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Weekly Reader 2.14.11

A Generational Snow Day?

The revolt in Egypt was sparked by young adults, many unemployed, using social media to organize, according to news reports.  And the unrest is not limited to Egypt as explained in “Millennial Unemployment: Can We Afford Another Generational ‘Snow Day.'”

“From Cairo to London to Brooklyn, too many young people are jobless and disaffected,” writes marketing professor and author Carol Phillips, in her blog.  “For most of us, the ‘snow day’ has been a nuisance. But for unemployed Millennials, everyday is a snow day.”

For a thoughtful examination of the issue, Ms. Phillips suggests a recent Business Week cover story, “The Youth Unemployment Bomb”  and  a new book, “Not Quite Adults.  What are the solutions?  Ms. Phillips suggests a few:

  • Greater emphasis on career training, mentoring and vocational ed.
  • Incentives for older adults to retire or step back to create opportunities for young adults.
  • Greater understanding that a slow start is not ‘failure to launch’.
  • Greater voice for young adults in the civic process.
  • More alternatives like gap years, stipends for public service and other ways to put non-productive time to good use (without going into deeper debt)

Boomerang Kids Around the World

That Business Week article listed the several international figures-of-speech for boomerang kids:

  • Tunisia…hittistes French-Arabic slang for those who lean against the wall.
  • Egypt…shabab atileen, unemployed youths.
  • Britain…NEET, not in education, employment, or training.
  • Japan…freeters: an amalgam of the English word freelance and the German word Arbeiter, or worker.
  • Spaniards…mileuristas, meaning they earn no more than 1,000 euros a month.
  • China… ant tribe are recent college graduates who crowd together in cheap flats on the fringes of big cities because they cant find well-paying work.

Granny Boot Camp

There’s boot camp for Marines, boot camp for brides, boot camp for fitness fanatics.  But boot camp for grandparents?

Trying keeping up with a two-year-old, and you might agree with  blogger Kathleen Norton’s suggestion to “Shape Up Before Seeing Grandkid.” After a recent visit to her toddler grandchild, including a foray to the mall, she wrote a exhausted, funny piece, noting:

With all our gushing, we forgot the most important thing — a stint at Grandparent Boot Camp where the motto is, “The Few. The Proud. The Upright.”

At Grandparent Boot Camp, you do squat thrusts from dawn until dusk.

“You wimps think THIS is hard! Wait till you’re squished in some kiddy chair for a tea party!” a drill sergeant screams.

At Grandparent Boot Camp, you are familiarized with the operation of a car seat fit for an astronaut.

“Wrong, you idiot!” the drill sergeant screams as you fumble with buckles. “Fifty more squats for you!”

At Grandparent Boot Camp, you take a crash course in complex toys such as Potty Time Elmo, whose miniature potty makes realistic sound effects.

30 is the new 20

That was the headline on an article in a Pakistani newspaper, The Tribune, reviewing a new movie,  “Turning 30.”  Recently released in India, the film reflects changes in the traditional path of mandatory marriage and family for 20-somethings.   The heroine is a young woman who “discovers that the end of her 20s, the loss of her job and boyfriend need not be the end of the world.”

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