A highschool librarian in the US writes about his increasingly more difficult role in the intellectual lives of his students.
I recently spoke with a junior who was stressed about her decreasing ability to focus on anything for longer than two minutes or so. I tried to inspire her by talking about the importance of reading as a way to train the brain. I told her that a good reader develops the same powers of concentration that an athlete or a Buddhist would employ in sport or meditation. “A lot out there is conspiring to distract you,” I said.
She rolled her eyes. “That’s your opinion about books. It doesn’t make it true.” To her, the idea that reading might benefit the mind was, well, lame.
Ah, the intersection of apathy and ignorance. The main drag in the neighbourhood of the teenage superiority complex. She’ll make a fine eLever-puller or iGauge-monitorer in the cyberfactory workplaces of the future.