrupted with their portable TVs, cellular phones,
or personal pagers. In order to keep his job, the author had to
give up old-fashioned educational goals in exchange for mindless
titillation and coming across as a cool and unassuming guy.
Partly as a wry
experiment, Sacks decided to pursue this approach remorselessly,
treating his twentysomething students like a kindergarten
playgroup, and by so doing he became a spectacular "success" as
from-the-trenches account of contemporary college teaching makes
for a disturbing read. It will certainly shock and probably
offend, but anyone who ignores its assessments does so at our
Editor, Academic Questions
deserves the thanks of professors, school teachers, and our
whole society for seeking to have us acknowledge what we have
jointly, though unintentionally, wrought."
The American Scholar
portrait of bored and unmotivated students unwilling to read or
study but feeling entitled to high grades . . . The book goes
well beyond conventional arguments about slackers, entitlement
and dumbing down."
U.S. News & World Report