Chuck's column: Sometimes everything rocksI asked my one class of creative writing students to respond on a note card to one question. The question was, “What have you learned thus far about life in your brief existence of 16, 17, 18 years?”
By: Chuck Brooks, Rosemount Town Pages
I recently thought I’d go to the source. I asked my one class of creative writing students to respond on a note card to one question. The question was, “What have you learned thus far about life in your brief existence of 16, 17, 18 years?” I did explain to them why I wanted their thoughts. I also told them they didn’t have to do this if they chose not to. I give to you a smattering of their responses. Prepare ye selves.
“Sometimes everything sucks. Sometimes everything rocks.”
“What you give is what you get.”
“The thing that I learned about life is that everyone makes mistakes and that you just have to move on and don’t let the small things get to you.”
“You can’t force a relationship with anyone. If you put yourself out there and they don’t make it work, then you shouldn’t feel bad. You tried. It takes two to tango.”
“Life won’t always be easy. You need to just push through and make the best of it. After all, you won’t get out of it alive.”
“Treat others kindly because you get more bees with vinegar than water.” I think we all heard a little bit different version of this, but we get the idea, right?
“Sometimes the only person you’re fooling is yourself.”
“You don’t always have to say ‘Yes.’ We have the right to say ‘No.’ “
“I have learned in my life to not be so serious.”
“I have learned that life is unfair and you have to ‘roll with the punches.’ “
Here’s one that stood out from many of the others. “One thing in life that I have come to accept is that no matter how tough life gets, no matter what happens – a death, a tough break-up, or even being bullied for your whole life – it’s never worth taking your own life.”
“Literally every decision, big or small, can change the outcome of your life forever.”
“You can’t let others determine your happiness.”
“Time management. Always make sure you do all the tasks that you are assigned, but always make time to relax and do what you enjoy.”
As I’ve acquired the years here at RHS in this career, I’ve often thought to myself, If I had only known then what I know now. There isn’t a single person alive who hasn’t had that thought at some point in his/her life. It’s natural.
I know I’ve said on many occasion, “My momma NEVER told me there’d be days like THIS one.” We try to prepare these guys as best as we can, and we draw much from what we’ve learned about life into helping our students make decisions they’ll be happy with.
I’ve said for years that yes, I teach content. I teach writing and reading. My job, however, is far more complex than that. I feel it necessary to teach my students to survive the next phase of their lives and to make as few mistakes possible going through it. Not sure I’ve always been successful with that.
I’ll leave you with this final comment from a student in my class. I thought it fitting I end with this. “No matter what you do, or what you don’t do, it won’t stop. You can’t just curl up in your room and hide from it. When something bad happens, the world doesn’t end. It doesn’t care. You might be happy now, but it won’t last forever; neither will sadness. Get used to it. The only way to get through the bad times is to go through it, not along with it. That just makes it worse, longer.”
If I had only known then what I know now.