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You're Bored?

You're Bored?

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Published by Nancy Williams
This is especially for all of us Baby Boomers.
This is especially for all of us Baby Boomers.

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Published by: Nancy Williams on Oct 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/04/2010

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You’re Bored?As a teacher, one phenomenon that tried my patience over the last few years, was students announcing, “I’m bored.” This was in our new art classroom, where students had every opportunity in the world to pursue unlimited, creative endeavors. Self-motivated students were throwing pots on the potter’s wheels, painting oncanvases, and making stained glass panels and boxes. Others were pursuing theirown creativity, with all kinds of incredible projects. Still, there were students who consistently thought it was in vogue to be bored.It seems like many young people today think they have some kind of entitlement, which guarantees them to be entertained by us. Thankfully, I don’t recallever saying to any of my teachers or my parents, “I’m bored.” We Baby Boomers were good at keeping ourselves busy. No one expect someone else to entertain us. One fun thing we did, to occupy our time, was make colorful chains, from folded “links” ofchewing gum wrappers. Sometimes we set up lemonade stands in our front yards.For me and my friends, being bored wasn’t even a consideration. Our childhood imagination was truly our salvation. When I was in grade school, I played “school” with the younger kids on our street. I, of course, was always the teacher, asI liked to boss people around even back then. I lined up chairs in a row, on our back porch, for my classroom. My “students” sat properly with paper, pencils and abook. I led them through rigorous assignments and activities. Sometimes this entertained us for the entire afternoon.My friends and I spent many afternoons after school playing “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.” We pretended to run around our hilly neighborhood, leading ourteam of sled dogs. We yelled, “On King, on you huskies. Mush, mush, you huskies,” mimicking our hero. To us, this was pretty important, serious stuff. It became more exciting and more real, whenever we were fortunate enough to play in the snow.We hiked up very steep streets, for about a mile’s distance, to play on agolf course, which was mostly idle in the wintertime. Once we were there, we magically became a herd of wild horses. We galloped all over the huge span of the course, kicking up our “hooves” and neighing loudly.Sometimes we pretended to ride horses all over the hill. We had a special place, along our neighbors’ fence, which was our hitching post. Each of us had adesignated place to tie up our horse. Frequently, we played “Cowboys and Indians,”mimicking what we saw on television. We often shot our metal cap guns, with thered paper rolls and little round caps. When we pulled the trigger, they made a loud, popping noise, and smoked after being shot.Roller skating was another popular sport in our neighborhood. We frequently got out the shoebox on the floor our coat closet, which held our collectionof metal skates. They were heavy, with crusty leather straps, which were usuallythe first things to go. Since the skates were adjustable, we could change the length with our skate key, to fit our friends and visitors. I can still hear theclang, clang, clomp, clomp sound of the metal wheels, hitting the pavement. If the skates weren’t put on real tightly, they almost always came off.As if we didn’t know better, every kid on the West Side hill had a bicycle. We rode them on the streets which ran across the hill, and walked them up thesteeper streets, running up and down the hill. I still have a scar on my arm, asa reminder of a bad crash I had. I was foolishly trying to ride down the extremely steep street next to ours, when I lost control and slammed into a tree. Onceyour bike gets going too fast on any downslope, it’s very easy to lose control.One of our favorite activities, to counter boredom, was to work on our “forts.” We had a small one behind our neighbors’ garage, but the real significant one,was at the top of our street. It was on a hilly, vacant lot, covered with brushand briars. We worked on clearing brush and making improvements to our fort forhours upon hours, practically every day. Sometimes we had lunch or snacks in the fort, to give us a break from our hard labor. Every time I drive by the house,which sits up on that tall hillside where our fort once was, I remember those a

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