23 February 2011

What's a grown up?

Why is Chris Rock's body
half-destroyed by the waterslide?
"Remember when you were a kid and you thought there was such a thing as 'real grown ups'? You were crying because you got sent to your room and said, 'You know what? One day, I'm going to be a grown up and everything is going to make sense.' Then one day, you're 25 in the supermarket and the bag boy calls you sir. How did that happen?"
- Joe Rogan

At 31 years old, I'm often confronted with the fact that I am considered by most to be a grown up. This is an odd notion with which to contend because there are too many occasions where I feel the opposite. Sure, I have a career as a teacher, but my walls are covered with superhero decorations my wife and I bought at Party City. We pay our cable bill each month, but at least a third of our DVR is filled with cartoons, yet we don't have any kids at the moment. Far too much space in our house (MY WIFE AND I OWN A HOUSE!) is devoted to comic books, DVDs, CDs and video games. Yet, by most accounts, especially those of my students, I'm considered a grown up, and I'm definitely expected to act like one.

This idea is astronomically mind-blowing because the more I learn, the less I realize I know. We (the collective 'we' or the royal 'we,' in this case) come away with the idea that grown ups are the ones that know things, the ones that keep the world working and in order. Grown ups raise us and prepare us for the world. However, what no one tells anyone else, and what comedian Joe Rogan alludes to in the above quote, is that not a single person ever realizes they've become a grown up.

Allow me to pull the curtain back on the grown up experience for a second here. "Grown ups" are a figment of our youthful imagination. No one knows what they are doing and those that say they do are just smart enough to fake it. There is no such thing as a grown up. As much as I questioned myself as an adolescent, as a teenager or even as a little kid, wondering what it is I'm supposed to do with my life or when it will be that I will have it all figured out, I can honestly tell you that I am no closer now than I ever was then. Sure, I have some answers; marriage made sense to me because I found a wonderful lady, and over the course of time I started figuring out that paying bills, for instance, leads to the rest of my life being easier. But those answers only brought more questions and more concerns. Will my wife someday get tired of my antics? (Probably not, if she hasn't already.) Will the pressures of maintaining my preferred lifestyle weigh me down and prevent me from growing as a person? (Yikes, that's just a scary question to even ask.) No one has anything figured out to any degree of certainty, and that's something that makes life amazing and frightening. Everyone pretends to know the answer but that's only because they're too scared to admit that they have no idea what is going on. No one is excluded from this, either; me, your neighbor, the President of the United States and everyone else in between -- they're all in the same boat.

And the horizon? Holy jeez, folks, I'm planning to have kids one day. Figuring myself out and coming to terms with being a grown up is one thing, but trying to get somebody else prepared for a world I hardly understand but find to be insane and fascinating all at once is an entirely crazy proposition.

What's even crazier is that all of this came about not because I saw that terrible Adam Sandler movie but because my wife and I went to buy an oven this weekend. That's a decidedly grown up action and one that could only be mitigated by purchasing a new video game.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at last week's antics.

For Monday through Thursday of last week, we focused our energy on Act II of Romeo & Juliet. These two crazy kids meet, fall in love, and get married in the space of about 12 hours, something that usually only happens in Las Vegas. Now, two questions remain. How will this affect everyone else in the play and what will the consequences be of their rash action? Here's a hint: poorly and death.

Friday, we moved forward.

Yesterday, you turned in your act II study guide and review. We assigned roles for act III and started reading it. The third act, and the first scene in particular, serve as a real turning point for the rest of the play. Things will go from largely comedic to incredibly tragic very quickly.

Monday of last week, our guest from Everest College gave a presentation on professionalism for job interviews. Much of what she discussed consisted of common sense information, but it's always important to revisit and remember those ideas.

Tuesday through Thursday saw us finish Macbeth and see the titular bad guy foiled due to his own hubris and faith in the equivocal prophecies. Also, his head was chopped off, so that must have made an interesting 17th century visual on stage.

Friday, you worked on the Metaphor in Macbeth assignment dealing with Macbeth's lamentations on the meaninglessness of life. Keep that speech in mind as we enter our next unit on Albert Camus' The Stranger.

Yesterday, you turned in your act V paragraphs, received the final Macbeth paragraph assignment and began working on the Film Interpretation questions for the Polanski version of Macbeth. It was a busy day. Keep in mind that the questions will be due Monday, February 28 and the final paragraph is due Wednesday, March 2.


  1. this is the kind of stuff that deserves a response, maybe even a hint of optimism

    [redacted political joke went here]

    so just hold on--at 40, it all becomes clear

  2. HOORAY! Only 9 more years until total and complete enlightenment.