12/17/04 ~ Christmas Break

My students have finished taking their semester finals. Now, we are all biding our time with chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly until the bell rings. Fifteen more minutes. Christmas Break. I won't have to return to this building until January 3rd. Physically, I don't think the job is that demanding. (Although ever since they took away the "hot meal" from the cafeteria, I've noticed I get more worn out near the end of the day.) However, emotionally, the occupation can test you. Monday through Friday, I'm surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of teenagers. And while most of them are quite sweet, the excited, anxious and bipolar nature of teenagers comes into sharp conflict with my own disposition as an adult.

I'll occasionally hear someone say that such-and-such adult hasn't "grown up". He or she still "acts like a teenager". I will contend that you can't go back and you can't stay as you are. Immature adults are very different from immature teenagers. It's a distinction many other adults miss because they've been disconnected from their high school days. They think they can rationally chart their coming-of-age. It's not that simple.

You are not the same. You cannot stay the same.