The End of the Alphabet

I kicked open the door to the north end of Polk, my shades in one hand and Starbucks in the other. I watched a kid pump some change into the vending machine, slap the button and retrieve his… juice.

A couple weeks ago, I called in a rant to the A-T about the undergrads lining up 4 or 5 deep between classes to order their fruit smoothies, preventing my pickup of a simple cup of goddamn coffee.

Last week, a student came into my office and said, “Oh, you graduated in 97? How old does that make you, then?” And earlier in the week, a parent said to me on the phone, “Well, I mean– you prob’ly have kids. Do you have kids?”

I dunno what we’ve got going on here, but me being on the tail end of the famous ‘Generation X,’ I can see the division between me and these students more clearly all the time.

Michelle can tell you — it’s made me doubt my ‘hip-ness’ at times, and wonder aloud if I am perceived as ‘some old guy,’ a vested member of That Group Against Which All Young People Stand.

There’s definitely a different culture coming into play, and while I haven’t sythesized or made sense of the advent of this transition, it is interesting to be on its front lines. The earliest members of Gen X now have kids going to college, and I think it’s just a little surreal when you start to feel a group with this whole other world view starting to nip at your heels.

I mean what the hell’s with all this juice? Doesn’t anyone pump unhealthy chemicals into their bodies anymore? And if you tell me about young people being more health-conscious, well then I ask you: what happened to that good ol’ 90’s cynicism? What happened to Pulp Fiction, Seinfeld, and Kurt Cobain?


Anyway, my coffee’s empty, and my battery’s low. I think I’ll go out for a smoke.

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