Friday, December 3, 2010

High School Days and Dreams - Are The Kids Alright?

As a teacher, I can't help but walk through the halls at my school and see bits and pieces of my own high school experiences scattered here and there and just about everywhere.  I see reflections of my face and the faces of my friends in my students, and the worst part?  I always imagine all my teachers were perfect, and they couldn't possibly have made all the mistakes I've made in the past ten years.

But also, it's inevitable that I get to thinking about these kids' futures, and thinking how things turned out for my classmates.  There's lots of stuff about high school that never changes: the drama, the cliques, the rumors, the friendships, the romances.  Fights, school vandalism (both petty and serious), and the occasional administrative controversy.  This all a part of going to school. 

One thing that never changes, no matter what? Some kids make it.  They make it okay.  Some kids even make it big.

Some disappear.  

And some never make it at all.

Always makes me think of this song by Offspring (even more so, with our 20th anniversary rolling around next year).  Through the magic of Facebook, I'm connected with a lot of my old high school friends, and I can see a lot of them have made it big.  A lot of them ended up like me, too - we had our struggles, but now we're doing okay.

But there are some, I know, who haven't done so great.  Some have dropped of the map entirely.  Disappeared.  Vanished.  We're all responsible for our own fates to some degree, and but as a teacher....working with kids that remind me so much of myself and my high school's shoved into my face daily, that a large part of our fate is completely out of our hands.

And that makes me wonder if they'll be all right, someday.

Enjoy the video, and have good Friday...

 When we were young the future was so bright
The old neighborhood was so alive
And every kid on the whole damn street
Was gonna make it big and not be beat

Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn
The kids are grown up but their lives are worn
How can one little street
Swallow so many lives

Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard
Hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams

Jamie had a chance, well she really did
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids
Mark still lives at home cause he's got no job
He just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot

Jay committed suicide
Brandon OD'd and died
What the hell is going on
The cruelest dream, realit