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What A Pathetic Society This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Have you ever

really thought about why people are given watches when they retire? Don't you retire to stop worrying about where you have to be and when you have to be there; what vou have to do and when it has to be done? I can understand the need for a kitchen clock during retirement, so you're sure not to miss the tea party, bridge game, golf tee time, the senior special discount, but you are retired, so who cares if you are there hours early. If you have no obligations, why act like you do? Those stupid baby boomers make no sense at all.

Giving watches at graduation makes perfect sense though. I think it's a symbolic thing those wise elders are trying to convey. Something like "You have graduated now so no more fun for you. Stay busy! Waste the enjoyable life while it's good for the using! Watch the time!" I would say do what you need to when you need to do it. And one thing the boomers never understood was that responsibilities aren't needs. Of course you have to conmplete some responsibilities, but don't enslave yourself to them ridiculously like that guy you might faintly recognize as Dad.

I was told today that the most important quality in business is punctuality. So be on time, and forget that bum, trying to get lunch while you had yours, who needed to talk. Your stupid job that you'll get laid off from tomorrow is more important than that man any day, so move along. Get to class, and don't mind the girl you just passed with trouble in her eyes. Never mind that broken soul about to take the final leap in the bathroom. Is it worse to have tardies to class or blood to clean off the bathroom floor?

"Tardies to class!" the old lunch lady screams to the kids who flee in terror as they jump into their 55-minute cage. And what does a soul matter anyway when there is important stuff to learn, like which dead white guy wrote Moby Dick or where Tunisia really is on a map.

I hate so much of what school is. But it wouldn't be school if it weren't society. It's funny, or maybe the right word is sick, how society blames all its problems on punk kids. I'm sure it's our fault you made us slaves to time, our fault you made us slaves to things. It's our fault that you won't give us time to care about the serial killer growing up or the suicide waiting until the too-late bell rings to materialize.

So now you have finished up your rat race, and I'm just beginning mine. You remind me: never be late. Yes, never be late for fear of failure, and forget about the failure that will forever be, handed down to you by The Almighty. Maybe someday that suicide, that serial killer, that lunchtime bum will be seen in hell and you could have prevented it, if you only had taken the time to tell them your news and care. But wait, I can't talk now, I'm going to be late. See you later. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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