Are You As Cool As An Eighth Grader?
Oh, to be young, cool and popular.
Who doesn’t dream of being all that, drinking from the Fountain of Youth and instantly becoming a newer and more youthful version of yourself?
I am fascinated by my son Sky’s world of thirteen year olds and in particular, what they are reading.
“Mom, I don’t like reading books. I think it gives me acne.” Sky says. He shrugs his shoulders when I tell him literature can open up worlds for him. With a quick flip he opens up his laptop and is into another kind of world, a digital universe where he is a player, friend, commenter, reviewer, lurker, shopper and cruiser. For hours.
I decided to create a universe too. It is a website for middle school writers to participate in creating a ghost story on line with me. I think Sky and his friends actually do enjoy reading, but not in the same way I, or anyone else above the age of thirteen, read. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that they enjoy the experience of literature.
So last night I was telling Sky about my ghost story. “It’s about the ghost that lived in my grandfather’s house in China. I am going to invite students to imagine themselves as characters in the story, like a live action role player video game.”
Sky looked at me curiously. “You mean you could design a video game based on the plot?”
“Video games are all about plot. It can get really interesting for the writer or player to experience the story as a character and in a game with others in real time.”
Thoughtful silence. I held my breath.
“That could work.” He nodded and Oh my God! I think I saw a hint of a smile. A you’re-pretty-cool-Mom smile.
I will keep you posted on my quest to be cool, as cool as an eighth grader who loves literature.
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