This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Kids of America

For over three years, I have been a volunteer for a local book store's Teen Writing Club. And for the last several months, I have pretty much handed the reigns to my BFF Sam. But a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of filling in for Sam (while she baked bread for me ;)).

Teen Writing Club is extremely special. It is solely voluntary. There is no school credit. There is no competition. It is purely a meeting time for like-minded young people to get together and share their stories. Their own well-written stories.

Some stories are for competitions. Or for school. But a majority of the story-writing is their own work, on their own time.

Can you believe it? Young teenagers who are willing to give up their own free time to hang out and read their stories out loud and get feedback about it. SEEK feedback.

These teens are unique. They are brilliant. They are confident. And they have such an amazing depth to their personality that is missing in most grown-ups.

For awhile, the attendees were mainly girls. There were a couple of guys initially, but they dropped off soon after I started. I must have scared them away. But I met two new comer guys over the last few times I have attended.

The coolest thing that I found from my last meeting were these two blogs that a couple of them have. Two very different personalities, well, if you include me, THREE, united by their passion for writing.

The Liberal Rocker is one of those brilliant writers. I enjoyed meeting him and then reading his blog, I am amazed. And inspired. And hopeful. There are young people out there that care. And they care enough to KNOW what is going on in the world. And still young enough to be "fresh" when writing about it. Here is a sample of what he (and a few of his friends) post on the blog:

From January 15th's Quote of the Day:
Glenn Beck asked Sarah Palin who her favorite founding father was, guess how she answered? That's right she said "All of them" Glenn Beck was buying it and responded that that was "Bull Crap". She then said that her favorite was George Washington, the default answer for anyone who has not studied American History.

"Oh who's you favorite President?"

"George Washington"

"Who's you favorite General"

"George Washington"

Sarah Palin needs to read a history book, in which she would find that Jefferson, Franklin, Madison(my favorite), Hamilton, and many, many others did much much more to found this country than Washington.

BTW, he is reading her book. I plan to too.

Then there's young Olivia. Amazing young girl. I see her dad hanging out while she reads her stories to us. I have to say, these teens have remarkable families who support this "hobby". I have the utmost respect for them.

Her stories are intelligent with a twist of wry. They are a fave of the little group of writers.

Yesterday I read one of her latest blog posts. I LOVE THESE WRITERS AND THEIR THOUGHTS. It's just chilling in a good way, how incredible they "speak" in their words. Their age gives me a refreshing look on life. But this part of her post "Writing Elementary School Style" had this paragraph that was captivating:
Speaking of which, I'd like to talk about our way of life for a few paragraphs.

Before we start school, our parents prepare us for school by teaching us things. This is all well and good.
Once we get to preschool, it's about preparing us for kindergarten. More about kindergarten later. The latter half of elementary school is filled with emphasis on "in middle school, such and such and such. It's my job to prepare you for middle school." In middle school, from the very first month, it's about preparing for high school. Now that I'm in high school, all of the emphasis is on preparing for college or "the workforce," or whatever it is we plan on doing post-graduation. I've never been to college, of course, but I'd bet lots of money that the emphasis there is on preparing the student for Adult Life. According to commercials on TV and tips on working I've seen at school, it is considered wise to begin saving for retirement as soon as you start work. If/when one gets married and has children, it becomes about preparing the children for their lives. Where's the actual living happening? It's all about preparing for whatever comes next. What about actually doing stuff just for the sake of doing it? This seems wrong. Preparing is good, but shouldn't we have a chance to stop preparing and jump into the pool? Or, since this is a writer's blog, stop prewriting and begin with chapter 1?

I am so happy and privileged to have met these young folk. And it is a relief to know that there are still young people who *do* care, who *do* have a voice, and are not scared to speak about it.

1 comment:

  1. I feel like a character in a story. Thanks so much for all your great words. They really mean a lot to my teenage insecurities. lol, but true.
    Is looking for feedback really that uncommon? How else are we supposed to get better? Am I just naiive as to how most of the world thinks?
    As for my dad, "sleeping" would be more appropriate than "hanging out" some days...but he does start out reading... :D