Can’t we just crawl back behind the magic curtain?


By: Heather Hale

Toddler Reading the PaperThis past weekend for me was focused on working with and around children. The idea for this blog came from a combination of those events the past two days and from constantly being in the journalistic mode lately. I was looking up lesson plans for a volunteer reading program for kids that I am doing and found some plans that introduce kids to news as well as improve their reading skills.  As I was looking through some of the news sites that are geared towards the younger generations I remembered the “magic curtain” that I had once too had around me that kept all of the negativity in the world away. The news that I was finding was about exotic animals, how to deal with bullies, and mini bios on the Presidents, but it was rare that I found a story about the war in Iraq or the homicide that occurred downtown last night.

While there are exceptions, most children do not have to carry the worries of the world on their conscious, it is only when they start becoming exposed to some of the atrocities that happen in this world do they start to feel the burden, many times feelings of helplessness. It could be that the development of an adolescent’s brain is not mature enough to understand the extent of how far reaching events are, and just react accordingly to how the adults around them are reacting.  As humbling as it is now to admit, I did not at all realize how terrible September 11, 2001 was until I was taken out of school early by my mother and saw her reaction to everything. I had that curtain around me and unless the news was happening within a mile radius of me, I really had no reason to worry about it. Some may call that ignorance, but at thirteen years old it was a headache enough to decide what to wear to school on any given day. I was exposed to the news every night afkids2ter dinner with my family when we watched the events of the day with Tom Brokaw so it wasn’t exactly an issue of being sheltered, but possibly an issue of fantasy. Fantasy that the bad things happening were so far away from me that they would never directly affect my life,  fantasy that the world is not all connected, fantasy that has now become so far removed from my current life. Parents act as a shield absorbing all of their childrens’ worries and fears.

Let me conclude with a quote from my last event of this weekend volunteering at the “kidzone” at the Homecoming football game, which was in essence a giant bouncy house with a slide. While bouncing in the house a young girl said to her friend “lets just stay in here forever”, and if only they could just stay in there forever and never have to live without the protection of that magic curtain.


One response to “Can’t we just crawl back behind the magic curtain?

  1. Content: 4 Searching for innocence and shelter from problems is on your mind this semester. This post mirrors your first Disneyland post.

    The point of journalism is to inform the public. We want an informed public — imagine the consequences of not having one. That is the goal of dictatorships and repressive regimes.

    I think I’d get bored living in a bouncy house forever.

    In this post, you could pull journalism in more — talk about the role of the journalist — the sorts of stories they cover and why. More and more readers choose what stories they are interested in — so you can live with as much or as little information as you want. Is this good or dangerous? Lots to ponder.

    Links: 2 These are both great links, but the way you link to them is weak. Tell me a little about what to expect in the link. Tell me about kids trying to be journalists and curious about the profession, then link to a “student’s interview with Tom Brokow” (this would be good link text, for instance).
    The Time link is interesting, but would be better if you would link to a specific article on your topic.
    Grammar: 3 I’m giving you full points here, but your writing is still full of padding. Try to make each word matter. Think about why you are using each word before you put it on paper (or edit yourself after, if you find it too hard to think as you write)

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