Riding the bus every day gives me a lot of opportunities to people-watch (and eavesdrop). Often, this is a little depressing. But, every so often, I see something on the bus that just makes my day. Today was one of those days.
A group of 18 4th-graders (mostly boys) got on the bus with their teacher. I assume they were taking a field trip to the university or one of the public libraries. Anyway, this group of boys spent the whole bus ride bragging about their Accelerated Reader scores. They were asking this one kid how he had managed to accumulate so many points, and he said, "I just love to read." They asked him why, and he said, with complete sincerity and the biggest brown eyes I've ever seen: "Because reading is an adventure. When you read a book, you can go anywhere." Another kid said, "Yeah, but you could be playing video games or playing outside." And the little bookworm said, "No, you don't understand. You can go anywhere. I just ignore everything else around me. One time I got grounded for reading too much because I wasn't listening to anyone." And, except for the one dubious boy, the other kids were hanging on to every word and seemed truly envious of the boy's reading ability. It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. So, don't believe people when they talk about kids these days just wanting to play video games or text. If this group of boys was any indication, I'm very impressed with the next generation. (Gosh...am I really old enough to be part of an "older" generation? Scary.)
My experience is in sharp contrast with an experience Darby had several months ago. On his way home, he was reviewing some notes in his lab notebook. A group of middle-school boys was sitting near him. One of them read the title on the cover out loud: "Laboratory Notebook." Then, he turned to his friends and said, "Nerd!" Poor Darby. :)