Wishful Thinking

This video popped up on my Newsfeed today.  Give it a watch.  It’s pretty powerful.

What would you write on the board?

Everything I’d write has to do with my career.  It’s hard to call them regrets, because I wouldn’t change any of the decisions I’ve made.  I don’t regret what I did in supporting my husband.  I love where we are now, and so much of that is because of the sacrifices we’ve both made over the years.  But I do wish that I’d been able to do some things that just haven’t worked out for me yet.

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Rephrasing the Big Question

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I’ve decided that this is the wrong question.  It places the focus on titles, nouns, a state of being.

“A Ballerina.”  “A Fireman.”  “A Doctor.”  “A Forensic Scientist.”

When we ask our students about their futures, I don’t want to hear about passive states of being.  So here’s the question I ask:

What do you want to DO when you grow up?

See the difference?  One question focuses on the kids as a state of being, and the other focuses on the action.  One makes them a noun, and the other describes the verb.   Continue reading

Why We Need to Explore Teenage Talents

As I keep reading StrengthsFinder 2.0 and work through the assessment, I find myself once again pondering the ideas of Emerging Adulthood and identity explorations in teens.  I went back and reread Jeffrey Jensen Arnett’s chapter on “The Road Through College,” and I think this is where I have my biggest problem with the whole concept of emerging adulthood as a good thing.  Here’s how Arnett describes the American system of higher education.

“College in the United States is for finding out what you want to do.  Typically at four-year colleges, you have two years before you have to make a definite decision and declare a major.  During those two years you can try out a variety of different possibilities by taking classes in areas you think you might want to major in.  And even after you declare a major, you can always change your mind — and many emerging adults do.

“Their college meanderings are part of their identity explorations.  In taking various classes and trying various potential college majors, they are trying to answer the question ‘What kind of job would really fit me best, given my abilities and interests?'” (118).

See, I have a problem with that.   Continue reading

Adulthood Defined

Holy 24 hours, Batman!  Since my post yesterday, I’ve received three different phone calls and multiple e-mails and facebook responses, in addition to the comments posted here.  I ask you all to bear with me, as this whole “blogging about a potentially controversial issue” thing is new to me, and definitely a learning process!  The responses to my last post have run a wide range from full support to complete disagreement, and everything in between.  It’s interesting see all the different perspectives that different people bring to this topic from their own life experiences.  I sincerely appreciate all the interest people have taken in what I have to say.

I think I should have been more careful about what I’m not saying, though.  I’m not saying that to be considered an adult, all the pieces of your life must fall completely into place by age (fill in the blank).  I took longer than four years to graduate college.  I’ve worked seven jobs in three states in the last four years, and my husband and I are far from being settled.  We both are experiencing career shifts that require spending time in grad school, and he’s much further along in that process than I am!  I have dear friends that are single and still live with their parents for very valid reasons, and I know that they are responsible adults.  Adulthood has become less of a list of outside requirements and has more to do the individual’s maturity and sense of responsibility. Continue reading