Please Shut Up

I really wanted to find something I could blarg about this evening.  I really, tried hard.

But I am tapped.

I don’t really know why.  Today was a day at work much like any other day.  I hammered out a pretty solid 1300 words and change.  Felt the flow pretty strongly, too; no piddling around, no aimless wandering to get the juices flowing, just down to work and kept smashing away at it.  Like a rock.  Left myself well poised for tomorrow’s session as well, a trick I’m learning to embrace and enjoy.  But that’s it.  I keep searching for off topic ideas to write about and I’m coming up empty.

Actually, I do have something to say, but it’s a little preachy, so I’m going to keep it brief.

Parents, teach your kids to appreciate the value of silence.  Take some time to teach them that not every fargoing minute of their existence has to be filled with distraction, with music, with jokes, with youtube videos, with gossip, with dancing, with ANYTHING.  There are times for all of those things. Those are good things a lot of the time.  But for god’s sake, let the silence in and enjoy it every now and then.

As a teacher, nay, as a parent, NAY, as a HUMAN BEING, it’s so frustrating to see the scores and scads of children — who are about to become adults! — who, when faced with a few minutes of quiet reading or study time, reach immediately for headphones, or can’t help but whisper (or just flat out talk) to a friend, or drum on their desks, or find ANYTHING TO DO EXCEPT KEEP SILENT AND FOCUS.  I get it.  They’re kids.  School is not the thing they really want to be doing with the day.  That’s okay.  I’m not faulting them for that.  But I think there’s something wrong when you can’t simply let yourself be alone with your thoughts for a little while.  When you can’t just turn off the music, put the goldfinger phone down, and actually listen to somebody else talk for a little while.  I don’t even mean me.  Just listen for a moment to process and consider the thoughts of another human being.

And the talking, ye gods.  They talk at each other and past each other but it’s a rare moment where any of my students will actually say anything to one another.

And yeah, I know, giving voice to these thoughts makes me sound hideously old and tired and get-off-my-lawn-ish.  I can’t help it, and I’m not sure if I want to.  Because if a kid can’t stop and think, how is he any better than an animal?  What’s the point of tens of thousands of years of evolution if we’re going to de-sensitize the one organ that gives us an advantage over every other creature on earth?

Okay, the lament for our future is over for now.  Pardon my soapbox.  I’ll just close the door as you leave and cry inside for a while.

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