28 June 2017

How is this possible?

"The skills prehistoric peoples depended on seem exotic to today’s college students, who Schindler says arrive on campus each year with less and less of the sort of practical experience that he emphasizes in his class. He tells of the time he asked some students to crack eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. He returned to the kitchen 10 minutes later to find that not a single egg had been cracked. “I asked them if the problem was that nobody had ever told them how to separate the yolk from the whites, and received blank stares in return,” he recalled. “After a minute of silence, one of them said, ‘ I’ve never cracked an egg.’ I was floored—how do you even make it to 19 without cracking an egg?”


  1. These are probably the same people who get their meat from animals instead of just buying it in the store. ;)

    Is it really that surprising though? It would seem a logical consequence of a society where anything you want is available pre-processed, and cheaper than you could ever make it yourself. Now whether that's a nice society to live in is another question...

  2. Not knowing how to perform that task doesn't surprise me. What actually surprises me is none of them took out their phones and looked up instructions on how to do it.

  3. Before I went to uni i had never cooked rice, fried or boiled an egg, made a cup of tea or coffee or done my own laundry. I'm ashamed of it now, but those were all things that I had simply never had to do before. I could crack an egg though..

  4. Doesn't bother me much. I've never milked a cow, used a washboard, drawn water from a well, etc.

    On the wealthy side we've moved up the prepared food ladder and "fast casual" food is so tasty, quick, and inexpensive that many families cook in their kitchens rarely if at all. On the other side of the economic spectrum many people live in "food deserts" without access to perishable foods like eggs.

    What does bother me is as @Benjamin Morse said above. There is literally a youtube video showing how to do basically any simple task you could imagine. I often find it irksome when people come to me for instruction on a task without doing this level of due diligence. Then again I suppose in a classroom phones may have been banned.

  5. As I frequently tell my daughter, "It's not possible to know everything. It would be unreasonable to expect that. What I expect is that you will have the basic understanding needed to use the tools at your disposal to find out. Previous generations did not have the resources that you have. My father's generation put men on the moon with less computer power than you have in your pocket."

  6. I don't think my mother or father could separate an egg. And both of them spent at least part of their childhoods on a farm. I'm pretty sure I taught myself from a book at some point in my teens out of an interest in baking. I've had my children (10, 7 & 5) break eggs but haven't been brace or patient enough to waste some eggs learning to separate. We have chickens and plenty of eggs, so I should. Or I could teach them the PET bottle method! https://youtu.be/_AirVOuTN_M


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