Monday, May 9, 2011
Turn and Face the Strange
This card opens the movie The Breakfast Club. It's practically a perfect movie and one that, along with Catcher in the Rye, should be studied by every high school student before they graduate. But deconstructing John Hughes's films, or J.D. Salinger's prose for that matter, is not the subject of this post.
When I was 17, I knew everything. I knew what was funny and interesting and right and wrong. I was cool and creative and knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. Immune to the consultations of those who would spit on me, I was quite aware of what I was going through.
Now I'm 40, and I know very little. I am none of those things any more. I don't know what life will bring any more than I know the price of tea in China. No need to worry that I'm in the midst of a midlife crisis, though. I just get nostalgic every year in May and hark back to a time when, as complicated as it seemed then, change was easy and everything seemed possible.
So I like to share the above quote with my students at this time of year. Especially the graduating seniors. I hope they will see that despite the myriad of options before them, this is the one time in life when opportunity is clear.
Listen to Bowie as he exhorts us to "turn and face the strange."