smclewis

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Just in time for the first day of summer…

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Cupcakes I Made

Tomorrow is the first day of summer. 

I finally feel like writing. 

My perception is, when you teach English, your students envision you doing mainly three things: reading, writing, and grading. It will come to you as a surprise that my life is full of many other activities and honestly, I enjoy both reading and writing much less at the end of the school year, because (like my students?) I am burned out.  I also think that there is less free space in an adult’s life, which is why it is so great to treasure all the pleasure journaling and reading you are free to do when you are in middle and high school. 

See you, naughty teenagers! You better enjoy it while you can! Being grown up is tough! 

Why do grown-ups like myself feel obliged to give such pedantic advice while simultaneously giving themselves a free pass to veg the summer away? 

“I don’t have time to write because I’m a grown up.” 

Give me a break. 

After all, I have seen every episode of “The Real Housewives of New York City”, a show that is at odds with the agenda of my personal and professional life. I have organized drawers of cords and labeled my hanging make-up bag. I have decorated our new guest room with old knick-knacks strategically placed to create a “tableau” and read every issue of every magazine I could find. I have watched Hot Tub Time Machine twice. I was on an airplane to California twice, for seven hours, and never wrote a word. So, truth is, I could write. And, truth is: I don’t. 

It seems like such an adult thing to say. Time flies. It’s too hard. I don’t have time. And the teen-age version of Shannon (nee McCreery) Lewis would say, “You’re so lame. What a cop-out. You sound just like all the others.” And then she would walk away, flipping her hair, smacking her gum, and cranking up Madonna in her 1972 pea-green Nova. 

Truth is, I guess I sort of miss that surly girl who would hold herself and those around her to impossible standards. I guess I sort of still confuse myself when it comes to thinking about my life, and writing, and observation and what it all means or doesn’t mean. 

These contradictions will amuse me until I am no longer.

What got me thinking about this is a really cool project started by a high school senior in Nowheresville, PA. She decided to blog about her social experiment which was to take the advice of Seventeen Magazine to absolute heart for one month. Check out this culturally revealing blog entitled The Seventeen Magazine Project.

Additionally, I thought it might be equally interesting to blog about the advice found in More Magazine– a magazine that markets itself for “more” mature women. My guess is that the advice given to those of us “of a certain age” will be spookily similar to the findings of Jamie Keiles, the genius teenager behind The Seventeen Magazine Project. 

My other guess is that I probably WON’T blog about More Magazine and its advice because I have become precisely the kind of lazy, excuse-making, adult I used to promise myself I would never become. Well, at least I’m honest about it. 

What projects (writing or otherwise) are you ready to tackle now that the Summer Solstice will officially usher in the first day of summer?  Or, are you, like me organizing drawers and watching lame TV? Or, is it possible that one needs a little dose of “brain-candy” in order to be creative again? Have you ever thought of creating your own social experiment and blogging your observations? (FYI Jamie is attending the University of Chicago in the fall. You can also click a link that will take you to her own website. It’s interesting to check out). 

Let me know your thoughts. I hope you are ready for the first day of summer. 

It’s only just begun.

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