Thursday, January 19, 2006

In another world

Somebody should have told me, Hey, Mac, your life, Mac, thirty years of it, Mac, is gonna be school, school, school, kids, kids, kids, papers, papers, papers, read and correct, read and correct, mountains of paper piling up at school, at home, days, nights reading stories, poems, diaries, suicide notes, diatribes, excuses, plays, essays, even novels, the work of thousands--thousands--of New York teenagers over the years, a few hundred working men and women, and you get no time for reading Graham Greene or Dashiell Hammett, F. Scott Fitzgerald or good old P. G Wodehouse, or your main man, Mr. Jonathan Swift. You'll go blind reading Joey and Sandra, Tony and Michelle, little agonies and passions and ecstasies. Mountains of kid stuff, Mac. If they opened your head they'd find a thousand teenagers clambering all over your brain. Every June they graduate, grow up, work and move on. They'll have kids, Mac, who will come to you someday for English, and you're left facing another term of Joeys and Sandras, Tonys and Michelles, and you'll want to know: Is this what it's all about? Is this to be your world for twenty/thirty years? Remember, if this is your world, you're one of them, a teenager. You live in two worlds. You're with them, day in, day out, and you'll never know, Mac, what that does to your mind. Teenager forever. June will come and it's bye-bye, teacher, nice knowin' you, my sister's gonna be in your class in September. But there's something else, Mac. In any classroom, something is always happening. They keep you on your toes. They keep you fresh. You'll never grow old, but the danger is you might have the mind of an adolescent forever. That's a real problem, Mac. You get used to talking to those kids on their level. Then when you go to a bar for a beer you forget how to talk to your friends and they look at you. They look at you like you just arrived from another planet and they're right. Day after day in the classroom means you're in another world, Mac.

Frank McCourt, Teacher Man

The mind of an adolescent forever--the story of my life.

I don't ever want to grow up.

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