The Year is Complete!

Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.


Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.

(see Dec. 29th, 2009 entry for further explanation)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

the millenials

sunrise:  7:14
New Haven, CT

It's parents' weekend times two again.  J and I are spending another weekend dividing our time between two college campuses.  We both love to spend time with the burgeoning adults that are our children, and to see the schools that are leading them on their way.

Our youngest, T, sent a link to a very interesting "60 minutes" news clip the other day.  Morey Shafer discussed the new generation of young people known as "the Millenials," those born between 1980 and 1995, which includes all four of our children.

Take a look - it is from 2008, but still a revealing look at a fascinating societal trend with results still to be determined.  Even though Shafer hardly disguises his disdain through much of the clip (coddled, spoiled, entitled, adolescents until age 30), there are intriguing positives in this new crop of people as well.  These happy, confident, self-aware young adults may be strangers to high expectations and thankless hard work, but they are close to their families, loving and loyal, and they are determined to put a priority on personal happiness. 

Will we founder into a bliss-filled fog of happy people who produce nothing?  A languishing herd of lotus-eaters?  I don't think so.

I feel hugely privileged to be connected to the student bodies of 3 college campuses (tuition payments aside).  Those educational institutions are the breeding grounds for the future of our nation - those who will be our leaders, innovators, and the definers of our ever-evolving society.

That is one enormous perk of "the empty nest."  Emptied of kids, for us, means richly full of new connections to the dynamic changing world.  I scoff at helicopter parents with the rest of them, but to make a few weekend visits each year, meet our children's friends and classmates, reacquaint with the world of rigorous academia and all of the questions and trends under scrutiny by the next generation - that is hugely enriching for OUR generation.  There is something in between a parent severing ties completely and being a helicopter - it is sharing the process of learning across generations.  Both generations can continue to grow and learn together, and yes, perhaps continue to be a regular part of each other's lives.

 ("Thy light and truth shall set me free")

I walk around the Yale campus, profoundly moved as ever by its impressive beauty and history.  Dining halls serve as war memorials, snippets of world wisdom grace the stonework of aged buildings - or new buildings designed to look aged!  Communication boards bristle with fliers - comedy shows, social action events, protests, artwork, films political meetings.  So much dedication to thought and reason, so much faith in the human mind, with enormous hope for the perpetuation of learning. 

 College is not a bad place to step back into now and again.

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