Clued in.
Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2003

What is it, exactly, with people who just stop in the middle of the sidewalk for no apparent reason?

I hesitate to attribute this to an overly developed sense of self-involvement, because a) we’re all self-involved, to some degree, and b) it doesn’t seem to me like it’s a conscious thing. I know, you could say that that’s the evidence of the self-involvement right there, the fact that they’re not in any way concerned with what’s going on around them because they’re so wrapped up in their own little world.

But to my mind, it’s just simple cluelessness. I mean, do the synapses just stop firing on these people or something? Maybe it’s just a New York thing; we’re forever rushing some place or other and that twit who stops dead in his or her tracks in front of us is costing us precious seconds – 2, or maybe even 3, you know, gawd!

It ought to be like driving on the highway. Slower people next to the curb or the buildings, passing lanes in the middle. Of course, then you’d get idiots swerving from the middle lanes through the slow people to cross in the middle of the block. Idiots like me. That’s what I’d do. Jeez, I can’t be forced to wait until the crosswalk to cross the street, you know. Just stay out of my way, is what I’m saying.

~~~

The old saying is that “youth is wasted on the young,” and I think that that’s true to a certain extent, in the sense of being completely applicable to teenagers. Rumor being rife that I was once a teenager myself, I am amazed at how miserable teenagers are and how seriously they take themselves. I know it’s all about being caught between childhood and adulthood and discovering a sense of one’s self and rebellion and a whole bunch of psychoanalytical crap, but still. Get a grip.

Anyway, that’s not what I was really thinking about here.

Today I volunteered to accompany my son’s kindergarten class on a field trip. We went to a museum and learned about dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs (that was part of the reason why I wanted to do it. I love dinosaurs.). And it occurred to me while watching the kids that while they may not “appreciate” their youth in a way that adults can quantify, it certainly isn’t “wasted” on them. Even the ride to the museum on a clanking old school bus held magic for them. They were like sponges soaking up the “educational” stuff, most of which will come to seem like eating gruel when they get to junior high and high school, I suppose. And they had fun, in a way that’s simply impossible later in life or even, weirdly, earlier in life. Their enthusiasm made it more fun for me, and that’s something you can’t buy, really.

On another note, I must confess my admiration for the teacher, who manages to control nineteen 5 and 6 year olds using neither threats nor bribery. I love my kids, but I wouldn’t last a whole day as a teacher. I’m glad that there are caring, devoted, committed people who can.

Posted by mikeski at 6:12 p.m.