It felt a bit surreal, to tell you the truth. I was sitting at a meal with students from several high schools and a few other adults. One of these high schools is in the process of making major changes to their dress code for the upcoming year.
The surrealism came in my inner wrestling with joining in the conversation or not. It was rather amusing as the conversation heated up over how unfair school administrations are, and how they really ought to involve students int heir decisions. Great American language of freedom, democracy, and independence flowed thick from the minds of these youth.
The main reason I didn’t speak is that most all of the thoughts percolating up in my mind sounded, even to me, like my parents. I felt like anything I could ahve said would have come across as some old codger looking down upon the young.
Instead, I reached for twitter. I tweeted something like, “Would it be possible to have a high school about which none of its students would complain?”
Tom Williams, a friend and fellow twitterer, replied that the same must be said for adults and town, business, church….
Let’s face it; complaining is not something adolescents pick up from outer space. They come by it naturally; complaining is the atmosphere we’ve raised them in.
At the same time, we’ve brought them up with the American Myth that everyone’s opinion is valued and important. We tell them we want to hear from them, but what we really want to hear from them is what we tell them.
We complain, they complain. Mission accomplished!