by Lindsay Joy · February 2, 2014
Farm Theater’s College Collaboration is in full effect as of this week. Had amazing video conferences with students from both Centre College and Ashland University. I had sent a few questions to the students ahead of time to get those creative juices flowing.
1. How do you first hear about major life changes for your friends (marriage, death, accolades)?
2. Does it differ with close friends and family?
3. The suicide rate has increased dramatically over the past decade- why do you think that is?
4. The most dramatic spike in suicide numbers is in college and high school students- has something changed over the past decade that would account for the spike?
5. If you could give your high school one bit of advice- what would it be?
I’m super interested in how social media is changing the way we hear about important life events and it turns out our students are just as keen to tackle the idea.
We spent a good chunk of time talking about social media and our new way of dealing with grief. Personal grief versus a kind of FB grief was our jump off point. These students were on fire. We talked about the need to be the first to repost- a kind of efficiency over accuracy. A new self worth seems to be wrapped up in how many “likes” you get...love and validation through the click of a button.
My favorite part of both conferences revolved around the advice they would give their high school selves. There was a common through line with everybody: It gets better. Meaning- the golden years are not your high school years. I know high school sucked major weenies for me, but I feel like the pressures and problems have shifted pretty dramatically over the past few years. When a kid wanted to insult me back in the day- they had to do it to my face. They had to see my hurt and my reaction. Kids can now hide behind a screen and say whatever the hell they want to.
When I was talking to Ashland- I mentioned that characters keeping secrets was my bread and butter as a writer. And the students were quick to remind me that keeping secrets gets harder and harder the more publicly we live.
I’m already starting to form some distinct characters in my head...I’m sure students will be able to see snippets and know my exact inspiration. I’m pumped to talk to Clark University this coming week. Stay tuned.