Windows & Mirrors

In the summer of 1983, I was seven years old. My brother was 17. He had the role of Uncle Henry in Trollwood Performing Arts School (TPAS)’s production of The Wizard of Oz. I have few memories of that summer, but from what I’ve been told, I laid some bricks in the upper right corner of the letter “Z” in the yellow brick road shaped to spell “Oz.” Six years later, in 1989, I attended TPAS on my own as a legitimate student. That was the summer after my seventh grade in Moorhead (MN) Public Schools. Trollwood was a program of Fargo (ND) Public Schools, so I was among a lot of new kids in June and July. And I was among students from Russia and China, as well. Trollwood started a new program that summer: IMAGINE. I played cello in the orchestra pit for that summer’s production of The Sound of Music. I sat next to a Russian playing the balalaika. The next summer, I split my time between the orchestra and the lighting crew for Peter Pan. In the following years, I was on the lighting crew for Music Man, Oklahoma!, Anything Goes, and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I watched actors perform year after year, but participated in “Songs from the Catwalk” with my fellow lighting techies.

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References for the Riviera Theory of Youth Development

Abend, G. (2008). The meaning of ‘theory’. Sociological Theory, 26, 173–199. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9558.2008.00324.x

Amichai-Hamburger, Yair (2013). Youth internet and wellbeing. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(1), 1-2. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.05.023

Arnett, J.J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469-480. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469

Keep reading ►References for the Riviera Theory of Youth Development

Bullying After the Election

This election has strained many relationships. I ended up changing my phone numbers (I’m keeping them very private now), and blocked my father on Facebook. He was the only family member I had connected to.

“Do you know why I’m in a Master of Education degree program in the School of Social Work in Youth Development Leadership? Do you know why I’ve been reading, researching, learning, and TALKING about suicide for the past two years (I started in January 2015)?

“Because I don’t want younger kids to end up like me.”

That’s what I told my parents in a very angry reply to my father’s political… bullshit.

Keep reading ►Bullying After the Election