'Gen Rent': the new kids on the block

Mood of the Market

When I was a kid, I remember hearing my parents and their pals bemoan the state of education and, particularly, the "new math" (which had, in fact, long been out of mode by the time I was in school).

Now, I have a teenage kid, so I was particularly intrigued to read an article the other day about all the "new" educational approaches that are deleting entire skills from the curriculum, based on the infusion of technology into students’ lives.

For example, the state of Indiana recently announced that its schools will now teach keyboard proficiency instead of cursive handwriting.

Today’s teens text as much as — or more than — they talk. And they certainly type vastly more than they write by hand. So, while this shift, which Time magazine heralded a couple of years ago as "The Death of Handwriting," has caused an understandable hue and cry among parents and traditionalists, it does actually move curriculum closer to the lives students are already living, for better or for worse.

I thought I’d been witnessing a similar generational shift in the real estate world, a shift of attitudes away from the inherent preference of homeownership that my generation and those older tend to hold. I’m a card-carrying member of Gen X (which, by the way, sounds younger than it actually is — Gen Xers are those born between 1966-81, give or take).