Junior High

While setting my alarm the other night, "How Deep is your Love" by the Bee Gees came through the speakers of my clock radio. I instantly went back to seventh grade and let out a deep sigh.

Seventh grade.


My day consisted of school, and sitting at the park sipping Icees and spitting out sunflower seed shells from the pile nestled in my cheek. Our homework load was minimal but our conversations were detailed, real, tangible, and centered on friends, and boys we thought were cute.

We wrote our friends letters which were folded in triangular, origami shapes, and signed each one with TTFN and BFF written in ball point pen. The letters were shoved into the ventilation slats on the locker doors and were a welcome surprise to the receiver. I loved getting letters.

If we needed a question answered, or had to decide on a place to meet, the landline telephone was our available source of communication. We sat on the phone for hours and talked incessantly.

Our teenagers have phones they rarely use for talking. Communication with friends is done via text messaging, and Facebook comments. They sometimes e-mail, they never write letters, and telephone conversations are on the go and only as a last resort when the text message appears too lengthy.

I hope that my children don't forget how to communicate with friends through verbal conversation. I hope they remember how to ask questions, and engage others in conversation. I hope they don't overlook the written word - using a pen.

That would be a travesty.