There was a study done somewhere (because I am nothing but thorough) in which a professor of something found that American students expect better grades and will brow beat a professor into giving them a grade they didn’t earn. They felt entitled to sed A, and according to this professor, do you know who gave them that sense of entitlement? None other than the Reverend Frederick McFeely Rogers.
That’d be Mr. Rogers. Theee Mister Rogers. His message that you are special “just for being you” has ruined a generation. You see, in this very scientific study performed by this very scientific professor he noted that asian born students never haggle for a higher grade. They accept what they are given and view anything short of an A as an indication that they must work harder. The difference between the asian born students and those popped out in the good ol’ US of A? Mr. Rogers did not air in asian countries.
Of the crimes I would list committed by Mister Rogers (a very small list indeed), I’m not sure I agree with this professor’s conclusion. Remember that PBS children’s programming like Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and Zoom, and The Electric Company mostly targeted lower income children who might more or less be raising themselves and would therefore, in theory, seldom if ever hear the message, “it’s enough that you’re you. I like you just the way you are.” Mister Rogers gave them that and that is not a bad thing.
I’m thinking that maybe, possibly, perhaps the reason that those american born students expect an automatic upgrade has less to do with Mister Rogers and more to do with I don’t know…THEIR PARENTS.
Children feel entitled because they don’t hear the word no often enough. They feel entitled because their parents are afraid to lose their child’s affection and go out of their way to avoid conflict. Children feel entitled because we give them too much shit to ease our conscience when we don’t spend time with them, when we tune out when they’re telling us those stories that make no sense and go on for years. They feel entitled because we project our own childhood insecurities onto them. We want to give them the edge over their friends or at the very least keep up with their friends. Nine year olds don’t have cell phones and i-pods because Mister Rogers tells them they’re special just for being them. Nine year olds have cell phones and i-pods because their parents can’t be bothered to spend time with them. College students are bullying grades from their professors because they don’t know the proud burn of accomplishing something through application of self and patience, because the meaning behind their parents’ weak nos was I’ll negotiate with you because you and me? We’re not so different, NOT because Mister Rogers wanted them to know that they deserved to be loved simply because they were born.
So, esteemed professor? I’m calling bullshit.