Random Thoughts, Some About Teenagers

I meant to promise to post once a month. Not once a week. I didn't mean it. 


In humility, I offer a few random thoughts for your Sunday night:

1. I've been grading Poetry notebooks, an assignment where students have to read poems until they find 5 they like, collect them in a notebook, and reflect on two of them. Some of the poems surprised me and even made me want to add them to my notebook. Some, on the other hand, were repeated so frequently I began to wonder what they revealed about my students. The most frequent poems? "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou, "If" by Rudyard Kipling, "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe, and "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost. What does that tell me? That they all desire to be sassy, black women and strong young men who stay in love even after their childhood loves die, who take the uncharted path, and who aren't sure how the world will end? Hmmm....

2. Enos. My husband said I should title this post "Eno"ugh Already. He's funny. Not funny was watching three girls hanging an Eno from two immature trees in our downtown riverwalk area and then getting frustrated when a park employee told them they couldn't hammock there. I've decided the Eno is the single-greatest totem of today's young people. It covers all their complexities. They are burdened by stress, claiming to have hours of homework (though studies indicate they don't have more work than their predecessors). It makes sense, then, that they would need to carry with them the possibility of comfortable lounging at all times. You've got to have somewhere to put all that stress. Also, these things encase the user. It's not uncommon to find a pod of three of four enos together, with all the hammock residents safely ensconced inside. They are together but apart. Probably on instagram or tumblr. Like toddlers with parallel play but bigger. Finally, they like to be seen in their Enos. It's like wanting to be seen on instagram - always on, always visible, always obscuring the person within.

3. When I was 14, I asked for and received a hammock for my birthday. An old cotton rope hammock, no pillow. I loved it. I read for hours in that thing. Just me and a book and sometimes a blanket. It was never my aim to be seen in my hammock. In fact, decidedly the opposite.

4. Though I will try to argue otherwise in April and again in June, Fall is definitely my favorite season.

5. I ran 9 miles today, and it felt good. Half-marathon in two weeks. Then what?

6. I do not understand high school football and the fervor that surrounds it. Granted, the school I attended did not (and still does not) have a football team, but I cannot imagine being a grown-up with a real job, living across the country, and tuning in to watch your high school team play football on T.V. I do not understand making a young man feel that his athletic abilities are the most important thing on the planet, even for a few hours. I do not understand.

7. I need to grade some more.

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