You know, I know someone (it was me) who wrote a book (called the Belief Test) who asked the question – if you could change one thing what would it be.
I’ve never had an answer more sure in my life then after spending a Monday at Carmel High School. I would change it so that high schoolers went to school one hour after the elementary school kids (9am) and a were let out 2 hours after elementary (4:30pm). The reason – I don’t think teenagers are awake. I don’t think with the serious amount of growing they are doing at that age can actually function on so little sleep.
I saw a Dateline episode that talked about how researchers say that a teenager needs 10-14 hours of sleep to function at a average adult rate. I mean, how can they participate in a discussion if their brains are much like my email in-box “Checking messages.” My case in point was my speaking gig as Carmel High School – Go Greyhounds!! – 2nd and 4th period film class.
Second period – brilliant, gifted, students, there is no doubt. They also have the coolest teacher in Mr. Peterson. The guy played Hank in Saving Star Wars. Pretty cool for a high school teacher if you ask me. He’s got that been-there-done-that street cred. But now second period which is 9:30am-11am – still pretty early for Ms. Kate’s brain to be working, but I had an extra shot of espresso so I was ready to go. Still the most animated 2nd period got, was figuring out which movie was better The Prestige or The Illusionsist (they voted Prestige)
Fouth Perioid was much more animated. Slight derailment of topics included Sugar Daddy’s and Mescalin. Okay the Mescalin was my fault, I was at a loss on how to describe what it was like living in Savannah and no hands went up to say they saw Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil so I quoted the movie. In it John Cucask’s character describes Savannah to the magazine he works for “This place is fantastic. It’s like Gone With the Wind on Mescalin.”
You know part of me is glad they didn’t ask me what Gone With the Wind was.
Overall I left feeling invigorated that I got a chance to talk movies and hopefully help or inspire others, another part of me felt old. The movies I loved in high school (Clerks, Pulp Fiction, Reality Bites) these aren’t classics, they aren’t “really old” movies. They are just movies that ment something so special to me and seem to be skipping a generation. I wondered what the movies that are going to be special to this generation, so I asked.
In talking with Mr. Peterson’s classes the biggest impression I got was that Dark Knight made a strong impression on them. Which, to me is great because that movie is filled with great lines, a strong plot structure and mythology. Plus Christopher Nolan is an awesome director to know and study.
I can’t wait for another chance to talk movies to which whatever age it might be. I’m in talks to do some workshops at a book chain and also for more schools and non-profit organizations but I had an enlightening time at Carmel High School and I’m so glad they invited me into their class.