Another voice of Elijah

“I worry about America’s boys. They are dropping out of high school at alarming rates, and contributing to a shift in college demographics that would have been unheard of even two decades ago. The average college campus in the U.S. is now nearly 60% female. As a woman I imagine this is suppose to make me feel proud, excited, vindicated. But as a member of a society peopled with young men, I mourn for them. I don’t think it’s the material they can’t handle, but the relentless scheduling and monitoring of strategic, time-sensitive goals so out of keeping with most boys’ natural temperaments. Girls, for the most part, love to make little to-do lists, to jot them out in purple pen in their best cursive with a heart at the end of the tasks they deem most special. They love to work their way through those lists and cross them off with a smack of their glossed lips. Long-term planning is a gift born of estrogen, of the knowledge that every 28 days is a matter of life and death. Boys, by nature, live in the moment. At a time when we ask them to declare what they want to do with the rest of their lives, all they’re thinking about is what they’re going to have for lunch and if the throb in their bodies will ever be relieved in an acceptable manner; they want to laugh and jostle and feel mighty and herd buffalo and we want them to sit very still for long periods of time and think. Hard. As if their lives depended on it.” (Elijah & the SAT, p. 107)

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