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Why I Want to Smash Your Head Between 2 Rocks

Well, not yours.  Unless you happen to be a high school student.  Then, yeah, I’d like to smash your head between 2 rocks.

You see, I’ve spent a fair amount of time this year helping Kyle work on shows for the performing arts high school at which he teaches technical theatre.  At this moment, I’m helping him with the spring dance concert.  I enjoy the work; it’s doing what I love plus it lets me spend time with Kyle that I wouldn’t otherwise have.  It’s also been very interesting spending time in a high school again.  On one hand,barely 5 years out of high school I can still see my old self in that puzzle.  But on the other hand, I’m seeing my old self with fresh eyes, from an outside perspective.  And I realized something about high school students.

High school students are the most selfish and emotionally unstable creatures on the planet.

They don’t mean to be, and it’s no reflection upon their character or rearing.  But simply by being alive and of that age, you are also by definition the most self-centered creature to exist.  If it isn’t visible without their world, it doesn’t exist.  This explains why of the 12 student-choreographed pieces in the dance concert, 10 are about the experience of growing up and entering the world, and the insanity of being in high school.  Every piece is about what’s happening in the choreographer’s world right now.  Moreover, if something differs in any way from what does exist in their world, it is wrong, it is evil, it’s not done that way anywhere else in the world, and it is a personal attack on them as a human being.  And most likely a reason for a meltdown.

Which is easy for them to do, considering how emotionally vulnerable they are.  Forget wearing their hearts on their sleeves, they’re wearing their goddamn insides on their outsides.  Everything that they are feeling in that moment is right out there, for all the world to hear.  (Usually very loudly.)  Which means that every experience that touches them is personal.  Hense the reason that all critiques, constructive criticism, or even helpful hints are a personal attack, and reason to get defensive.  Which makes teaching them something as abstract as art and design extremely difficult.

I’m not saying that high school kids are evil.  Looking back, I’m willing to admit that I was one of the worst of the bunch; I was the freakin’ picture of self-centered and emotionally unstable.  I wrote English papers about how I didn’t need anyone in my life because I was going to follow my dreams to Broadway and I became outraged when our choir director wanted to change the color of our dresses from cranberry to red.  I gave smart-ass speeches for speech class about how speech class was useless and I hid in the art studio and played Euchre during pep rallies.  It just comes with the age and the stress of being in a constant state of emotional panic.  In 5 short years, they’ll be able to look back and laugh about what little shit heads they were in high school.

And in the meantime, they can take joy in annoying the living piss out of me.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • doahleigh April 24, 2009, 8:54 am

    I truly dislike high schoolers. I’m sure there are some decent ones, but as a group they’re awful. I don’t know how anyone can want to be a high school teacher. I’m thankful for them those people though. Just like I’m thankful for people who can run daycares or work with the elderly. Man, I can’t work with kids, teens or old people. What’s wrong with me?

  • charmcitykim April 24, 2009, 9:04 am

    I realized that I had become an “adult” when I began viewing high school kids with disdain.

    But then a small part of me remembered being that self-centered brat.

  • Carrie May April 24, 2009, 9:34 am

    Oh my gosh! What “grown up” thoughts for a kid your age. I am constantly amazed at your abililty to analyze yourself, then write about it. I check your blog every night (and/or morning) to see your latest discovery. And I follow you on twitter just because you have an interesting life.

  • darlene April 28, 2009, 3:40 pm

    so true though they look like dreams next to the junior high monsters, uh huh.

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