Monday, June 27, 2011

Real-Life Problems and How to Solve Them: Grad

Recently my daughter, J, has taken to writing an advice column—she calls it Real-life Problems and How to Solve Them—modelled on those she has seen in kids' magazines. She writes both questions and answers, and one particular question—specifically, the answer she composed—caught my eye. It has to do with the numerous, over-the-top events and celebrations taking place this week for her class's grade six graduation. Although J is looking forward to these events, her twin sister, E—who is the kind of introvert that schools routinely overlook and can easily crush—is not. J's advice is clearly directed towards her sister. It is not bad advice.

Q: Everyone at my school is looking forward to the graduation festivities but me. They're always talking about the dresses and shoes they are planning to wear, but I don't even want to go. I know my friends will think I'm crazy, but I really want to just stay at home and read a book. — Ella, age 11

A: Dear Ella — You know if you really want to go or not. And the decision about going is all up to you. Don't let anyone influence you while making your decision because if you end up going and having a bad time, you won't have a very good memory of your grade six graduation. Tell your friends to take pictures and describe the time they had so you don't feel completely left out, but don't worry if they start talking about how cool it was in front of you. The great time they had might have been the worst time you had. But whatever you do, let your memory of your last days of grade six be a good one. Good luck.

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