College (Almost) Graduates. A rant.

As I sat in my class last night, listening to the umpteenth presentation on beach usage; I nearly blew my lid.  These young adults are seniors in college. Many have 1 week to go until they graduate, most 1 semester. None of them, save one, seem to be at all prepared for the big, bad world of life.  As a Master's candidate, and an older student, I'll give that I'm more experienced than them. BUT. My daughter is the same age as these people.  She is light years ahead of them.  For the life of me I can't see how they are going to graduate, much less contribute.  I know I sound like an old fogey...but if you ask the younger people I know they will tell you absolutely not.  Let me give you some examples of what I sat through last night.

1. With one exception, none of the 7 students had practiced their presentation much less spell checked it.

2. With one exception, the presentations were littered with ummmm, like, where was I, and one presenter swallowed their words so much I only caught 1 out of 7. I still don't know what they presented.

3. Handouts...don't hand me your term paper lite. Hand me a meaningful outline of your powerpoint presentation.  The handout should match the presentation...not have nothing to do with it.

4. 1 electronic device is enough. If you can't look at the powerpoint and know what you're about to say, see rant 1 above.  Don't keep your notes on your blackberry where you have to continually play with it to find your place and you fiddle with it the rest of the time.

5. Bravo to the presenter who, when not using their hands to direct the pointer to a specific point in their powerpoint, kept their hands in their pockets in order to not fiddle with them. Since there was no lecturn, you chose to do the next best thing. Thank you.

6. Oh and one last thing. I understand Geography is not the most difficult of disciplines.  However at this point in your education, you should be able to put together a simple research study that compares apples to apples, or using the proper statistics apples to oranges.  Your inability to design and execute a simple study (counting people on the beach...are they in the water or out) reflects on us as a whole when you get a job. You perform poorly and all of a sudden it's CS** Geography? No way we'll hire them. They aren't very capable graduates.

 (P.S. And please? That little button up there? The one with the ABC over a checkmark? Use it. It is your friend. But understand it doesn't grasp grammer or syntax. It won't catch there, their and they're.  For that, you must re-read you paper, edit and correct.)

People, when I was running a company and hiring employees? I had to start requesting writing samples it was so bad.  My employees had to communicate with individuals and write reports on a daily basis. The ability to speak and write well was tantamount to being hired by me.  Now is the time to learn. Now is the time to care about that. Not after you graduate.

That is all.

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