Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All Teenagers' Internal Monologue Is Written By John Hughes

I've been somewhat remiss in my blogging lately. I'm sorry- I've been having a really horrible week. And by "horrible," I mean "full of depressing reminders of how little I get paid and how much disrespect I put up with." Occasionally, I really love my job. I love explaining things, and I love the bright, hungry look on a student's face when he or she finally gets it. Lately, though, there's been less of that and more insulting sass from teenagers who think they're being clever. I know I shouldn't let it get to me, but sometimes it's hard to stomach.

The thing is, that is their job. It is all high school students' first task to be jerks while they're young and get it out of their system. This is the developmental stage where they are learning how to be in the world and function within a society, and they just haven't learned how to temper their self-centeredness with social responsibility. That's what this time is for. When I hear bright students complaining about how pointless high school is, how much busywork they have to do, I'm always a little frustrated because, truthfully, that's not the point. The most important thing you learn in high school is how to deal with people. Successful social interaction is like riding a bike-- you fall off a lot before you get it right. It's better to have those early awkward attempts be in a place where very little of what you do will follow you into later life. Hence high school. It seems like an unrealistic social setting while you're there, but the farther I get out of high school the more I realize that the rest of the world is still exactly like that. Well, except for college. College is like a greenhouse in Iceland-- a completely artificial environment that stimulates all sorts of growth and creative fruit, but which bears no relation to the world outside at all. Most of the stuff there can't even survive outside of it. Like, I know a student who spent weeks sitting in the middle of an amphitheater typing the same haiku on a typewriter while mandalas were projected around her. Genius? Possibly. Transferable skill? Hell no.

Next year, though, I'm going to stick with kindergartners. They're more mature and have more remorse when I catch them doing something wrong. And they let me finger-paint.

Scott Adams, what were you like in high school?

Posted by Silent Five @ 10:00 PM

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Ask Steve about staying true to your 3-year-old, the one who greets the world with honesty, enthusiasm and delight every day. Unfortunately, the things that are broken about HS society are the things that are broken in the rest of the world, and the suffering you experience there can follow you into later life, unless you learn not to get attached to that suffering. See how wise I can be after watching 4 of you go through that!

Posted by Anonymous scilla @ 8:46 AM #

The biggest problem with high school is the people who tell you that it's the pinnacle of your life, that you will never be able to equal it again, and that you better get it right this time or your dreams are lost forever and you will spend the rest of your life eating bonbons and crying, even if you are a guy (which is friggin' harsh). It's almost like they want you to panic and fail -- probably because they did.

Maybe if I'd been allowed to start bungling social interactions earlier, when I got to high school (junior high even more so) I might not have been instantly convinced that my peers were all zombies and I needed to hide from them with a shotgun. Grade school was great for my inner 3 year old because it was more like college, the greenhouse, but that kid was not prepared to enter puberty at all.

Posted by Blogger nachoproblem @ 9:58 AM #

And yay, my real username is back! But I am still not Scott Adams.

Posted by Blogger nachoproblem @ 10:00 AM #
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Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

Standard Disclaimer

This is all in no way meant to incur copyright-infringement-related wrath. I'm harmless. I promise. Oh, and if you're offended by anything I may post herein, I guarantee I didn't mean to do so (unless, of course, you are a humorless prig. In which case, go right on and be offended, with my blessings.)