A dying art

To the Editor:

This entire letter may seem hypocritical to some, since I am a member of the group I will be criticizing. This letter is not in response to any other letter. It is simply a project to express my opinion on things, and I shall do so. For that reason I understand it may not be printed, especially for the extremely personalized sections. I am a 17 year-old junior at Danville High School. There are several things currently in local and regional society that bother me. I like to see this as acknowledging the issue and not whining.

Number one: Lack of historical appreciation. I can only name a handful of kids who actually know the name of a song by The Beatles. Or what an 8-track tape is. Who Babe Ruth is even. Sad.

Number two: rap 'music'. 'Thumpity-thump', [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] is not music. Kids tell me I need to listen to newer music. I tell them that they need to listen to older music.

Number three: kids from Northeastern Vermont that wear their pants around their knees, hats with a flat-brim and crooked, and walk around with goofy looking bulky headphones around their neck. Please. Belts are made for a reason, the only time a hat should have an unbent brim is if it goes all the way around the hat, and headphones are meant to go on ears, not around necks for everyone around to hear.

Number four: kids who don't appreciate or respect their elders. Kids should be sucking every bit of advice and wisdom they can out of their grandparents and enjoy their company. Treat the elderly with respect. Help them out of cars. Call adults by Mr. or Mrs. unless they prefer otherwise.

Number five: cell phones. In any of my given classes at school, probably 75-80% of kids use their phone in class to text or go on facebook. Texting and using smartphones is becoming an addiction. It is simply absurd how many texts kids sent a day. Kids texting across the table from each other. Seriously? Has our society become so technologically based and common skill deprived that we are no longer capable of having a verbal conversation with an actual person? Texting while driving. I still see kids doing it. It's just stupid. No text is worth your life. It can wait.

Number six: accountability. I've seen an increase in kids who have failed a class this year. They blame it on the teacher for not grading all of their back work that was due a month ago, before the end of the marking period, when the work was turned in a few days earlier. Please. If you had been doing your work on time anyway, you wouldn't have been in the position of having the teacher grade all your work at the last minute.

Number seven: drugs and alcohol. Using drugs and alcohol is not 'cool'. This notion is still going around in high school. I have seen or heard kids using flavored cigars and chewing tobacco more frequently. Of course there's constant stories of under-aged drinking parties. Recently a student asked me about if I had ever drunk a beer. I was proud to say no, and they were shocked. Besides the legality, is it not enough incentive to getting kicked off the sports team? If that ever happened to me, I would be so ashamed to show my face. The feeling of letting your teammates down, your school down, your family down and yourself down. Imagining that feeling disgusts me.

Number eight: kids who take things too seriously. Slow down and enjoy the ride. Contrary to belief, the sun will rise tomorrow. Get over it and move on. You will never be younger than you are right now. Have fun and get involved. Try to have a sense of humor and not take things personally. Have a passion. Stay busy. I have enjoyed my two plus years of high school so far, and plan on enjoying the rest.

Number nine: respect for women and courtesy. Opening the door for a woman. "Ladies first", seems to be a dying art, maybe because of women's rights activists who say they are not helpless, but I will stay away from that issue. I still believe in the gentleman.

If I have offended anyone I do not apologize, but acknowledge your side of the issue. If you are a kid reading this (which is unlikely, not many read the newspaper) than I ask you to take notice. If you are a kid reading this and you are the exception to the rule, then kudos to you. Again, I respect your view if you deem this letter hypocritical. Thank you.

Brett Elliott

Peacham, Vt.

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