Being the technical, detail-driven person I am, I pulled up the map of my ride and showed it to her on the computer.
She asked, "What do you DO all that time? Listen to music?"
I looked at her blankly for a moment, trying to decide what a non-smart-ass response could be. Then I realized SHE wasn't trying to be a smart-ass, so I said, "I just ride. Look at the scenery. Think."
It was her turn to look at me blankly. She had absolutely no concept of what I was talking about.
Is that one of the indicators of what is wrong with this generation?
Do ALL of them think they have to be entertained each and every minute? They have to be DOING something, and doing it for the pure enjoyment of it is beyond their sensibilities?
(I hate rhetorical questions, by the way, but I couldn't think of another way to express my thoughts on this without sounding preachy.)
Let me try it this way.
I fear that we are raising a generation of kids who expect to be entertained. They want to be passive, to have their needs met (whatever those needs ARE) without any act of engagement on their part.
I realize the dangers of generalizing, and I realize it's not all kids I'm talking about. My blog, my generalizations.
It worries me that so many of the students with whom I have daily contact have no hobbies, no interests, nothing to occupy their minds and hands in their free time. If we press them to say what they like to do, we usually get responses like, "hang out with my friends" or "talk on the phone" or "shop." I liked doing all those things when I was a teenager too (except for the shopping part, because we never had extra money), but I had interests as well. I read, I climbed trees (I guess that's not much better than hanging out with my friends), I crocheted from a very early age.
Her puzzlement inspired me to write a poem about cycling, and I jotted it down quickly this morning. It's off-the-cuff and not very literary, and it's not good enough for me to cross #17 off my list yet.
I'm not good at putting titles on poems yet either. I'll work on that after I figure out how to write poetry.
I breathe. I wave. I smile.
I think, I plan, I meditate.
I contemplate. I appreciate. I navigate.
I watch, I turn, I soar, I climb, I steer, I creep, I fly.
I wonder. I ponder.