Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mid Career Mike Muses: "Why Are They All So Fucking Sad?"

I have my share of wonderful students, engaged, excited, ready to learn, even at an 8:00 am class on a perfect day for going to the beach and skipping school.

But not most of them.

Most students I've had for the past ten years or so are sad, depressed, disconsolate. They are the opposite of engaged. They are glassy eyed and slack jawed. They make my Elvis paintings look alive and bounding in comparison.

And I try to get them going in class, activate them, energize them. I get them to move around, have presentations, group work. Even when I force them out of class into a different space or even - god dammit I'm good - outside, they all resume their permanently-ingrained slouch. Slouch of face, slouch of back, slouch of even the damn book bag.

I was quiet in class as an undergrad sometimes, especially when I was stoned, but at least even then I'd giggle sometimes. These people I'm talking about have fly-catcher mouths and Precious Moments eyes.

I want to pour water on them or set them afire, or just go get them laid.

Why can't they get with it? Is this the future? Will it get worse? Will next year's students take this down another notch?

Good gravy...I'm fucked.