On top of finishing my school work (STILL NOT DONE) this week, I was asked to review some applications for an award offered to high school students who have aspirations in computer science. Those applications are making me doubt, this this order:
- Everything I remember about being a teenager
- Ever having children
I freely admit that I'm making two assumptions. First, in order for a student to apply, I'm assuming that either that student or an adult that knows that student read the award description and truly thought the student would be a good candidate. Second, I'm assuming that the applicants believed that what they turned in was acceptable. Perhaps, in some cases, neither of those is true. It's horrible that that's what I'm hoping for.
Some of the applications were... acceptable. A few were hilarious. Some were no holds barred motherfucking embarrassing.
I don't think that it's appropriate for me to quote any of them, which is a shame, because without samples I doubt you'll be able to fully embrace what I'm saying here. However, you'll just have to use your imagination. Imagine, for example, that you're 17 and you're still confused about capital letters and sentence structure, that you think leadership is managing to get anything done when someone else is in the room, and that when you're asked if you belong to an underrepresented group you truly believe that 'yes, I'm white' is a valid answer.
I remember my teenage years as being not all that different from my twenties (which I'm almost done with). Sure, I made some dumb ass calls, probably more regularly than I do now, but it's not like I went from a blabbering idiot to a well spoken adult the second they handed me my diploma. I was more dramatic (shut it, it's totally possible), but I'm pretty sure that I was able to string together a sentence, and maybe even explain things in a manner that made sense. Also? I understood the concept of underrepresented.
I'm not trying to say that I'm better than these students. I'm trying to say that I don't understand the disconnect. Was I in fact better, or am I misremembering, or did I somehow just get a disproportionate amount of unqualified applicants in my review bucket? Am I being too hard on these kids?
Or are we all doomed?