Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Is Cool...? Move Over, George Clooney

How many of you were cool when you were in high school? Come on now, 'fess up. Were you cool? The chances are you weren't even close -- even if you were George Clooney. High school is that period of our lives that most of us look back on with certain edits in the memory bank. We were full of uncertainties and anxieties, and everyone else looked cooler than we did. Am I right?

Last night I attended Phinnaeus's Christmas concert, and it was wonderful to see all the middle school children maturing into adults. Some of them still looked like children, a few of them already revealed glimpses of the adults they would become, others looked as if they still had a long journey ahead of them before they would find their personas. The girls are all lovely at that age, with their shiny hair and sweet faces -- even if they don't think they are.

The kids I knew in high school who were considered the "cool" kids -- the "in" crowd -- almost always grew into adults who were perhaps not so cool. Maybe they didn't have to try as hard to find out who they were, they were too busy being worshipped by the plebeians. After graduation, when everyone went their separate ways, the cool kids no longer had their adoring audience. The "geeky" kids went off to university, and discovered that being a math genius or a literary intellectual really was "where it's at". Ten years later, at the high school reunion, we realized that that fat balding guy over in the corner -- drinking a little too heavily -- was the fellow all the guys had once wanted to be and all the girls had wanted to date. It's almost a cliché.

So last night at Phinnaeus's concert, it was fun to look around at the kids, and try to predict which ones were going to be cool when they became adults. Usually it's the kids with the inner cool -- you know the ones -- they're so cool, they don't even know they're cool. And yes, a certain young man I know falls into that category. Move over, George Clooney.

20 comments:

Katy said...

The other day my daughter, who is going to middle school next year, told her aunt, "I'm not one of the popular kids at school, but I am one of the awesome ones."

I think that sums up how I felt about myself when I was in high school. I wasn't popular, but I was so into doing the things I loved and hanging out with my friends I didn't even know who the popular kids were.

I know we had them because I would hear people complain about them, but honestly, I never noticed.

The Bug said...

I wasn't cool & I knew it - but I only sort of cared. I mostly wanted to be left alone to read books.

Mary Ellen said...

I went to Catholic school...no one was cool. ;-)

greenpanda said...

I'm not cool!!!!!!


And I don't care!!!!!!

:D

Country Girl said...

I LOVE what Katy wrote. It's also rare to 'meet' someone who spells their name exactly as I do.

I was a dork in high school. And now that I work in a high school, I'm totally popular.

Go figure!!!

Cloudia said...

A wise post, Jo.



Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Irina said...

Unfortunately, you realize where the truth is only when you are an adult long ago. I wish I knew about my coolness when I was 13...

Russell said...

Well, um, I definitely was not a cool guy in high school! And, believe me, nothing much has changed over the years!

My friends and I were pretty much nondescript. We were not jocks, not druggies, not geeks, not outcasts, not anything in particular. We just were.

I confess I played some pranks on kids and they did the same to me at times. Actually, high school was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it a lot.

But, then again, I only had 37 people in my entire class so we were more like brothers and sisters.

Marcos Vinicius Gomes said...

Dear Jo

I think correct is 'What of you thought about your life in distant future ?'What of his friends could knew that Clooney would be a star movies?
Surely charming Clooney is a good reference of how can we be sorry for our impulsive teenage opinions. All of us had stereotyped viewpoints, including own stereotypized guys.But , Hollywood Star are the best pattern of true success? Some times I think that artists some times lie about suffered teen years on school...

Marguerite said...

I loved high school and thought it was an absolute blast! We were finally old enough to drive and get away from our parents more. Never really thought about who was cool and who was not. My high school boyfriend drove a Scout. (now that was cool!)

ρομπερτ said...

Dear Jo, that is a wonderful entry of yours.
For me, well, I haven't been cool at all. Had much trouble at 9th grade,mostly due to not wearing the cool clothes and not having the cool moped, did park it even five minutes from school to avoid comments.
Now, years after am grateful for that, as it taught me much. Hope that it will be an easier job for me son when he grows up.
A wonderful Friday for you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Everyone in my high school was very cool. There was a marvelously inclusive spirit: jocks, drama club, photography club, 9 O'Clock Club (singing and dancing,) newspaper and yearbook staff, science club, cheerleaders, even the hoods - incredibly, we all got along. Everyone was known and liked.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

At my school, there were perhaps a handful of kids who wanted to go down the "cool" way but they were almost universally ignored by the rest of the kids so it didn't really work very well for them.

Firefly said...

Hi Jo
Sorry, but its been a hectic few days so I haven't been around to visit blogs as much as I usually do. Also I'm going to be away on holiday for the next 2 weeks, so I want to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I have done forward posts on both my blogs but wouldn't be able to comment for obvious reasons.

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

How astute of you. I have always found this to be true. Looking back on my school days and the people I attended with it is easy to support your theory. There were exceptions where the 'cool' kids actually evolved into 'cool', successful adults. These were usually the ones who were scholastic achievers as well as athletic stars. The 'jocks' and the 'cheerleaders' who had to be helped through their classes so that they might participate in their extra-curricular activities all seem to have fallen by the wayside. Sad, isn't it? Perhaps our society should place less stock in the games one is good at? Perhaps we should pay extreme salaries to those persons who are seeking to cure cancer or stop world hunger and less to those who can dunk a basketball or catch a football and run? Just a thought.

Tom Bailey said...

I was introduced to George Clooney he is a very humble and genuinely nice guy from my short interaction a friend of mine had lived with him before he was famous and always has had nice things to say about him.

Carol E. said...

Is that really a picture of George Clooney? Wow. Diamond in the rough! I was dorky and it took a long time to grow to like myself. Now I wouldn't want to be anyone else.

Mia said...

I went to a girls-only high school. Picture hundreds of teenaged girls studying, eating, sleeping, fighting, laughing, showering together. Don't picture that last part. We all thought we were cool. Mal lekker.

Paula Slade said...

Wow Jo, you certainly hit the nail on the head regrading "cool" versus "geek" - it kind of like the old tale of The Ugly Duckling! :)

Dudette said...

This is a great post. I am a counselor in a high school and this is my first year back in high school after about 10 years. I was the geek that people made fun of and things really haven't changed, except that kids haven't become meaner and more cleaver about how they torture the "uncool" kids. And sadly, working in a high school sometimes brings that out in the adults too. There are cliques everywhere. I wish they could all understand and see that the kids they are trying to impress now, won't matter in 5 or 10 years. And one thing that I keep trying to tell myself...What other people think of you is none of your business.

Great post and the pick of George Clooney helped get it across!