Tiny Pineapple

ananas comosus (L.) minimus

This Is The True Joy In Life

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

— George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Man and Superman (Epistle Dedicatory), 1905

And Most of It Will Have Lost All Importance

“Even in peacetime I think those are very wrong who say that schoolboys should be encouraged to read the newspapers. Nearly all that a boy reads there in his teens will be known before he is twenty to have been false in emphasis and interpretation, if not in fact as well, and most of it will have lost all importance. Most of what he remembers he will therefore have to unlearn; and he will probably have acquired an incurable taste for vulgarity and sensationalism and the fatal habit of fluttering from paragraph to paragraph to learn how an actress has been divorced in California, a train derailed in France, and quadruplets born in New Zealand.”

— C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
Surprised by Joy, 1956

German Undergraduates With a Taste for Autobiography

“I think that this feigning, this ceaseless pretense of interest in matters to me supremely boring, was what wore me out more than anything else. If the reader will picture himself, unarmed, shut up for thirteen weeks on end, night and day, in a society of fanatical golfers — or, if he is a golfer himself, let him substitute fishermen, theosophists, bimetallists, Baconians, or German undergraduates with a taste for autobiography — who all carry revolvers and will probably shoot him if he ever seems to lose interest in their conversation, he will have an idea of my school life.”

— C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
Surprised by Joy, 1956

Your Responsibility As A Parent

“Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conquerer of disease or major motion picture star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the world ‘collectible’ as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success.”

— Fran Lebowitz
Social Studies, 1981

What On Earth Do We Have To Complain About?

The June 3, 2002, issue of Newsweek has a cover story entitled, “In Defense of Teen Girls” that discusses the current state of teen girls in light of two recent books, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls and Queen Bees and Wannabes.

This is an oversimplification on my part, I’m sure, but the books seem to portray most teen girls as mean-spirited and manipulative spoiled brats who “use backbiting, exclusion, rumors, name-calling, and manipulation to inflict physical pain on targeted victims.”

(Of course, that pretty much describes my life in Junior High School, too, although you’d have to add actual physical pain to the list since, as a boy, I didn’t have the luxury of non-violent nemeses.)

The Newsweek article tries to point out that there are a lot of teen girls who have avoided the pitfalls outlined in the books and who essentially have their heads screwed on straight. My favorite quote from one of these well-balanced “gamma girls” was:

“What on earth do we have to complain about? Everyone has at least one little thing, but compared to the rest of the world we are doing pretty dandy.”

— Jennifer Teschler, 15
El Cajon, California

If nothing else, Jennifer’s use of the word “dandy” gives me hope for her generation.