© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert
I have not read the book; thus, any recommendation would be based on very little knowledge. Nevertheless, upon seeing the title and a short review of the text, the book, Boy Writers, Reclaiming Their Voices, I was reminded of an important topic; boys have been denied their right to be heard. As men, they do not speak freely. As I looked at the title, I pondered what I think is a serious problem. I was intrigued by the prospect of promoting a method of teaching that honors and motivates boys to speak, to share their voice in the writing.
Yesterday, I spoke with an acquaintance. She seems to be happy in her current relationship; she says she is. I remember when her beau was a source of great stress. Jess was involved in his work and Lisa wanted him to be concerned with her. She tried and tried to change what was. Lisa turned to other men; Jess was upset. Still, transformation was slow in coming. The relationship came and went, repeatedly. Now the two are one, or are they?
Perhaps what we have had in the last six years was a standoff. The cowboy confronted the peace officer. The lawman refused to blink; however, the cowboy took the bull by the horns and ran off with the international interests.
The peace officer is a practical man. He acknowledges that we must work as one; we are all part of a broader community. This legal wrangler is a quiet, serious, sober, and loving man.
The "Western wonder" rides by the seat of his pants.
The public servant is posed; he tells no lies. On occasion, he may miss a step. He may not be fully aware of his son's doings; after all, he is human. This serene official wants to believe the best of everyone. He is willing to be wrong and apologize.
On the other hand, the cow handler is a cocky dude. He is folksy. He prefers simple pleasures, plain talking, and he ponders little. Deep reflection is not his strong point. He knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. When this fellow says, Osama Bin Laden is our enemy; he is as Hitler, you can be sure this is his contention. The cowboy will do everything in his power to convince you that he is correct; he is "right!" When this riding-high-in-the-saddle scoundrel slings his mud, when he states Saddam Hussein is among those on the "axis of evil" you better believe he means it.
President Clinton convened such a forum in 1999. Educators, policy-makers, law enforcement officials, and adolescent-development specialists came to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study on May 21, 2002. Each group was equally intent on investigating the causes and effects of Lethal School Violence. In the symposiums, experts sought solutions. Everyone wanted [and wants] to protect our progeny.
As his article expanded, I discovered that he was discussing a recently released study, “Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades.” This report revealed people in America no longer have the close ties they once did. A quarter of the population has no one they confide in. Most persons are fortunate to have one close friend, perhaps two. Intimacies within families are not what they once were, or at least they are not as they were once believed to be. People in America feel alone and isolated. Interesting; now, I am among the “norm” and yet, simultaneously, still far from it.