|Nelson Mandela and F.W. De Klerk|
The fact she knew it and they didn’t could mean a few things. It could mean our high school is exceptional (I’d like to believe that, for a couple of reasons); it could mean her friends’ schools aren’t. It could all be on the skills of the teachers involved. I don’t know the answer, but I found her ire somewhat amusing, and heartening: there’s a view held by many old fogies in the world (like me) that young people are too self-absorbed, are too wrapped up in themselves and their status updates and tumblrs and tweets to really care about the world. This conversation, and my recent experiences working with college interns at the office, show me we’re wrong. There are lots of smart kids out there who care about what’s happening in the world today, and are willing to make an effort to do something about it.
The exchange also makes me think of something related to writing. One of the reasons we so often write characters our own ages is that it’s easy to relate to them and what they know of the world. If I write a 40-something year old character, I know this person grew up in a pre-internet world, where phones had cords, record companies made actual records, and you needed to go into a bank to put money in or take it out. My kids have no real concept of the Soviet Union or the Cold War; when they see Youtube videos of Americans hanging out with cosmonauts in the international space station, they don’t understand how unthinkable that once was, or how close our nations once were to blowing each other up. The Twin Towers are the dimmest of memories for my kids, while I’m still a bit startled every time I see that empty space in the New York City skyline. It’s easy to forget the often subtle little differences between people who grew up in different times.
How was your weekend?
Photo by the World Economic Forum, posted under Creative Commons license.