On the Monday night of Memorial Day weekend, I finally saw the Lady Gaga music video for "Telephone". The ridiculous ten minute epic was both sleezy and wildly entertaining, but that is not the point of this post. When Eric and I finally made it home through the Jersey Shore traffic and began to wade through our collection of weekend papers, I saw that the New York Times Magazine had published a short piece about online music videos and, specifically, "Telephone". This means that I only watched Lady Gaga gyrate in a womens prison and poison an entire diner three hours before reading about it in the Times Magazine. Because, clearly, a defining line of youth is knowing about something before the paper copy of the Times tells you about it, I beat out full-fledged maturity by only three hours!
It was with this harrowing brush with age that I returned to my job of supervising, mentoring, and training twenty college students. Although my fellow winter staff members and trainers are mostly as old or older than me (and Shamar's a dad!), the summer students never miss an opportunity to define our old age.
KPd.: Yeah, this cellphone is pretty much indestructible. I have had it since 2005.
Student: Wow! You have had that phone since I was in middle school!
Apparently, having been born in 1982, I am in the same generation, the Millenials, as anyone born up until 2002, but I am already mystified that I could be working with people who were not alive in the 80s, let alone share a generation with today's 8 year olds. To make it more confusing, my boyfriend is apparently part of Gen X along with several of my aunts and uncles (and almost my parents!). Who comes up with this stuff?
As the trainer ambassador to our summer staff of Millenials, I am often struck by just how much older 27 is than 18. As June rightly pointed out though, we all look about the same age to her. So, I decided to embrace my role as mentor and supervisor, and over the past three weeks played a major role in developing our staff of now forty with the goals of both stopping the PurGen coal plant proposal and providing our student staff with a summer of experiences and learning that they will carry with them into whatever career field they choose. I watched the viral internet videos they recommended. I checked out the bands they thought I would like. I fully embraced Lady Gaga. They, in turn, grudgingly let me leave U2 on the radio sometimes. I thought we had an age truce. Then:
Student1: Hey Kerry! When did you graduate from Bloomfield High? You might know someone I know.
Student2: Whoa! That was TEN YEARS ago!
Student1: I didn't know you were old!
Student3: Whoa whoa whoa! Kerry's not old!
(See? I thought to myself. I'm not old!)
Student3: No way. She's not old at all. I think she can be *honorary* young.
And with that, I am officially "honorary" youth. I think I will go pick up my copy of the Times from off the stoop.