Sunday Reflections: John Hughes, John Green, The Teen and Me
My adolescent years were lived to the soundtrack of John Hughes movies. To this day I still defiantly throw my fist in the air when Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds comes on the radio. At the same time, the closing letter begins to recite itself in my brain:
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was that we did wrong. What we did was wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write this essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us… in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Correct? That’s how we saw each other at seven o’clock this morning. We were brainwashed.
I wanted to be Andie Walsh, the resourceful teenage girl from the wrong side of the tracks who makes her own glorious prom dress as she gets to choose between all the various guys in her life that seemed to desire her. She chose wrong, Duckie was obviously the right choice, but we can argue about that some other day.
John Hughes spoke to the heart of my teenage self, seeming to perfectly capture all the hidden fears and desires that I held inside my heart and didn’t quite have the vocabulary to give voice to. I wanted to belong, I wanted to be confident, and I needed to know that somehow we would all make it out of this alive. I wanted to know that at the end of it all I would, in fact, be not only able but willing to defiantly throw my fist up into the air. John Hughes offered me a sort of hope that the adults in my life couldn’t seem to muster.
This year, my own daughter became a teenager an entered into middle school. I dropped her off on her first day with a hopeful prayer that it would go much differently then it went for me. I loathed being a teenager and still bear some of the inner scars that came with those years.
During the summer I took her and her friends to see the Paper Towns movie, based on the book by John Green. For me, it was an okay movie – until I had a moment of revelation. I looked over at The Teen and saw tears silently creeping down her cheeks as the main character delivers one of his closing lines about Margo Roth Speigelman:
What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person.
Read more at http://quotesberry.com/post/101087067167/25-paper-towns-quotes-by-john-green#6h1WyRcrKAZGxCdT.99
Filed under: Sunday Reflections
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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