This guy is the age I thought I was going to end up teaching. I ended up teaching middle schoolers instead. I crashed and burned hard. Now, it’s hard to imagine teaching someone his age, because I have just as much to learn from him as him from me. I’ve always said, as a younger person then most, that age is no guarantee of wit or wisdom. It’s only more recently, as I begin to interact with those much younger than myself, that I’ve needed to remind myself of this fact.
It would be so easy to do what I’ve always criticized and fall into the trap of thinking I know better because I’m older. I can’t do that though and people like this dude don’t let me. At 17, he’s far close to my thoughts now then I was at his age (he skanks better than me, too). It astounds me how much he can reject so much of what is typical without falling into rejecting everything. That’s a tough line to toe and it demonstrates a self awareness and level of critical thought that I am very much impressed by.
He’s a punk in the best sense of the word. Where other people stop at that, I’ve come to know him as the phenomenal guy that he is and the even more phenomenal person he is growing into. Take a note from him. Don’t let your age (or the difference between it and those around you) stop you from critiquing all that comes your way. Don’t let anyone define you but you. Most of all, have fun doing what you love no matter what that is.