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"Civility: Dead or Alive"



Joined: 12/10/2013
Posts: 3
MelodyLynn
Energy, invincibility, and the spirit of adventure are descriptive words that one visualizes of college graduates. It is exciting to be a 61 year old college graduate with the energy, renewed sense of invincibility that interconnects with the spirit of adventure. It has been an eye opening journey having been exposed to the social media, diverse technology, and critical thinking or lack of.

The stability of society is based on shared core values. We baby-boomers had the benefits of these core values that were taught in the home, church, and school. Giving us our learning years to practice our social skills like manners, courtesy, respect, and civility to each other. Today home, church and school have been replaced with technology, peers, and social media influences.

The interactions between not only fellow classmates, but the professors leave a lingering question; where has civility gone? Being a non-traditional student having the benefit of building a firm foundation taught in the home, church and school, it did not take long to identify serious deficits in core values and etiquette when discussions were mandatory with emotionally charged social topics.

The most compelling experience was in the important class on the Constitution worth nine credits; very substantial grade that could change a serious student's GPA. The Professor of Law, who held the iron hand of grades, left great concern about his lack of etiquette, courtesy, respect, and civility to his students. Based on his own rhetoric, it was obvious he did not have the benefit of learning core values from home or the church front along with lacking the skill to separate professional judgments from personal bias.

This Professor openly admitted and displayed his prejudice of Native Americans and fat people. He selected specific emotionally charged topics that wielded intense emotional classroom discussions demonstrating the lack of respect and common courtesy among many of the students. This Professor then verified his lack of etiquette by assigning the very students he proclaimed prejudice against, the task of a five minute speech, a key part of the grade, on the cons of gay marriage over less emotionally charged topics. This would not have been a major challenge had he not been gay himself leaving students in a catch 22.

Such is the culture today, there are epidemic levels that lack the human elements from early development through adulthood. The general populace is saturated with robotic mindsets, indifference to other human beings, motivated by the gusto of the moment while creating a society that is groomed for abuse by those driven for power, money, and/or sex.

The final analysis, education is a vital factor in gaining knowledge that allows us to engage in critical thinking; which is essential to create order, stability and yield productive members of any culture. When this is out of balance with such behaviors as lack of respect, manners, common courtesies, and etiquette, the natural consequences will be change, for better or worse, in order to recapture balance.
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Comment by warren


Joined: 6/22/2011
Posts: 293
Congratulations on your graduation! A wonderful achievement at any age. It sounds as if you had quite an education. Though I've been away from academia for many years, I always found the level of civility varied with the individual, whether student, staff or faculty member, and to a lesser extent the institution. Out of curiosity, I queried a former colleague who hasn't yet retired from teaching. He judged that it hasn't changed that much. I hope you have a better experience when you go for your graduate degree!
Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 3:16:56 PM
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Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire StageofLife.com editorial board, I would like to congratulate you on being selected as the adult winner of the December / Civility writing contest. This is a huge honor and you should celebrate your accomplishment.

We will be notifying you via your email registration with more information.

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World, One Story at a Time”

Sincerely,
Rebecca Thiegs
StageofLife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 4:10:43 PM
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Baby Boomers (and older!) blog on StageofLife.comAbout Us StageofLife.com is a blogging community for "Empty Nesters" and those in (or near) retirement to share stories about the adventure of life in an online journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Read the blogs and stories from Baby Boomers (and older), or check out the writing contest for Baby Boomers, quotes about retirement, etiquette advice, videos about retirement, discounts for retirement, and other resources for those in the Empty Nest and Retirement stage of life.  Register to start your free profile, share an essay about your life experiences, and pass along your wisdom to help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a college professor, teacher or educator - review our literacy, blogging and writing resources.

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Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on StageofLife.com.

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