Listening in on Members of the Talented Tenth

Every summer, my federal agency is amongst the many places that recruits and accepts a crop of college and high school students for internships.  A small part of my job here is to assist with the program, and since I’m in the director’s office, I normally get to know more than just their names.   And since ya girl is so friendly and approachable, they often seek me out to pour out their life stories.  I smile accordingly and dole out what nuggets of wisdom I’ve collected over the last 34 years.  Most are good kids and I actually enjoy talking to them a bit.

These students are amongst the best and brightest that our nations colleges and universities have to offer.  The average GPA of our summer class is 3.8.  Well rounded kids who’ve been active with sports teams, educational clubs and in volunteerism.  They are our future, right?

As I was walking from my car this morning, I was behind two such students.  One male, one female.  One from the South, and one from the North.  Both from prestigious institutions – one HBCU and one PWI.   Check out the conversation that I witnessed:

Smart Girl:  Wait. Which building are we going to?

Smart Guy:  F, I think.  Ms. Jackson told us Building F and that email said Building F.

**they continue walking toward Building B**

Smart Girl:  That sign says Building B is this way.  I guess F must be close.

Smart Guy:  I guess.  It didn’t look real far on that map they showed us.

**they continue walking toward Building B and decide to NOT consult the map in Smart Guy’s hand**

Smart Girl:  Didn’t they say it was like a 5 minute walk from the parking lot?

Smart Guy:  Yeah, and we’ve been walking for like, I don’t know.  Maybe 10?

**they continue walking toward Building B and decide to NOT look at the large, mounted campus map they pass**



Smart Girl:  Maybe we should ask somebody?

Smart Guy:  They probably all lost too.  **they both snicker in unison**

Smart Girl:  I bet that dang building don’t even have our ID cards ready when we get there.

Smart Guy:  Hmph!  They better.  All this walking we doing.

Smart Girl:  For real!  Let’s ask somebody.  Call Smart Guy #2.  He got his last week.

**Smart Guy pulls out phone and instead of calling program coordinator, he calls Smart Guy #2.  After a brief conversation, he hangs up**

Smart Guy:  He said it’s near the D building, where the cafeteria is.

**deep sigh from Smart Girl**

Smart Girl:  Dang, that’s the other direction.  Come on, let’s go.

**They make a hard right; a 90 degree turn and begin heading in a different direction**

What direction you ask?  Toward buildings C, D and E, and AWAY from building F.

Come on son!!  Are you kidding me???  You were verbally given the location in a meeting, and provided the location in an email, complete with a color coded map.   You brought the map with you, but refuse to consult it.  You walked by all the “You are Here” signs/maps strategically placed on campus to help your azz!  Then you decide to call another brilliant idiot who is as clueless as you and your walking buddy.  Really??????

I guess since it was Monday morning I felt some kinda evil, cause I sure didn’t stop ’em to correct their silly tails.   How about those rocket scientists showed up over an hour later after NEVER HAVING FOUND THE RIGHT BUILDING?????

The children are the future, aren’t they?  My faith in this crop is not strong.


26 thoughts on “Listening in on Members of the Talented Tenth

    • Hmm, nerves huh? *lol* Alright, I’m gonna go with that, for that sake of your daughter, whom I somehow KNOW would not have been wandering with these idiots! Hope her internship goes well!

  1. I see it everyday, they really don’t like to read, or pay attention. They do it , but it’s not always enough to find the required reading for your class. When I see them, I ask, “Do you know the title?” No, well, “Do you know the author?” No, well, “Do you know the subject?” No, well, “Do you have your syllibus?” “Do you have the summer reading list?” Do you know if it’s on your school’s website? All year long.

    • Dang! You know I’m old, man! I don’t think about taping anyone, ever, but I need to adjust that, huh? I definitely run up on some comical ish. Hmm……

  2. I mean really?? This generation really scares me. The crop I get to see are all on their 1st 2nd 3rd or 4th baby….I’m not impressed.

  3. Ha! Teach them well and let them lead the way…all the way away from the F building. I tell people that it seems like after 1985, the baby making business just went downhill.

  4. Poor kids. Lol. Just goes to show just because you have book smarts does NOT mean you have an OUNCE of common sense. Looking forward to more of these stories. Kind of reminds me of your bout with the temp awhile back. Don’t feel bad I wouldn’t have stopped to help them either. Far be it from me to be an enabler. LMAO!!!

  5. smart don’t mean nothing no more…seriously. we were bright, we had both book and street smarts and it wasn’t enough to just have one or the other…these youngins have this “i know it all, and I got this, I am not humbly at all” attitude going for them…hence the reason they went to all the wrong buildings FIRST and it probably took them an hour to get to the right one, probably the LAST building they made it to

    • High five – “we were bright, we had both book and street smarts and it wasn’t enough to just have one or the other”. And those kids NEVER made it! They gave up!

  6. LMAO!!! What kills me is that they are wrong as wrong can be and have the nerve to have ATTITUDE!!! I see it all in the time with my brother and younger cousins. At least when I was wrong at their age, I learned to shut my pie hole and stew silently.

    • Ugh! The attitude! Don’t you know that they got back and wrote the coordinator an email about her “ambiguous directions”?????? The NERVE!!

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