Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Future generations might not be so bad after all

I am taking another long look at the Millennials

  • Saturday, June 8, 2019 9:32pm
  • Life

Congratulations are in order!

I had the privilege on May 20 of attending the awards ceremony at Kenai Central High School and making a scholarship award to a couple of deserving seniors. Kenai Historical Society was among many patrons/mentors who rewarded outstanding students for their achievements, which include the fact they made it through 12 or 13 years of school successfully without throwing up their hands in frustration, defeat or simply exhaustion. (I may be old but some things remain in the memory. Finally finishing school is one of them.)

Not to be forgotten are the other local organizations, businesses and families who contribute to these scholarships. All financial assistance is welcome in this day when education has become, economically, such a precious commodity. The full-ride scholarships are very welcome, of course, but the ones that will pay for books, gas money, rent and food are equally as needed. Not every student is going to Harvard and those who choose to devote their time locally have earned the recognition and support as much as the superstars.

I was impressed with the students honored at the ceremony. The Historical Society selects their recipients more on community service and recommendation than on grade point average, although that does come into consideration at the end. This year we considered five applicants, and it is always too bad we can’t award to them all. Sometimes it comes down to a coin toss, the students are so deserving. As often as I have dissed on ‘this younger generation’, I am always amazed at their achievement and forethought.

Yes, it’s really Me. After the last column about them not driving, Granddaughter #3 sent me a rebuttal. Respectfully written, I must say, but decidedly pointed as to the reasons she doesn’t like to drive, and the veiled suggestion that I follow my mother’s admonition that if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.

So, I am taking another long look at the Millennials (although #3 claims to be a subcategory: Xennial [“hey! It’s a thing! Google it!]) and I can see some interesting and even independent thought from some of them, in between being offended by everything and needing to reinvent the wheel, which I might suggest, has been rolling along successfully for several generations before them.

And Generation Z, who are the ones who graduated this year, are even more promising. They realize the world doesn’t revolve around their needs and they are going to have to make an effort to achieve their dreams and they understand that effort means work for it!

Whew! Was that OK, Mom?

One summer, five of the granddaughters were going to be here at once (yes, another granddaughter story). At that time, their ages stretched from college freshman down to about first grade and I was looking for a project we could all do together — Big assignment — but the new crafty thing was making a small blanket from two pieces of fleece fringed at the edges then knotted together. I had made one. It was easy and fun and (because it was so popular) kits were available. So off I go to JoAnn’s to find five blanket kits for the granddaughters. I even took Hubby along as consultant.

Many designs were available, and I spent a good amount of time making a very careful selection for each girl: Pink princesses for #7, fantasy print for #3, big stalking tiger for #4. I spent more time on those blankets than we had spent picking out our car, Hubby nodding agreement as I mulled each choice. I even got an extra one: flower print, for myself and to demonstrate how to put it together.

So the day arrives. The dads are out fishing; the moms are reading or napping; the girls are pacing and saying, “What can we do, Grandma?” So I pull out the blanket kits and show them the one I had already made. They were excited to get started, and I told them to pick the one they wanted and I would show them how.

They all selected a blanket. I didn’t hear a “I want that one,” or “I saw that one first.” They each had the one they wanted. BUT, none had selected the one I picked for her (and I got stuck with the pink princesses).The moral of this story: You never know a person (or a group) as well as you think. Even your granddaughters.

So to the Millennials, (in #3’s words): “I am never truly lost. I usually know where I am, I’m just not quite where I want to be.” We all know that feeling, but until now no group has made it their mantra. Lucky GenX is there to sweep up and GenZ to carry on.

And, congratulations to the 2019 graduates! They hold the promise of the future. I’m not too worried about them or the future.

• By VIRGINIA WALTERS, For the Peninsula Clarion

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