Party Like It's
19992008!One of my favorite movie scenes comes from Wayne’s World 2 where Mike Meyers, uninspired by a no-name actor’s bland delivery of a line, turns to the camera and breaks character. “Do we have to put up with this?” he asks, “Can’t we get a better actor? I know it’s a small part but I know we can do better than this.” At that point, an aged Chuck Heston steps in and brings our protagonist to tears.
As a teacher at 27 I mark time the same way I did as a 17 year-old student- in school years. The end of this year’s academic calendar will mark a full decade since my generation leapt out of the gate and into a prosperous world in 1999. Our economy boomed as the thriving digital age survived Y2K and promised unlimited potential. The most reprehensible act our president committed was something seventeen year-old boys would likely deem worthy of a high-five. I’m not saying it was right; but I assume water-boarding wasn’t involved.
As all generations do, we faced challenges, but it felt like ours came fast and furious. A sunny Tuesday morning in 2001 turned our world upside down. I know my experience at school in New York’s capital district mirrored those close to me in the equally “godless” and “un-American” area outside of Washington, DC. We spent those days doing all we could do- hoping for the best and, sadly, witnessing the worst for our friends and neighbors. We knew the real world waiting for us would come with different ground rules. We sent friends and loved ones our best as they marched off to fight a just war in Afghanistan. We did the same when they were whisked away to fight an unjust war in Iraq.
As much as no generation asked to become part of the 9/11 generation, ours certainly did not ask for an embarrassing lack of leadership that squandered away international support and domestic confidence. We did not ask for an economic meltdown that would cost us job and home-owning prospects precisely at the time we were poised to cash in on them. We did not ask for a climate crisis or a ludicrously broken healthcare system any more than we asked for Creed or Deal or No Deal.
When losers lose often, they start expecting it. They might even feel like they deserve it. But spare us the pity party. What makes my generation great is that we’re old enough to remember what things were like and still young enough to care about improving them. We brought you things like Google and Facebook because they took an old way of doing things and made them better. Now it’s time to follow through when it really counts. I want my students- the next generation- to inherit a world whose promise sustains. Let’s make sure this breath of fresh air is not a wasted one.
Over the last ten years, my generation’s been left too many times wondering, “can we do any better than this?”
Yes we can.
That's my baby and I don't mean maybe. Now get your own blog, dude.