Archive for February, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Day late on a post. Wonderful

Today’s post goes out to all the screwed-up people who claim a right to call themselves “adults.”

I think that a huge part of being considered an adult is having the ability to be an example for modern youth. This means showing youth the proper behaviors they should exhibit when they grow up. Many people are wonderful at this, and those are the people who aid in raising good, well-adjusted youth. However, as I look around, there are so many people who are seriously lacking in this field.

For the past week in my Health class there has been a guest speaker who has been teaching the students about the harmful effects of drugs. This person is a good example of somebody who is teaching us proper behaviors. Not taking drugs, not drinking alcohol, these are very important lessons that we are lucky to learn.
The assistant teacher however, lets call her Ms. H, who told a student to repeatedly “shut up,” is not a good example. This woman, who is being educated on how to run a classroom, told a girl in my class to shut up because she was talking. To make matters worse, the student protested to the teacher telling her this and the teacher repeated herself. Thus, an argument broke out between the two. The guest speaker had to stop his speech and the teacher merely stood there, waiting on them to finish.

Now, telling a student that they have to be quiet is one thing, but using the term “shut up” is one of the worst possible things to say in that situation. This shows that it is okay to say such a thing. Although “shut up” isn’t really foul language, it still isn’t nice and should be discouraged. Then, just standing there and allowing an argument to unfold in a classroom situation is just as bad as getting into an argument. The teacher should have stepped in, told the assistant she had been wrong, and then had both assistant and student apologize to the speaker. However, no, she just stood there as if it was no big deal.

Setting a proper example for children, especially in early stages of development, is immensely important. Without a proper example at home or school, kids really can’t grasp a sense of right and wrong, and as such, could tend to do more wrong. Then, because of the wrong they do, they get into trouble which leads to either a miracle reform, or more likely, to anger. This anger causes kids to want to make the lives of the ones they detest horrible, so they perform more actions that get them into trouble. Obviously, this chain of events is not one that ends well for anybody.

It really isn’t all that hard to set a proper example. If you’re a teacher it can be as simple as taking an interest in your students. Show them that getting a good education will help them in life. If they struggle, ask if they want your assistance. This shows them it is okay to seek help when they need it most. Of course, the list of things teachers can do is a long one, so I can’t go into everything right now.

PARENTS AND GUARDIANS, PAY ATTENTION! It can be as simple as that! Although I can’t imagine how hard it is to raise a child, there are some very simple things that many parents often forget to do. Paying attention is the most simple one of these things. Paying attention to the things you say around your kids, paying attention the things your kids say, paying attention to the kinds of TV programs they watch, all of it helps! If you pay attention to the behaviors of your child, you can praise them on the good ones (studying for example) and discourage the bad ones (smoking, drinking, etc.)

Remember, children imitate almost all they see. Nobody is perfect, and I know everyone slips up every now and then. However, you must, must, must show kids how certain things are bad while others are good. In some, it could mean the difference between becoming the next president or the next death row inmate.

~Such are the thoughts of a bipolar teenager~


A Walk at School

Alright, so, first off, I’ve decided upon a schedule for this blog! Every Monday and Friday I’ll be putting up a post in which I discuss problems facing today’s youth, ways adults can improve their relationships with teens, etc. Then, if the muse decends, I will post random stories of my life and other such things on other days. So, since today is a Tuesday, this post will be a random story that happened a few years back.
Most people don’t believe me when I tell this story, but I promise it is 100% true.
Now, I despise everything that makes a modern teenager “normal.” I would much prefer a long life of strange acts and confused stares than live a day as the modern “average” teen. (I consider myself to only be partially average.) So, stories such as the following really make me believe there is a future for the world. A future in which strange people and allegedly “normal” people can live together in harmony…

It was a bright day when the following event occured. At my middle school when I was in the eigth grade, the cafeteria staff would allow the students to go outside during lunch to hang out. So, like everyone else did, my friends and I went outside every day.

On this particular day, I happened to look down at my feet and noticed that one of my friends and I were walking in perfect unison. I laughed and pointed this fact out and for the rest of lunch, she and I walked side by side at the exact same pace.

The next day, we repeated these actions and the rest of my friends joined in. This made it so that about eight or so teens were walking in a straight line, back and forth, in perfect unison. We even dictated which foot to move like the army does, chanting “LEFT, LEFT, LEFT RIGHT LEFT!” Obviously, this led to stares from onlookers and displeased looks from the staff.

Of course, the following day, we decided to continue the trend. We were having fun after all, and weren’t hurting anybody! We were simply being strange! So, as we all walked in our long line, I was surprised to see a new face in our group. It was a girl I knew from the math class I had in seventh grade, and she was walking in perfect unison with the rest! I grinned and went along with it. Then, not a minute later, a few more people began to walk! More and more students lined up behind us and began to chant the foot movements, all walking in perfect time with each other! I could not believe what had happened. Almost the entire eight grade was walking together in perfect unison. I smiled at what my friends and I had accomplished, though it didn’t last long.

After a few minutes of the walking, a staff member forced the group to stop, thinking we were preforming some kind of gang-like act of rebellion or a satanic ritual. So, complaining and muttering under our breath, the group dispersed, never to speak of the incident again. My friends and I talked about it from time to time of course, but I knew deep down that something like that would probably never happen again. That thought saddened me, but then, I saw a faint twinkle of hope. As I was walking back inside that day, I noticed something. My footsteps were in unison with the footsteps of at least a good 25 other students. I don’t think any of them noticed, but I did. I grinned and thought of hope. Perhaps these “normal” people aren’t so bad after all.

Perhaps one day, those events could be redone.

Perhaps the world isn’t so separated after all.

~Such are the thoughts of a bipolar teenager~

The Focus of a Teenager

Alright, so, blogging always seemed like a lot of fun to me, so I’m giving it a shot. The whole point of this blog is to mainly talk about my everyday life and try to help educate adults on how they can better grasp ways to relate to their teenaged relations. Today in class, something huge occurred to me:

Adults actually think teens will listen to everything they have to say, no matter what.

This is entirely untrue. Adults (mainly teachers) constantly struggle to keep the attention of their teenagers. Take my French teacher, who we’ll call Ms. R, as an example. Ms. R is a bright, capable woman who has been teaching French for several years. She has had many classes, but none she claims are as badly behaved as my own. Students constantly talk out of turn which not only annoys the teacher and other students (meaning ME), but also creates a classroom situation in which the teacher must constantly stop to tell everybody to be quiet.

No matter what she tries, Ms. R just doesn’t  seem to grasp just why students think it is okay to speak out of turn about the most random of subjects. The answer is so incredibly simple that I don’t blame her for not thinking of it sooner:
She allows them to do so.

At the beginning of the year, she firmly established that though she is our teacher, she is also here to be our friend. Although this is a fantastic method for making students like a teacher, some take the method too far and become, without realizing, a pushover teacher.

We all know this teacher because we’ve all had her and taken advantage of her. You know the one: sweet demeanor, not much homework, always a smile and a “ready-to-go” attitude. Often, these teachers become so concerned with being nice that they themselves forget to punish bad behaviors.  Unruly children (especially teens) need a structured reward/penalty system in place if they are to respect people and/or behave properly in class. My friend’s History teacher, for example, uses a system of sarcastic remarks, good-natured jokes at the students and the occasional detention to keep his classroom in line. This method proves to be very effective. Not only do the kids adore this teacher, they learn in his class and keep quiet (yes, they PAY ATTENTION and LISTEN). Thus, a positive learning environment is created for the students.

I’m not saying that being your teenagers friend is a bad thing. Really, it’s not! Many teenagers at least appreciate the efforts of an adult trying to relate to them and develop friendly relationships. However, one has to be careful not to go too far out of the “Adult Zone” and too deeply into the “Friendship Zone.” While it is good for teenagers to see both in adults, it really is important to remind them every once in a while that adults can be our friends, but if we speak out of turn one more time they will give us detention.

~Such are the thoughts of a bipolar teenager~