Failed Attempts to Interpret The Teen Mind

Shannon Moss ’11
Staff Writer

The phrase, “say what you mean and mean what you say,” may be ideal for most situations, but when I talk to my parents, it just doesn’t happen.

Take, for instance, an average night at the Moss household. When my dad calls to tell my brother (Grant) and I dinner is ready, bets start on how long until food is actually finished.

Generally, it’s 15 minutes, so we shout back we’re coming, then wait, continue our activities and anticipate the second, more irritated call for dinner.

I yell back that I’m coming, though this is clearly not the case. It’s just to annoy you, Dad, I think.

I wait two minutes then make my way to the kitchen; food should be done by now.

I brace myself for the same routine, the same conversation I endure every night. We sit down, eat in silence for a few peaceful minutes, then pointless small talk begins.

“So how was school for you today, Shan?”

It was horrible, I tell myself. I failed a pop-quiz in A.P. World, I have two essays due tomorrow, and hours of homework.

Instead, I respond with a generic “good” and he is satisfied; my parents lost the battle to decode what I’m really thinking long ago. Still, they ask the same questions each night.

“Well, did you learn anything?” Dad says

It’s school, Dad. Self-explanitory?

But of course I don’t say this either. I disappoint my parents by saying I didn’t learn anything in school that day, that I don’t learn anything in school any day.

My parents then ask the same questions of my brother, who gives the same responses. Whoever said there’s never a dumb question forgot the tiresome ones parents always seem to ask. The night progresses and so does the badgering.

“Any homework?”

Well, I only have three projects, two essays, seven worksheets, and 60 research paper notecards to do.

Nope, I finished my homework at school.

“Are you going to bed soon?”

Absolutely not. I have three hours of homework and an hour sitting in bed thinking about starting  that homework before I actually do so. Yeah, I’m getting into bed right now.

To get into the mind of a teenage kid is like trying to decode hieroglyphics; if you’re not qualified (i.e. another teenager) it’s just another foreign language.