Every summer, my job switches around. During the year, I work in a couple of different universities, but for the past two summers, I’ve worked at an exceedingly pleasant job in the woods of Brookline. No, I’m not kidding. We’re literally in a forrest.
But no matter. I got the job last summer and it was kind of a turning point for me. I was having some very serious doubts if I wanted to continue working as a teacher. When I took the job, I would get there an hour earlier than I needed to and sit and make lessons for the class. It was back to basics fun teaching again.
My students in the summer were some of the most pleasant people I have ever taught in my entire career. Most of them were teenagers, but teenagers who were cooler than I could ever hope to be. One of them showed me an Instagram with all dog posts, really funny dog posts. I learned a lot about their world.
This summer I returned to the extremely pleasant Brookline forrest to teach an equally interesting group of people. This crowd, I have to prepare for. They get all of my references. Their number one request in the class is to watch The Daily Show. Really impressive.
While teaching both of these groups, it struck me that the kids are all right. Actually they are really good. The young people, they get a bad rap now. Oh they just love their smart phones and their avocados and their lattes. They don’t think. They aren’t going to contribute anything.
I think this kind of thinking is just wrong. Last year I saw a video by a singer called Shawn Mendes, who was a baby when I was in my last years of college. LOL. He wrote a wonderful song called “Youth” about the incredible things young people are doing now. He included in his video Jack Andraka, who won the Intel Science Prize a few years back for coming up with a test for pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers out there. He did his work in a lab that his mom drove him to every day because he wasn’t old enough to drive. He’s not a typical science geek. His reaction to winning the Intel award was so exuberant that it actually went viral. Next to him in the video was Morgan Hurd, the 2017 all around world champion in gymnastics and a person who was more poised at 16 than I am at my age. These kids are really doing amazing things and its about time we stop writing them off as just people who stare at their phones. If Jack Andraka and Morgan Hurd are to inherit the earth, I think we’re in good hands.
Here are some pics I snapped of my most recent class enjoying some food at a deli. We had a thoroughly good time as well. Kids, you are all right. Actually you are very good: