Thursday, March 29, 2007

Deadly Game

When I was subsitute teaching at GHS, I had some good days, some upsetting days, and some days where I was on the brink of losing faith in our youth and the future "leaders" of our country. I am still not sure if I can say our previous generations were less stupid, but it sure seems like kids are coming up with more creative ways to kill brain cells...

There was even one day where I was going over a video or a quiz or something, already frustrated and annoyed by young teenagers who don't care about, or appreciate the opportunities they have at a school like Grandville. I noticed out of the corner of my eye two kids behaving suspiciously, and a moment later realized that one was "choking" the other. When I caught them, they stopped instantly, but I couldn't stop myself from going off on a mini-tirade about how stupid and dangerous that was.

Teenagers really do believe they are invincible. I believe there is evidence that cognitively, they aren't able to judge a dangerous situation the same way an adult can, and even by age 18 that part of the brain still isn't fully functioning (and this is one of the main reasons so many car accidents are caused by teenagers). I remember several teens, in different contexts, explaining how [name your tragic scenario] could never happen to them - and there really was no convincing them otherwise, because they have such an inflated self-assuredness that they think YOU are the idiot. Geez, was I ever that ignorant? (maybe). Yikes... well, one thing is for sure, I never would have let someone choke me in order to get a head rush...

... but I do remember in junior high school my friend, who shall remain nameless, hyperventilating and having someone press on her chest as she held her breath - she would then collapse to the floor, unconscious for a couple seconds. She would come to, and tell us she had a dream! I never had the "guts" to partipate in this ritual, but other friends of mine did... right in my parents' basement! Big fun! Ughh.. kids are so stupid!

The cop on the Today Show who was talking statistics said this is a lesser form of the same 'high' caused by the choking thing. Meredith confessed that she did it (the hyperventilating / passing out thing) when she was younger (and she is my mother's age). Maybe times haven't changed so much afterall.

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