Two anecdotes to share from this morning:
1. We have finally found NPR, and this morning as Ross drove me to the MARC station we listened to a short news clip about tennis camps, super intense camp for kids in whom some nascent tennis talent has been noticed and who must, therefore, be not-too-gently nudged into greatness. Actually, the story was about a new camp started by some famous tennis person who has a different philosophy and doesn’t feel that 10-year olds should be told to focus on only one sport and leave their homes for long training periods. A different tennis camp person disagreed with him, arguing that for talented kids to succeed they have to be absolutely immersed in the tennis world.
2. Later this morning I got onto the Metro and found myself standing next to a gentleman and a kid (I couldn’t tell what their relationship was, but the older guy didn’t know if the kid had an X-Box or not, so they weren’t father and son… it seemed like a mentor-type relationship). My zoo camp senses tell me that the boy was about ten. Both were wearing crisp suits, and the kid was wearing extremely shiny black dress shoes. It was a little difficult to figure out what they were talking about (the kid was going to interview somebody), but here are some of the conversation’s buzzwords: “New Media.” “The market.” “Philanthropy. ”
Not to be crude, but both of these events (especially coming so close to each other) made me want to barf. Is this really what we want? I get that it’s a big, scary, competitive world out there. But if the world is really such that we have to return to a Victorian model of the-child-as-miniature-adult, don’t we have bigger problems than finding Junior a future job? If job training has to start at eight, isn’t that maybe a sign that there’s something wrong with the way we’re approaching life? I don’t know, friends… just a thought.