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Author Topic: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.  (Read 930 times)

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Offline mecch

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Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« on: November 11, 2013, 05:46:59 PM »
My students read books and watch movies, series, or documentaries and do projects.

Some of them have some references in literature, history of pop culture, etc, but mostly its a blank slate these years.  Most of them find something to be inspired about. A few are literary or intellectual.

A good chunk have little curiosity or awareness of the VAST wealth of literature and media at their fingertips... Geez they have it easy these days, everything is available and almost instantly, and they don't explore.
 
So I have a chat and ask what they are interested in, what they might watch on TV. Movies, Music, etc. And then recommend something that might catch their interest but be maybe a little more recherché. 

You know they don't like old movies.  What's old?  90s is old!

Cinema is over a 100 years old.  Really? 

One today said he wasn't inspired to read anything at all. But was willing to read a crime novel.  Said he likes mystery shows.  So I was talking to him about film noir, gangster movies. No. That's black and white.  Might as well read Plato in his world view. 

So then I told him about the 70's and 80's gangster - neo-noir.  I thought maybe Chinatown. Never heard of Jack Nicholson.  Al Pacino.  etc.

OK the kid is 20 and its Switzerland but really?  (Me thinking, I am so old and so far away!  When I was his age I could have named a dozen European actors in 50's and 60's films. Geez in the 70's and 80's we could still see "foreign flicks" in general release in our cities.)

Mind you, I don't mind if they stay with completely contemporary stuff. And they can do anything - comics, anime, whatever.  Just want them to be inspired and surprised and pay attention to what they use.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 06:01:40 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline buginme2

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 06:18:11 PM »
I was talking with a young girl at work and mentioned two of my favorite directors  John  Hughes ( for the 80's  nostalgia)  and John Waters.  I was met with blank stares.   Made me realize just how old I had become.


Offline mecch

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 06:33:17 PM »
My dad, my aunts and uncles, my grandmother, would sit and watch oldies but goodies with me.  Tell me who was who and stuff.  I remember certain movies each of them liked. I had a great aunt who loved gladiator movies and roman biblical campy stuff.  Little queer in me loved visiting her. 
I guess to some extent the new generations grew up with very individual consumption of media, everyone with their own tv, computer, and now pads and smartphones. Maybe its not so common for people to watch things together or kids to sit with other generations and get a sense of whats really out there.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Joe K

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 07:33:51 PM »
I knew I was old, when I mentioned to my daughters friends that Paul McCartney got his start in the Beatles.  One of them looked at me dead serious and said "I didn't know he was in another band, before Wings.  Ouch.

Joe

Offline Theyer

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 04:44:20 AM »
What ever they are paying you Mecch it is not enough , I give thanks that the contact I have with this age group do not think like that.


However what have your students done with the bit off information that states what is happening now has its roots in........and where is there curiosity? The final joke is that the creators off what they admire are savvy to what preceded them . When I  read interviews with young artist,s  they cite there influences , there parents/grandparents record collections , who/what excites them , what they loved as children.

I am not clear , I,ve just realized , what sort off institution you do work in.
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline mecch

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 05:17:21 AM »
There does seem to be a greater lack of curiosity than in my time, but who knows, my observation isn't scientific. I went to a public HS that was all about college prep and most of the teachers were hippies and humanists. I studied liberal arts in American traditional universities.  I had a roommate for one semester who was pre med and he had a similar lack of curiosity about most culture. Also he had never tried a peach. 19 years old. Why not?  "Not interested."

This swiss university is science, tech and business.  Anyway just to restate, plenty of them are plenty curious, but chunk are not at all.  Which I guess I compare to my experience at that age and we were almost all curious. 

I taught at one of the traditional, old swiss universities and the students there were of course similar to the ones we find at good american universities.

Anyway just to clear, this isn't a complaint, more an observation...  My post was half about MY references being so old!  I am not going to be that teacher who brings in some old shitty tired pop culture material and insist youngsters find it important. We all remember those teachers and those excruciating "lessons".

I think my university should have a small slate of core courses in humanities or social sciences but the swiss mentality, very central european, thus utilitarian, just doesn't see the value.  I tell my students in the US a student can be pre med but study whatever, music, history, philosophy, they are dumbstruck.  Also it does not compute that MIT has humanities and social sciences... 

Switzerland is a very multicultural society and another observation is that the students with heritage that is not swiss can generally be counted on to be more passionate, intellectually curious and catholic in their interests, and generally more free-wheeling... 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 05:47:16 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline HIVworker

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 09:22:59 AM »
To be fair it has probably got a lot to do with the location as much as age. He might know a few world famous soccer players from the 1970s that you haven't heard of. Cinema is global, but you have to remember that most films are dubbed or subtitled. So it's not going to carry the same weight as it would in another English speaking country like the Uk and Australia.

R
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline Theyer

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 04:34:00 PM »
This thread has made me think about my own education and how I dealt with it.I attended a single sex state school that valued sport "common sense " and obedience in that order. Success was entry into the Armed services, trade apprenticeships , with a small minority going on to study for higher education . The emotional intelligence off the majority off the teachers was low.

So the friends I had formed  into a group that felt very passionate about whatever came along, not only where we interested but the very act off being interested was often an act of rebellion against the School. The few teachers who recognized any worth in us off course gained our attention and respect and we worked for them.

It was not until I was 25, on a Social Work course , at a University that had a program for students who did not have the required School grades usual for universities that I learned how to study.

So I am very, very, familiar with the unquestioning male who suspects anything differant , reacts to what they do not understand with contempt and now in middle age are grumbling about the loss off a world that was already dead when they where dreaming off there place in it.

I suspect that the young people who are open to what you have to teach them enjoy your work , I also suspect that those who dismiss a film because it is in black and white are never going to allow there self's to look outside off there bland bubble off indifference.

Its not about being old ,its about working with people who are afraid off whatever is unfamiliar and in Northern Europe that has a very long history.

michael
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline mecch

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 09:13:18 PM »
Well OK. That's maybe a darkish view if applied to students in science and tech.  They have their passions I'm sure.  They have a right to want to get through what they consider irrelevant or secondary (language, communication) but required, with as little effort as possible. Heavy maths keeps them very busy, thats for sure.

As for material, there is little to no set input, they choose their own. I give information and make suggestions more when someone is a bit blank and uninspired, or when it seems they aren't familiar with what I have ask them to do (identify and develop their own learning strategies, then learn something). 

I review the meta frameworks on different learning strategies, too.  So yeah you have a point about what is unfamiliar.  Lots of students around the world, view higher education as essentially knowledge transmission from experts (the profs) and training for jobs...  I use the social constructivist methods, autonomy, critical thinking and training for "life long learning", common in certain American universities but not as much in central European universities.  But the Council of Europe spent a shit load instituting standards and recommended pedagogies that do include the above, so there's that.

Anyway as long as they make up their minds, choose some material, apply their minds a bit and complete the set tasks, its a win, in my book.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 09:21:57 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 09:27:39 PM »
Also I started the thread to muse about my getting old and how the young don't know so much about our cultural reference points.  :o  :'(
Lucky for me I love media and keep up with the current scene.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Theyer

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2013, 03:00:53 AM »
Sorry if I  hi-jacked.
m
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline mecch

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Re: Jack Nicholson? Pacino? Some of us are very old now.
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2013, 06:43:22 AM »
Not at all. Interesting things to think about.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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