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Madison Hurst 11/14/13 ENG 091 Mrs.

Petty Essay 3 Rough Draft When asked to compare and contrast the lifestyles of my grandparents in 1971 and my current one in 2013 thus choosing which era I ultimately prefer, my initial reaction was that my era was the better one. However, I had to weigh my options first. I considered the education, communication styles, music, and social and/or political ordeals of both time periods. After much thought and consideration, I ultimately decided that my grandparent’s lived in the better decade. Why do I feel 1971 was the better time period? Well, first let’s consider the communication aspect. Yes, nowadays, we all possess these fancy smart phones and these hightech laptops or other gadgets. These electronics provide us with a sense of security and the ability to be instantly connected to whomever we want to, no matter where they are located. Personally, I prefer how the folks in 1971 communicated with each other, despite how convenient we have it now. Back then, my grandparents only had one telephone, and it was in their house. The phone didn’t have caller ID or an answer machine, so if no one was home, nobody would know that the phone was ringing. In addition, without cell phones, text messaging and social networking was non-existent! This sounds like a perfect world for such an apathetic introvert like me.

Another key difference between 1971 and now is the way that people are educated. Now, there are laptops in each classroom for every student. Some of us take our notes electronically, and even some of the lazier just take pictures of the notes with their cell phones. Learning is much more high-tech now, which can be difficult for the older generation. In 1971, schooling was much more traditional. Students were educated via textbooks and every assignment had to be handwritten and submitted in person. Although both my grandparents graduated high school, it wasn’t really mandatory for one to graduate high school in order to be successful. As for college, neither of them attended which was normal for the lower middle class. Both of them still went on to have successful careers and acquire a fair amount of money in their lives. In 2013, you won’t go very far without a college education and a high school diploma is essentially a piece of paper. I find the simplistic approach to education much more appealing. Music is essentially the most tragic difference between the two time periods. While most of the progressions from 1971 to 2013 have been positive, the progression on music is just pitiful. Music is computerized and non-genuine. It doesn’t require talent to get famous from making music anymore. If you can’t sing or play any instruments or possess any type of musical talent whatsoever, it’s acceptable in 2013! One doesn’t need talent to become famous from a musical career! All you need is a fantastic producer and a brilliant computer to make a popular song. In 1971, music was real, for lack of a better word. Everyone wrote their own lyrics, chose their own guitar riffs, and sang with their genuine voices. In 1971, John Lennon released “Imagine”, which is a beautiful, poetic, inspiring song that is still relevant 42 years later. Robin Thicke released the most popular song of 2013 entitle “Blurred Lines”, which is a humorous, albeit cringe-worthy song that hints towards the possible rape of a woman who may or may not

be interested in him. Needless to say, I have wept many a time because of this generation’s popular music. Social and political ordeals are still prevalent in 2013, although the dynamics have considerably changed since 1971. When one typically imagines the year 1971, they picture a bunch of hippies spreading “free love” and people dancing around a disco ball. Yes, these things did occur, but there were much more pivotal circumstances to take place in 1971. The Vietnam War, which is one of America’s deadliest and least talked about wars, was still ongoing in 1971. The Civil Rights Movement was also still a relevant controversy. Nowadays, we have the War on Terror and the Gay Rights Movement. All of these events are tragic, and it goes to show that while our technology and our knowledge has increased, we clearly haven’t progressed as human beings. In conclusion, I firmly believe that 1971 was a better year to live in than 2013. It’s just my personal preference, seeing as there are negative and positives to both alternatives. I believe that my grandparents’ lived in the better time period. Your Grandparents 1971 1st Category Communication Most communication occurred via the telephone. Everyone had one phone number, usually a house phone. One had to wait for someone to call them to contact them, and they didn’t have caller ID to see who is calling. They also sent letters to people far away, because some people could not longdistance call. You 2013 Nowadays, most communicate via their cellphones whether it be from actual phone calls or text messaging. We can also social network through our phones or computers. People can interact with long lost friends or strangers using the internet.

2nd Category


Most people graduated high school, but college wasn’t a necessity for the middle class or lower. Students were educated mainly with traditional techniques and used text books and chalkboards. Everything was completed and turned in manually.

3rd Category Music

Music was more genuine. Rock and metal were what was popular. People had to wait for the radio to play their favorite songs. People listened to music only using the radio and their car radio. Big acts of ’71 included Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, etc.

4th Category Social/ Political Ordeals

The Vietnam War was occurring in 1971, which was one of the deadliest wars that the US has been involved in. Was the baby-boom time period. The Civil Rights Movement had progressed and laws were passed, but racial discrimination was still extremely prevalent. The younger crowd had a more open-minded, free love mindset. “Hippie Era”

If you do not graduate high school, you will likely not go very far in life. Most people attend college as well because it is almost mandatory if you want to make a lot of money. Students use laptops for school work and text books aren’t used as frequently. Some things are turned in manually, but most is via the computer. Music is more computerized and pop oriented. Many more types of music genres. Music is listened to through computers, mp3 players or ipods, phones, television, stereos, etc. Music is more generic but there are also many more obscure bands and performers. Music has better live quality and on recordings. The War on Terror is still occurring. Racial discrimination is on the back burner to sexual orientation discrimination. The Gay Right Movement is still in progress.


People still have that traditional outlook in the fact that most

people are expected to get married and have children at some point in life. If you don’t do that, people are still looked at as outsiders. One similarity actually deals with social/political ordeals and how we are still involved in wars and some sort of rights movement. Our nation is still disliked by many and that is likely permanent. Our cars haven’t improved much, other than appearance. We also still have the same entertainment but on a much larger scale.

Topic Sentence Outline -Introduction Paragraph Two: Communication. TS: The greatest difference between my grandparent’s time and mine is how differently we communicate with one another. Paragraph Three: Education TS: Another key difference between 1971 and 2013 is how advanced our education systems are as compared to in 1971. Paragraph Four: Music TS: Musical styles have drastically changed between 1971 and 2013. Paragraph Five: Social and Political Ordeals TS: Social and political ordeals are still prevalent but the dynamics have drastically changed from then to now.