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Posts Tagged ‘teens’

I was going to blog about the Challenger explosion on its anniversary but instead, I will blog about something positive.

I came across a news story today. I don’t usually watch TV news because I don’t subscribe to cable or satellite. Instead, I bought one of those “military grade” antennas that is supposed to catch the digital signal and allow you to watch TV. I don’t life near enough to the TV stations telecast stations so I don’t usually get a good signal so I’ve pretty much given up on it. Lately, though, I found that if I tune it in early, I can catch the 4 pm news broadcast before I lose the signal. So when I think of it, I do that.

Today, I watched a story about a high school student who has recently gone through a bone marrow transplant and cannot physically attend school. She was adamant that she was going to graduate on time and keep in touch with her friends. She did not want to miss a moment of school. Her counselor approached the school district with Jaden’s story. The school district responded by investing in a Double Robotics system. This system is a Segway paired with an iPad. Jaden controls it from home, like one would control a video game. It allows her to move from class to class with her school mates, participate in class lessons and discussions, and even have lunch with her friends. It’s an amazing story. The unit cost the school district $3000 which is really an investment as it can be used by another student or even by a staff member, who cannot physically be in attendance. It can be used over and over again by multiple students and staff.

The story brought tears to my eyes. I encourage you to watch the news report that I watched to get a fuller sense of what an amazing piece of technology this is. I think every school district should have this as an option. For the relatively low price, it would bring such happiness and sense of accomplishment to so many. I really think all school districts should have at least one unit available. By the way, this story is so local that it happens to be the same school district that my grandson attends.

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Shock Value?

While going through things in my “de-clutter mode”  I came across a small blank notebook that I didn’t really recognize.  I opened it to find it mostly blank.  The first two pages had some writing on them and the last page had some addresses and phone numbers.  Upon seeing these pages, I realized it was the notebook I brought with me when I came up to Portland from California to look for a place to move to.  I found the two pages of writing interesting and I remember the puzzling incident quite well.  In fact, every time I drive by that McDonalds, I think of the incident.  Here is the writing:

I was sitting down, having coffee at a McDonald’s near the freeway on ramp, waiting for an important phone call before getting on the freeway and heading back to California.  I had the “opportunity” to observe several groups of teenagers, each one noisier than the last as they came in, sat down and interacted with one another.

I noted how every word out of their mouth was intended to shock and shock loudly.  They didn’t care that there were elderly people or little kids in earshot.  They just cared that they were noticed. Within ten minutes of arriving, they settled down.  They had disturbed, interrupted, annoyed, and shocked sufficiently.  Then the next group would come in and the process would repeat.

I thought back and couldn’t think of a time when I acted like this or when I had seen other groups of teens do this.  It made me wonder why they do this.  Is it a sign of the times?  Is it a sign of affluence and a sense of entitlement?  Never had I seen anything like it, any place.  

I don’t know.  It just made me sad to be sitting in the same space with such a show of  self-centeredness and disrespect.

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Wednesday 3

This Wednesday’s 3 words are: Punch, T-shirt, and Unravel

I walked into the house and without looking at her face, I knew Karen was staring at the Slayer t-shirt I was wearing and wondering what the hell got into me. She knew I would never buy a shirt like that. And the micro mini-skirt I was wearing was totally not like anything I would ever wear. At least not in this century. I could feel her staring at me but I wasn’t going to explain. Karen wouldn’t understand. I made a beeline for my bedroom, pulled out some clothes and walked to the bathroom to shower. I had to get that clothes off of me.

I locked the bathroom door behind me and as I reached for the faucet, I heard Karen on the other side of the door. “Hey Mom. So what’s with the clothes? It’s a little early for Halloween!” I could hear her giggling.

Rolling my eyes, I couldn’t quite decide if I would acknowledge the question, let alone answer her.

“Go away. I’m taking a shower.” On came the water before Karen could even giggle.

I let the white Slayer t-shirt drop to the floor at my feet along with the micro mini skirt, the black bra and panties I had borrowed. I never wore a black bra with a white t-shirt but Sherry had only offered the black one so I had no choice. Well, I did. I could come home wearing no bra but that would be worse than having my teen daughter tease me about the clothes I was wearing.

As the steam began to fill the small bathroom, I relaxed against the cold shower tiles, closing my eyes. How did all that mess happen? It had started out so well. Just the two of us. Nancy and I were going to have a nice dinner, go to a movie, and then go for drinks. This was the one night a month we allowed ourselves to have fun. Single moms have it hard. We’re all alone. There is no one to help with the daily stress of raising a teenager. No one to help with the housework or paying bills or mowing the lawn. It is all on our shoulders. We never get to go anyplace to unwind. So Nancy and I go out once a month just to unwind. When we did, our kids were sworn to a quiet evening at home. We would spring for movie rentals, soda, and junk food and they would swear to stay home and keep out of trouble.

That didn’t happen tonight. Instead, after the movie when we both reached into our purses to turn on our phones, Nancy’s phone beeped repeatedly, letting her know she had a missed call and maybe a voice mail. She listened to the voice mail as we walked to her car. We were supposed to meet some of the others from work at Hank’s for a late, unofficial “happy hour” as we sometimes did. I heard her gasp. “Oh no! This can’t be happening!” Jumping into the car with the phone glued to her ear Nancy said we had to go straight home. There was trouble. The neighbor had called.

When we got to Nancy’s house, we couldn’t find a parking space. The street and driveway were lined with cars. Music was blasting and teenagers were all over. Nancy pulled her car onto the lawn, causing a dozen inebriated teenagers to scatter. Inside the house, we found kids packing every room, the staircase, and the kitchen. There wasn’t even standing room. While we looked for her daughter, Sherry, a very drunk young lady bumped into me and spilled her “potent punch” all over my white ruffled tuxedo shirt. Just what I needed. This was the first time I had worn the shirt and the girl didn’t even excuse herself. She just continued to bump into everything and everyone in her path.

Finally, Nancy and I restored order, got rid of most of the sober teenagers and contacted the parents of the drunken ones to come retrieve their youngsters. Sherry had been locked in her room, afraid to come out and face her friends and all the people she didn’t know. She explained that she had only invited four girls but they had each text messaged their friends and soon their friends had text messaged their friends and before they knew it, there were dozens of teenagers eager to have a good time without adults. Her daughter hadn’t been able to get rid of them. She had called the neighbor and asked for help. The neighbor had tried to break it up but his efforts had all been futile so he had called Nancy.

When everyone left, Nancy and I started to throw out the trash and straighten up. Nancy told Sherry that the clean up was her responsibility but some of the cleanup had to be started tonight. On my hands and knees, picking up some of the larger pieces of trash before running the vacuum cleaner, I snagged my skirt on a piece of broken glass. I didn’t even notice it until I kept moving and realized that my knit skirt had unraveled beyond repair. I was left in nothing more than my slip. Nancy is a full five or six sizes larger than I am but her daughter is my size. Sherry went upstairs and got me some clothes to wear home. I had two choices. Wear my punch stained tuxedo shirt and my slip or her SLAYER t-shirt and micro mini skirt!

But would my daughter believe me? No, it was better to just play deaf. I decided to let the shower run a long, long time before having to face her.

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