Archive for the ‘innocence’ Category

Uh oh. I’m shaping young minds!

Yesterday was very serial. So much so that I forwent writing about the city council here or Ellen’s stupid crying about a dog (topics I planned to write about today.) I woke up this morning still thinking about it so I decided to write.

I was asked to speak to a high school in the community I cover. I always get nervous when I’m asked to do these things. Because today’s teens are definitely not yesterday’s teens — they know so much more and don’t tolerate the same things we used to. I also get a little nervous because being that I’m still fumbling along in this industry, even though in a much better role now, so I just can’t help wondering how in the world am I supposed to shape young minds about journalism when I’m still trucking along myself. I’m not a shy person as I’m sure you have guessed but knowing these two things when I’m in front of a classroom gives me the shakes.

Also they had to take notes. So the moment I started talking — I stopped. Then laughed that they had to take notes. Good start so far. Everyone laughed right along. I told of my triumphs and many tribulations — as I believe the teacher had wanted me to. I even revealed that I was a cocktail waitress for a time while freelancing. I gave them the goods. And man the questions they asked! Even the teacher. I tap-danced through some of them because they were along the lines of “what will happen to journalism’s integrity.” Hum…I wanted to have our official bigwig next to me for some of those questions, but I managed and heads nodded and notes were written. As I gave many of my answers I kept thinking, “Is that me saying this?” because they weren’t exactly bad or ridiculously misguided. I think I did alright and a lot of the girls said they liked my outfit, which was the most important thing for me to get right before walking in the room. You know how teen girls can be about fashion!

It just didn’t seem that long ago that I was in their place, sitting there listening to a guest speaker. Very serial and it struck a cord in my heart because I envied them so much. Just to be in that school desk, knowing what I know now would be a gift. I even told them so. I warned them of everything in this industry and the plus of the whole “high” of it. I warned them to take all the classes I didn’t — video editing, page building. I pushed them on internships and the importance of knowing what you have a passion for over the money it can bring. And they seemed entertained and hopefully left with their heads no longer in clouds about how quickly they will be in a significant role in their future careers.

Once upon a very long time ago, I wanted to be a teacher. But as things pushed along (a broken engagement and some hard-knock lessons learned) I wandered down to the basement of my college and filled out the application to be a reporter for the school paper. Addicted ever since except the small moments in which I’m in a classroom. This will sound very sappy so I warn you, but somehow being in that room with bright, eager faces ready to learn, I wonder what I may have missed not being teacher and what kind of one I would have been.

Technology and the loss of innocence

Someone should figure out how to bottle innocence. Once in a tightly sealed and hopefully decorative container, it should reside behind a glass shelf that reads in all red cap letters: IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, BREAK GLASS. Driving to my parents’ house usually brings my mind to way too many thoughts. It’s not a very long drive, but long enough and passes through enough traffic to make the mind wander.

Usually when I reach the town they live in, I’ve already relived high school. This usually means I’ve made the mistake of listening to the older pop/rock stations and heard something that reminded me of that time or this time with so and so and what’s-their-face. It becomes even a more sad affair when I decide to make a detour to one of the millions of local Sonics for a quick slush. Why? Because I usually pass my old high school. Or go down a street I had driven years ago to get back home, only it had a few less churches and strip malls then. I just start thinking…

Today I started thinking about innocence. And what, like I mentioned, would happen if I could drink such sweet nectar as our lost innocence in case of an emergency. My emergency would be to erase how technology has made communication so damn impersonal. Even though as you would figure it, technology should make things easier — more communicative. Easier, yes. More communicative, no. I’ve lost relationships via email. Lost them over the Web. Destroyed them in text messages. What happened to communication? The good old fashioned kind? I would settle for two soup cans and string if that would get me to it better. What happens when we get so advanced we forget humanity? Break out the label-makers because yes, you can label this as very idealist and sappy. But can you answer this question? Have you even thought about it?

Not only that, things get misinterpreted all the time when they aren’t said. For example a recent text I got from a guy who is trying to get back in my life (not sure if I’m really into that idea anymore) said something about “no strings attached.” Upon closer reading I realized he meant that comment on his end not mine. He meant, “Just let me take you to dinner, no strings attached.” I had to re-read this because there was a misplaced comma but it might as well be passivity in language, lack of spell check…things just get lost. The same can be said when you are angry. Once you have sent that message it’s gone and more than likely you will not get a chance to explain yourself verbally, in person or with those soup cans.

We rely so much on things that aren’t breathing. Somewhere we lost our bottle of innocence. The essence of what is pure. Our youth. We have grown so old and above ourselves. We put the gospel on the words we read on little LCD screens, monitors — the underside of your flip phone. There is no second story or forgiveness once it’s all out there. There is no discussion. Well, there is this forum of communication — blogging. We use our blogs as an open dialog stream of consciousness where everyone can come in and have their say. We use our blog as a reciprocal place to meet wits. But even this wonderful vein of technology can only mimic the real thing. In the end there is just no comparison to the spoken word. It came first. It is the skeleton of it all. The point of it all. I only hope it doesn’t get buried in pixels, bytes and coding!