Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Perks of Being a WallFlower by Stephen Chbosky

My seniors and I have really had our ups and downs this year. They have been ready for graduation since October, and I have been focusing on the AP exam: true conflict of interest. However, through the ups and downs, the one thing that we have in common is that many of my students love to read. I have a list of books on my desk that they have recommended that I read. I have tried many of their recommendations, In True Bloods, Like Water for Chocolate etc, and I have not been disappointed yet.

A few students told me about The Perks of Being a Wallflower. One student told me she loved it so much that she read it twice. I had to give it a try, and I really, really loved this book.

The main character, Charlie, is a 9th grade student who is dealing with the death of his aunt, being in love with a girl who does not love him back, experimenting with drugs, trying to find his place and all of the other issues that teenagers deal with while being a wallflower. Charlie tells this story through a series of letters that he is writing to an anonymous person.

Reading this story reminded me that teenagers really are faced with a lot of things that people of my generations did not face, or maybe I did not face these issues, because I  was raised in rural Alabama with parents who did not allow a lot freedom. Not really sure how parents should handle all of the things that teenagers deal with today, but I think that they must be dealt with in order to give our students informed knowledge. However, I am not sure if they should or would listen to us. All I know is that it is complicated.

I need to share my thoughts that are a little to the left. After reading this, I thought about Trayvon Martin, who was recently gunned down in Florida. This seventeen year old kid, like many other kids, had to deal with a whole lot, but then I thought, no different than what Emmitt Till had to deal with. Both teens, one in the 1950s and one in the 2000s, needed to be told to watch themselves at all times; the same message different time periods. So, maybe teenagers today have the same issues that students had a long time ago: bullying, drugs, divorce, single parents, poverty, sex, AIDS, facebook, being profiled, competing to get into college, paying for college, looking for a job, being treated unfairly by teachers, being in terrible schools etc. (Shaking my head!)

So, I must thank my students for recommending this awesome book which helps the reader to see and maybe understand some of the issues that teenagers are faced with daily. I would love to be a wallflower sometimes and know what's going on with them, but other times, I think that it's best that I don't know.

I must add that I believe in the youth of today, and I do believe that many deal with the obstacles and come out unscathed.

1 comment:

Tracy Ricks said...

Yes I agree, teenagers seem to have sooo much more to deal with, than I did at that age! Another Great blog!

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