Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Recommended Reading

    So, I'm sitting waiting to get a haircut and happen to pick up a copy of the latest issue of GQ to pass the time. Moments later I find myself glued to the magazine reading an article entitled "The Unbearable Awkwardness of Being" by senior writer Devin Friedman. In the article, Friedman chronicles his experience of spending a month hanging out at his old high school in suburban Cleveland 16 years after graduation.

    The article is really a fascinating look inside a typical high school in the year 2006. What becomes clear is that though the clique names and slang have changed, the angst, the confusion, the desperation, the boredom, the drugs and the sex are all the same as when we went to high school. Friedman shares his awkwardness as a grown man (with a bald spot!) trying to fit in with a bunch of teenagers. At one point, he visits a party and a girl points to him and says "Am I the only person who notices this creepy old guy hanging out at our party?" (Note Friedman standing awkwardly nerd-like in the background of the above photo)

    Most interestingly, Friedman talks about high school life as living "in the bubble." Those in the bubble think that everything of consequence on the planet happens in the bubble and, relatedly, everything that happens in the bubble is of utmost consequence. High school is the last time in life one has the luxury of being this self-obsessed and self-deluded. The article makes me think I need to try to talk my way into hanging out a few days at one of my student's schools, just to remind myself why I both hated and loved high school...and why I'd never want to go back!