Friday, October 19, 2012

Inside the Teenage Brain

In October 2011's National Geographic magazine, there is a great article all about teenagers and why they act the way they do--something that is usually a mystery to us all! In class we were looking at Nat Geo as an example of well-written nonfictional texts. I only had one copy of this particular issue, but many students expressed interest in reading the article.

Here is the article online from National Geographic's website. There are photos and videos along with it. It really is a fascinating article! Here is the beginning...

Beautiful Brains
Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? Viewed through the eyes of evolution, their most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults.


By David Dobbs
Photograph by Kitra Cahana

Although you know your teenager takes some chances, it can be a shock to hear about them.
One fine May morning not long ago my oldest son, 17 at the time, phoned to tell me that he had just spent a couple hours at the state police barracks. Apparently he had been driving "a little fast." What, I asked, was "a little fast"? Turns out this product of my genes and loving care, the boy-man I had swaddled, coddled, cooed at, and then pushed and pulled to the brink of manhood, had been flying down the highway at 113 miles an hour.

"That's more than a little fast," I said.

He agreed. In fact, he sounded somber and contrite. He did not object when I told him he'd have to pay the fines and probably for a lawyer. He did not argue when I pointed out that if anything happens at that speed—a dog in the road, a blown tire, a sneeze—he dies. He was in fact almost irritatingly reasonable. He even proffered that the cop did the right thing in stopping him, for, as he put it, "We can't all go around doing 113."

He did, however, object to one thing. He didn't like it that one of the several citations he received was for reckless driving.

"Well," I huffed, sensing an opportunity to finally yell at him, "what would you call it?"

"It's just not accurate," he said calmly. " 'Reckless' sounds like you're not paying attention. But I was. I made a deliberate point of doing this on an empty stretch of dry interstate, in broad daylight, with good sight lines and no traffic. I mean, I wasn't just gunning the thing. I was driving.

"I guess that's what I want you to know. If it makes you feel any better, I was really focused."

Click here to read the rest...

No comments:

Post a Comment