Sunday, December 22, 2013

Weekend Thought: Why We Despise Teenagers

I've been listening to a great podcast when I run.  It's very bizarre and prides itself on being "indescribable" so I won't try, but you should check it out.

Welcome to Night Vale!

The format is that of a community radio show talking about the happenings of a small town in the middle of the desert.  I love every episode, but every once in a while, the announcer will say some things that strike at the heart of what I've been thinking about.

The following is a transcript from Episode 33: Cassette

Listeners, especially our younger listeners, consider this:
When we talk about teenagers, we adults often talk with an air of scorn, of expectation for disappointment. And this can make people who are presently teenagers feel very defensive.
But what everyone should understand is that none of us are talking to the teenagers that exist now, but talking back to the teenager we ourselves once were – all stupid mistakes and lack of fear, and bodies that hadn’t yet begun to slump into a lasting nothing.
Any teenager who exists now is incidental to the potent mix of nostalgia and shame with which we speak to our younger selves.
May we all remember what it was like to be so young. May we remember it factually, and not remember anything that is false, or incorrect.
May we all be human – beautiful, stupid, temporal, endless.
And as the sun sets, I place my hand upon my heart, feel that it is still beating, and remind myself: Past performance is not a predictor of future results.
Stay tuned now for whatever happens next in your life.
Goodnight, Night Vale. Goodnight.


  1. Replies
    1. I was hoping that whatever was stalking him from the corner of his eye would change his voice...

  2. This passage reminds me of the fact that I actually LIKE teenagers more now as a (nearly) 50 year-old than I did when I was a teenager. I think that I was harsher in my judgment when I felt that the behavior of teens reflected poorly on me. Now that I am not one of them I can view them with a little more humanity and more forgiveness. Now, the behavior of (nearly) fifty-year olds? Well, that's another matter entirely...

    1. I think you bring up a great point. As teachers, we often feel as though we are responsible for the way our students act when they are in and out of our classrooms, much the way that parents say "MY child would NEVER do something like that."

      I tell my students that they are only responsible for their own behavior, but I often forget that advice myself.

      Thank you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...