Charles Sykes, author of DUMBING DOWN OUR KIDS, speaks at
high school and college graduations sharing a list of things the graduates
did not learn in school. In his book, he talks about how the ongoing
feel good, politically correct atmosphere has created a generation of kids
with no concept of reality and set them up for failure in the real world.
Life is not fair, get used to it.
The world won't care about your self-esteem.
The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good
You will not make 40 thousand dollars a year
right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone
until you earn both.
If you think your teacher is tough, wait till
you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.
Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called
If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault
so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.
Before you were born your parents weren't as
boring as they are now. They got that way paying bills, cleaning your room,
and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. So before
you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents'
generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Your school may have done away with winners and
losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades,
they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer.
This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real
Life is not divided into semesters. You
don't get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping
you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
Television is not real life. In real life
people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end
up working for one...