Posts Tagged ‘teenagers’
Dad: “Don’t forget you have a nurse appointment tomorrow.”
Boy teen: “I do? Why?”
Mom: “It’s just your HPV booster.”
Dad: “Herpes or something.”
Mom: “Cervical cancer.”
Dad: “Do you have a cervix, son?”
Boy teen: “Uh, I guess so.”
Boy teen: “Hang on. I’m googling it.”
Dad: “You should do that?”
Several months ago, someone used my credit card to do some online shopping. I wanted to figure out how it happened so that I wouldn’t repeat whatever allowed the theft to occur. I found it extremely frustrating that neither the bank nor the online retailer would tell me the address of the recipient of the things I didn’t order. Apparently thieves’ right to privacy supersedes my desire to learn from my mistakes.
While she was home for winter break, someone in New York was shopping with sparkly NY vampire teen’s bank account. I thought she would be worried about how it happened. I expected some drama about the loss of her small savings for living expenses in NY. Instead, she reacted with confusion at the thief’s spending choices. “They bought a bunch of new clothes and then they ate at McDonald’s. Why would they go to McDonald’s when there are so many great places to eat in NY?”
Upon returning to NY last week, sparkly NY vampire teen was horrified to learn that during the break, housekeeping threw away all the food in the college students’ rooms. “All my food is gone! Pop-tarts don’t go bad. Who wastes canned food? I was gonna eat that corn!”
I’m starting to suspect that sparkly NY vampire teen is perpetually hungry.
Me: “Today is Carl Sagan Day.”
Me: “Oh, Noah. Get out your iPad and accurately describe Carl Sagan in 140 characters.”
Me: “Completely serious. Didn’t you ever wonder why your dad and I like to say bill-i-ons and bill-i-ons?”
Noah: “No. You guys say LOTS of weird stuff.”
You know that mixed feeling of excitement and disappointment that comes with realizing you can no longer spell words out to keep surprises a secret from your small children? Apparently, it doesn’t matter, because nothing you say makes sense to your teenagers.
Carl Sagan by Noah
*Carl Sagan is
Kinda sorta a little
Wrote many cool articles
About science stuff.
* We spent a ridiculous amount of time discussing the number of syllables in Carl.
That is probably the cleanest picture I took during my New York visit. I also like my less impressive, cell phone picture of the Bethesda Fountain. Neither picture is my favorite.
My favorite picture was taken less than a minute after the sparkly Manhattan picture at the top of this post when I turned the camera toward my companions. The resulting picture is terrible and I love everything about it.
When Sarah left high school a semester early and moved to a city she had never visited, I was terrified. She was a 17-year-old from a small town in a large city with no family nearby. Unsurprisingly, Sarah thrived in her new environment. I don’t know if her school and the city create strong, independent young adults or if the school and city attract teens on the verge of dynamic adulthood. I do know that Sarah has surrounded herself with absolutely wonderful people. They have formed their own family. A family that makes my diminishing role in her life, comforting.
Me: “Have you eaten anything other than funnel cake today?”
Girl Teen: “I just finished eating some baked beans.”
Girl teen: “Bush’s beans. I didn’t think I could buy them in New York, so I hid a can in my luggage.”
Me: “The luggage we shipped so you could travel to school on the Megabus?”
Girl teen: “Yes. I couldn’t imagine a semester without the good kind of beans.”
A restaurant or food cart every few feet and the pink haired teen is worried about being homesick for… Bush’s baked beans.
Since Jedi Camp was in Oak Ridge, I did a lot of waiting between drop-off and pick-up. One day, I used my waiting time to read “Feed” by M.T. Anderson. Feed is a young adult fiction novel that is a cautionary tale, a la Reefer Madness, about the dangers of technology, social media and the “feed” of advertising. It was the assigned summer reading for my teen’s high school until parents fussed about the book’s content. So, I read it.
I would have read it even if it hadn’t caused controversy. I can’t chat with my children about their reading assignments if I haven’t read them and teen fiction is about as difficult to read as popcorn is to microwave. The fact that some parents declared it inappropriate just moved it to the top of my reading queue.
The book is written by an adult trying to use future teen lingo. The author starts out with a few profanities woven into the teenspeak that he has created, so that readers can understand the message and mood the teens are communicating. Without the initial use of familiar words, the full impact of the teens’ aimless disconnect from the world outside of their social circle would be lost on readers. The words that are commonplace regardless of how much parents shelter their teens, fade from the book’s text after a few chapters.
The book is actually an excellent choice for high school summer reading. It is one giant conversation starter for adolescents. With the exception of the author’s glaring observation that marketing isn’t just targeting everything we do, but actually changing who we are, the topics for discussion don’t have easy answers and teens are allowed to individually form their own opinions and ideas. Under the guidance of teachers, conversations and essays that sprout from the seeds of this story could become insightful analysis of our culture, our world and our survival.
I am disappointed that the school had to offer an alternative choice and stifle the school-wide discussions that should happen about Feed. The fact that the alternative choice is something my teens read in fifth grade makes an otherwise good book seem much too childish for 14 and 15-year-old adolescents whose real lives are likely far more colorful than a few curse words.
Read Feed for yourself and tell me if you think it is a good summer reading assignment for high school students.
He: “Did you hear there’s only one Beatle left?”
Me: “There are two Beatles alive.”
He: “Nuh-uh. George Harrison died.”
Me: “Yes he did, but there are still two Beatles alive.”
He: “Wow. They must be really old.”
Sarah leaves in one week. Seven days. That takes my breath away, but you wouldn’t know it if you get within earshot of me. While Sarah Toy Story 3′s her room, I talk to her. I talk to her when we are in the same room. I shout across the house to talk to her. I stand outside the closed bathroom door and talk to her. What does all this talking sound like? Like this:
“And be sure to follow the laundry instructions on the tag and never leave your drink unattended and always have a working flashlight where you can find it in the dark and keep your phone charged.”
No matter how much I say, it doesn’t feel like enough. There isn’t enough time and I have a giant knowledge hole about all things New York. I feel like I should remind her to always keep enough credit on her Metro pass that she will never be stranded far from home. Then again, maybe not. I just don’t know. Is New York a ‘don’t talk to people on the elevator’ place? Are there restaurants that only the locals know about?
So, I need help. I need to know what YOU would say to a 17-year-old moving from Knoxville to Manhattan. You can leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. You can text my phone or call and talk to me. Send me a tweet. Leave me a comment on facebook. Please send me your wisdom. Just send it quickly, because . . . seven days.