sweet sixteen

I have officially entered adulthood. On the one hand, the summer before my senior year in high school doesn't seem like it happened all that long ago (eleven years to be exact, in case you were wondering). I worked at my first "real" job that summer and, shortly after the school year began, travelled back to the States for my big brother's wedding. I wore a fancy dress and developed a mild crush on my future sister-in-law's brother who taught me how to salsa dance. That seems fairly grown-up, typical sixteen/seventeen-ish young woman stuff ("not a girl, not yet a woman"). And yet, I'm having a hard time remembering that around the teenagers that make up this year's summer studio program. Having previously worked with either really little kids or undergrads, this in-between age is proving to be a challenge. Don't get me wrong - most of the students are pretty great, motivated, dedicated, all that good stuff, and, most importantly, having fun. But I think a lot of the kids have a definite too-old-for-summer-camp/"this blows" attitude. And you can't exactly treat them like a gaggle of six-year-olds, reminding them to look both ways before they cross the street to install their public art projects on the riverbank next to the school building. I guess I was expecting a little more enthusiasm, but maybe I watch a little too much reality t.v. One too many generations of go-getter contestants only slightly older than these kids on shows like American Idol, America's Next Top Model, and So You Think You Can Dance have given me the impression that young adults who specialize early (i.e. attending a college prep summer studio program) are driven and, well, willing to do just about anything to "win." Maybe we should start some sort of elimination by vote procedure with a panel of judges. And televise it all.

Hmmm....Anyway, speaking of reality television, I've had little time for much else, putting in a good fifty or so hours this week between my two jobs. I get home in the evening and collapse in front of the t.v. for a couple of hours before I can keep my eyes open no longer and slither into bed at the wee hour of 10 p.m. SYTYCD gave me a real shocker this week when they sent Musa home. Granted, Natalie and Musa were not one of the couples I voted for the previous night. In fact, the three couples I voted for - Heidi & Ryan, Allison & Ivan, and Donyelle & Benji - were in the top three this week. And I think Ashleigh was the right gal to get the boot. But between the three guys, Dmitry should've been the one to go. He is not "special," no matter what the judges say. He's the "one-trick pony" (as Mary Murphy initially described Ivan, who she later compared to Seabiscuit in keeping with the horse metaphors) and he shaves his armpits. How is that sexy? I was pissed and might have almost cried. We'll see what happens next week when the producers shake up the couples a bit and we start voting for individual dancers.

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