Number 2 Pencil is back

Number 2 Pencil is back with a funny post on young Brits who are “life incompetents.” They’ve grown up without learning to boil a potato before mashing, how to replace a button or how to read wash care instructions on clothes labels.

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  1. Yes, it’s good to see the “other” good education & testing blog back, but I don’t think that Kimberly thinks that the “life incompenent” post is funny. Rather I’d bet that she sees it as a sad commentary on mondern western society – semi-educated in the intellectual areas – even less so in the practical.

    Then again, I’m so frustrated by all the negative educational news that I’ve probably lost my sense of humor about it.

  2. mike from oregon says:

    Well, I see the humor in that the majority of know how to do this stuff (don’t we?) and to think that someone ‘graduates’ into independent living without knowing such basic skills seems absurd.

    However, this is also the generation (even though this was written about those in Britian, it applies here) that gets it’s “news” from the John Daly show on Comedy Central.

    To make it even scarier (to me) I just asked my fifteen year old daughter if she knows how to sew on a button – she didn’t – we’re changing that situation this evening.

  3. Is it truly a generational thing? My father — in his 70s — couldn’t make mashed potatoes either, but he has the smarts to look up the recipe online if he needed to.

  4. Tim from Texas says:

    A friend’s 34 year old son is marrying a 25 year old this Saturday. She is a university grad. She thought eggs were manufactured by the grocery companies. Otherwise, she seems to be quite intelligent. It’s always surprising to find out what someone knows and doesn’t know.

  5. Bob – I have to admit I thought it was half-funny, half-awful. The awful parts comes from the realization of how badly some of these parents are shirking their child-rearing responsiblities.

    As for “the other good education & testing blog”, I think I’d like to use that as my slogan. 🙂 With your permission, of course.

  6. Gwen, I’ll bet that your father understands that the basic steps are peeling, boiling, and mashing. It’s unlikely that he never had to peel potatoes, whether at home or in the Army. What he probably lacks is details like how to keep them boiling without boiling-over, and what to add during mashing to make them taste good – but if he had to, he’d learn by trial and error. OTOH, someone who starts by trying to mash raw potatoes wouldn’t get very far.

  7. Tim, supermarket eggs do come from factories – huge buildings full of hens in little cages on conveyor belts. That 25 year old just misunderstands the details of the production “equipment”.

    I’m lucky. One of my neighbors raises chickens the old-fashioned way, so I get better eggs cheaply. OTOH, you never have to wash chickenshit off of supermarket eggs…

  8. Tim from Texas says:

    Markm, all of us present got the impression she did not know chickens lay eggs. At any rate, she seemed quite knowlegable in many areas. I just find the human learning process quite surprising and interesting.


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