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Austin Martinez

Learning, Motivation, and Development
Through the Decades
The 50's
The date is January 1st, 1960; the 1950's was my first full decade of teaching at Walnut High School,
located in Walnut, California. I was hired in the fall of 1948, as a history teacher, when I was twentyfive. I am now currently thirty-seven; a lot has changed over my first full decade of teaching here at
Walnut High School. This decade was a revolution of sorts for the teen culture. The teen culture has
drastically changed in this decade compared to previous generations. With the debut of Rock n Roll
bringing very influential artists, teens have been swinging and bopping on the dance floor like never
before. Rock n Roll has been brought into the mix by a conversion of African American culture and
White culture. Rock n Roll is a mix of rhythm and blues. With Rock n Roll came a culture of rebellion.
Before Rock n Roll teens had never been exposed to sex and drugs like this. This exposure led parents
to worry about this new teen culture. This new culture led to many parents to complain to our school
and even demand that Rock n Roll , along with anything associated with it be banished from school.
Little did these parents know that this only made the teens like it more, because it was cool to be a rebel.
These teens wanted to break the norm; they wanted to separate themselves from the past. Sexuality had
become the norm during this decade, with teens seeing Elvis Presley and James Dean, before he died,

as role models its not hard to see why. Though parents made a hard push to eliminate the new culture of
Rock n Roll from their teens life. It was virtually impossible because, at the teens hangout places, such
as Fitzies burger joint, which was the local hangout, that was the only music they played. Teens would
flock here for that reason, because the music wasn't allowed at school, or in the household, Fitzies was
always packed. Throughout this ten years, Rock n Roll swept the nation and changed teen culture as
we know it.
The 1960's
Well, it's been another ten years, and yet again quite a bit has changed. This decade was known as the
baby boom decade. For some reason, there was a lot of babies born after World War II, go figure. This
decade was more about clothing than music, granted music was still a big part of the teen culture.
During this decade, fashion rules were eliminated, and designers started to create scandalous clothing.
Teen's clothing became much more flamboyant, the colors where bright with lots of geometric shapes and
lines. Also in this period people became more opened minded on gender stereotypes. Girls were now
allowed to wear jeans, and guys could grow out their hair without being seen as an outcast. Some of
the designers slogans were," out with the old in with the new." This is exactly what happened because
stereotypes had been completely flipped in the fashion world. Another big thing during this time is that
the view on how a woman should look has changed. With the emergence of Twiggy a popular model,

peoples view on what a good looking woman looks like changed. It's almost a complete reversal of what
a feminine body was supposed to look like before. With the emergence of Twiggy, the new look is to be
extremely thin and have long legs. Because of this many of the girls went on extreme diets trying to look
like Twiggy. Another big part of this decade is that many teens became much more involved in the
worlds social issues such as poverty, war, and censorship, all of which they were against. In order to
protest these issues there have been many petitions and protest marches, this essentially has started the
rise of the hippie in the teen culture. As for music during this decade, Rock n Roll was still a big
influence, with singers like Bob Dylan, Elvis, and Jimmi Hendrix. It has also been a huge decade for the
Motown singers and bands like The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Ben E King. If I do
say so myself it was a great decade for music. A lot has changed though the youth has become more
individualized in this decade. They are not longer afraid to make their own opinions and also to voice
those opinions, which is different than decades prior.
The 70's
Another decade has come and gone. A lot has changed, especially in the technology industry. This has
been the biggest difference between the 60's and 70's, before the most technology teens had at home
was a tv, and if you were lucky, it was colored. Though late this decade the Atari has come out, which is
a video game that you can play at home on your tv. This has become a huge time waster in my opinion

for these teens. Not only was it the Atari that is big now also Arcades. Arcades have become the new
hangout place, before it was Fitzies, and now it's the Arcade. Honestly its sad thinking back on how
much the times have changed it's really starting to make me feel old. Alright enough of me pouting about
my age. Another thing that has changed quite a bit since the 60's has been music. The music world has
become much more diverse, at any point while roaming the halls I can hear Bob Marley, Aerosmith, The
Beatles, James Brown, Queen, or Blondie. I think you can tell a lot about each individual just by the
music they listen to. Reason being is because people tend to listen to music that connects with them and
their problems. Though there has been some problems during this decade, and the problem is weed. Ever
since the emergence of weed, which started emerging in the late 60's and hitting its peak during the
70's. Parents hav become very concerned for the well-being of their child. And as a counter attack not
the drug they have fought hard for the substance to be outlawed. Though yet again, this has been doing
very little to slow the consumption of weed, in some cases I think it made it more popular. As for
clothing it kind of got reversed, due to the hippie outbreak many teen girls went back to long skirts,
though short skirts. For both guys and girls pants became much higher on the waste along with being
much tighter. As for tops many shirts have become considered unisex. It wouldn't be odd to see a male
or female wearing a shirt with ruffled sleeves. If I had to label this decade, I would label it as, The
Technology Breakthrough.

The 80's
Well, it's come down to this the date is January 1st, 1990. This is the last year I'll be
teaching as for the fact that I'll be retiring in June. As for the changes, I think this decade
has by far had the biggest and most drastic changes. Clothing, technology and music
have all changed a ton over this ten-year span. Let's start with technology, at the end of
the 70's I had a hard time grasping how far technology had come, but comparing the
70's and 80's, the 80's blows it out the water. During the 80's tv had become a necessity
pretty much, everybody at this point had a colored and cable tv. Along with that,
computers had also become household items that is why this journal entry is typed and
not hand written like the others. Another cool gadget that had been introduced was the
mobile phone, though this is a very luxurious product that very few kids have. Along with
this, technology has greatly influenced the music industry. Not only has the walkman
been invented so that I can listen to music on the go, they have also made cd's which
don't get ruined as easy as tapes. As for the actual music itself dance is in full effect
with artist like Whitney Houston, Madonna, and of course the King of Pop himself
Michael Jackson. Along with rap new kind of music is becoming big, and this is rap,
though this has taken more effect as of late. Though the biggest change to music has
been MTV, which is a tv station that plays nothing but music videos. During this past
decade teens have been obsessed with dressing like their favorite musicians and actors
which ended meaning a lot of denim, leather jackets, anything neon, and Zumba pants
were being worn. Another key asset during this time also has been hairspray because
the bigger your hair, the better. As for the hangout situation for the teens, it has gone

from Fitzies to the Arcade and now onto Skate Express. During the 80's rollerblading
has become a big part of the teen culture. Skate Express has become the new hangout
because it offers all the things Fitzies and the Arcade offered along with roller skating.
Since this is my last journal, I can't believe how much has changed over the last 40
years. Not only as a country but how much each generation of teens and how different
they were from the past. Looking back on it, it has been the greatest experience of my
life seeing how each generation had differed from the past and watching the youth of
America develop.