Cumberland Times-News

Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything

August 25, 2012

They don’t even know that they don’t know

The Associated Press has confirmed what my contemporaries and I have long suspected: Today’s young’uns don’t see things the same way we do and aren’t aware of some of what we know (and probably could care less).

AP reported that this year’s Beloit College Mindset List serves as “a nonscientific compilation ... meant to remind teachers that college freshmen, born mostly in 1994, see the world in a much different way.”

It refers to carbon paper and suitcases that had to be carried, instead of rolled, and says, “The Class of 2016 has no need for radios, watches television everywhere except on actual TV sets and is addicted to ‘electronic narcotics.’ ”

My friends and I also have observed that some younger people cannot tell time on a watch that has hands and a dial instead of digital numbers. (Forget making change.)

Others do not realize that when the battery on your electronic car key has died, you still can gain entry to your automobile by sticking key’s metal prong into the lock and turning it.

Once when the newsroom was undergoing a night-long succession of weird events, I said “Somewhere, Rod Serling is looking down at us and laughing his (beast of burden) off.”

“Who’s that?” asked one of my younger co-workers.

The AP report says, “To them, ‘Twilight Zone’ is about vampires,” but in fairness adds that this isn’t the case with all of them.

Some are “insulted by the insinuation that they had no knowledge of events that happened before they were born.”

Our travels to Gettysburg as Civil War living historians has proven to my friends and me that some young folks have a fairly good handle on things ... but others don’t have a clue.

Some look at our blue Union uniforms and ask what they are. On the other hand, an adult asked me the same thing after I gave a Veterans Day speech — and he was a veteran.

Still, with age comes wisdom, and some of the wisdom I’ve accumulated tells me that life is a continuous learning process.

We often hear that schools aren’t teaching youngsters what they need to know.

My parents were teachers, and their philosophy was that schools can’t teach their students everything. What they must do is introduce them to the process of learning by showing them how to learn and inspiring them to do so.

AP also points out that young people “don’t waste time with outdated technologies like radios and point-and-shoot cameras.”

When I learned photography, the only point-and-shoot cameras then in existence were Polaroids and Kodak’s Brownie Hawkeyes. Exposure settings and focusing had to be done manually on the cameras I used.

Technology and our use of it progresses. The firearms I grew up with were fed with ready-made cartridges that held bullet, powder and primer. If someone had handed me a flintlock rifle, I wouldn’t have known how to properly load and fire it.

Some things have improved. AP said students today “are also accustomed to seeing women in a position of leadership.” About time.

The theory prevalent when I was in college held that most women went there to become teachers and nurses or to find a husband.

There may have been some truth to that, but not in the journalism school at Potomac State College and West Virginia University.

My female schoolmates were there for the most part to become professional journalists, and from what I can tell a significant number of them have gone on to successful careers — if not as reporters, then in some other field.

AP also says “The old Hollywood stereotype of ditzy blonde women has given way to one of ‘dumb and dumber males.’ ” I guess that means the day of blonde jokes is about over.

In the interest of a dying tradition, therefore, I will pass on to you this list of blonde jokes. It also contains reference to blond men.

• A friend tells a blonde, “Christmas is on a Friday this year.” The blonde says, “Let’s hope it’s not the 13th.”

• Two blondes find three hand grenades and decide to take them to a police station. One asks, “What if one explodes before we get there?” The other says, “We’ll lie and say we only found two.”

• A woman phones her blonde neighbor and says, “Close your curtains the next time you and your husband are having sex. The whole street was watching and laughing at you yesterday.” The blonde says, “The joke’s on you because I wasn’t even at home yesterday.”

• A blonde is in the bathroom, and her husband calls out, “Did you find the shampoo?” She answers, “Yes, but I’m not sure what to do. It’s for dry hair and I’ve just wet mine.”

• A blonde goes to the veterinarian with her goldfish. “It’s having seizures,” she tells the vet. The vet takes a look and says, “It seems calm enough to me.” The blonde says, “Wait until I take it out of the bowl.”

 • A blond man spies a letter lying on his doormat. It says on the envelope, “DO NOT BEND.” He spends the next two hours trying to figure out how to pick it up.

• A blond man shouts frantically into the phone, “My wife is pregnant, and her contractions are only two minutes apart!” The doctor asks, “Is this her first child?” To which he replies, “No!” This is her husband!”

• A blonde takes her new car back to the dealer and tells the mechanic it drives perfectly during the day, but won’t move at night. The mechanic takes it for a test-drive and returns to tell her it works perfectly. He asks, “Are you using the right gears?” She says, “Of course, I am. I use D during the day and N at night.”

• A blonde is driving home. Suddenly she swerves to avoid a tree, then another, then another. A cop car pulls her over, so she tells him about the trees in the road. He says, “That’s your air freshener swinging around!”

• A blonde’s dog goes missing. Her husband says, “Why don’t you put an ad in the paper?” She does, but two weeks later, the dog is still missing. Her husband asks, “What did you put in the paper?” She replies, “Here, Scooby!”

• An Italian tourist asks a blonde, “Why do American scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?” To which the blonde replies, “If they fell forward, they’d still be in the boat.”

I hate to admit this, but I had to think about the last one for a few moments ... and you know, it actually makes sense.

Text Only
Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves

    So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.

    July 13, 2014

  • Better read that french fry before you eat it

    People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.

    July 6, 2014

  • The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you

    So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?

    June 28, 2014

  • There are some debts you can never repay

    Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.

    June 21, 2014

  • It could have saved the county a lot of money

    Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
    When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
    Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
    • If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
    • If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
    I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.

    June 15, 2014

  • These two were part of the Not Top Ten

    Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”

    Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.

    June 8, 2014

  • Coming soon to a highway near you?

    People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”

    In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.

    June 1, 2014

  • This was a skill that proved very useful

    The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.

    May 25, 2014

  • He made a big splash by asking this question

    “I don’t know who you were talking to last night,” said Capt. Gary, “but you were talking and moaning in your sleep. Never heard you do that before.” Neither has anyone else, I said. Besides, I had told him not to be surprised if we had visitors. I wasn’t at the top of my game for a couple of days, and he said some of our friends asked him if I was all right. It’s not the first time for this, so now I’ll know to watch out for it. It can affect you and is not something to play around with — as our friend Cathy found out.

    May 18, 2014

Latest news
Must Read
House Ads