22 Questions Adults Have for Latin Teens

  What’s the most popular current fad?   This is a tough call. When I think of a fad, I think of Uggs or scrunchies or those two weeks in sixth grade when Silly Bandz were cool. I think that fads manifest themselves in high school less in terms of material objects and more in terms of slang. This year, phrases like “flame,” “the move,” and “on point” have definitely been popular at Latin. Ask any student for the meanings of these terms, but interpretations may vary.   What’s considered a new fashion trend?   Though printed pants had their moment earlier this fall, a new trend that is still pretty popular is the combination of running shoes with leggings or workout pants, à la the “I just got out of barre class” look. Latin students will sacrifice function for fashion in this case, really, as the shoes are supposed to be minimalistic and casual in favor of providing arch support and shock absorption, the typical highlights of any serious gym shoe.   What ‘90s fad do you wish was still around?   Honestly, I was born in 1997, so discussing ‘90s fads with the “I was there and I miss them” mentality is a bit of a stretch. That being said, frosted tips!!! (No. Not frosted tips. Never frosted tips. Moving on.)   What “retro” things are cool now?   Nothing jumps to mind here, but if any lucky teachers happen to run into Latin students on the festival circuit, they’d definitely notice the ‘90s trifecta of fanny packs, high-waisted shorts, and crop tops everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean on everyone. As if it’s a cult dress code. But a really free-spirited, music-loving cult! (To reiterate: Latin students are not cult members, as far as I know, and Latin is not home to any cults, unless you count the Business Club.)   What is something [adults] think is cool that is definitely NOT cool?     I think that adults think that being on Facebook is cool. To Latin students, having a Facebook account isn’t cool, per se, but necessary. We create and manage groups to keep our various clubs and sports organized; we check Roman Gov for any school-related updates (or to see if Sam Cohen will make a guest appearance, please); we communicate with classmates to discuss assignments and whatnot. I have no idea how the small (but mighty) population of Facebook-less Latin students is able to survive. For adults (in my own personal experience of living with a fifty-two year old woman who has just discovered the Internet), it seems as if being active on Facebook is ‘cool,’ and ‘hip,’ in that you can now stalk your college ex-girlfriend to see if she ended up with that numbskull, Jerry From Psych 101. She and Jerry From Psych 101 are now expecting triplets, and you’re going to have to deal with that.   Do you pass notes or is it all digital now?   I don’t remember the last time I saw anyone pass a note. Unfortunately, this rules out the possibility of the teacher catching the passer in the act and then making them read the note out loud, which would be hilarious. Such events could only have existed in the pre-digital age, which makes it a lot more difficult for teachers to humiliate us.   How do you actually function in school with all your technological devices? Aren’t you SO DISTRACTED ALL THE TIME?   Whoa, calm down, BuzzFeed adult! First of all, I feel like adults perceive teenagers to have a wide variety of devices on them at all times, switching from phone to computer to tablet to smart watch to Bluetooth ear piece to pedometer (????) and more. In reality, at least for me, “all your technological devices” refers to two things: my phone and my laptop. So let’s break this down. My laptop is closed unless I’m using it for school purposes; it’s not like I’ll be in the middle of calculus and suddenly my laptop will ring with a notification that I have seventeen emails from Starbucks for half-off frappucinos on alternate Fridays. (Take the hint, Starbucks.) I will concede, however, when it comes to my phone; I always have it on me and am aware of any notification of any importance, be it an amber alert or news that my former third grade art teacher is now on Instagram and would like to follow me. So yes, the phone situation can be somewhat distracting, but if you keep it at a distance and check it every so often, it’s not really an issue.   What TV shows do you watch? Do you even watch TV?   You picked the wrong person to be a TV snob to, BuzzFeed adult. To the chagrin of my parents and the delight of fellow television enthusiast Ms. Gallagher, I watch an unbelievable amount of television. It’s my ambrosia. What I will say is that most teens these days tend to watch TV more on their computers versus actual television sets. (Come Wednesdays at 8/7c, however, I’m glued to my television, ready for Jeff Probst to narrate another thrilling episode of Survivor). Other shows that I personally watch include The Amazing Race, Bob’s Burgers, The Mindy Project (gotta support the Latin alums!), Saturday Night Live, House of Cards, Broadchurch, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Talk to a variety of other students and you’ll hear shows like Scandal, Empire, and Game of Thrones come up as well.   What do you think of MTV?   I have heard many a tale of a channel that once played music videos round the clock, aptly titled Music Television, or MTV for short. Alas, the same cannot be said of today’s MTV, which now is more famous for introducing Snooki to the world and making New Jersey look like a hotbed of guidos. In short, MTV is a guilty pleasure network.   What do you think of Britney Spears?   I don’t mind her. Good for her for still being somewhat relevant after sixteen years in the spotlight! I think most teens are aware of her and tolerate her. She’s not that divisive. She’s a child star who turned into a pop sensation and is now doing other things, the nature of which I do not know and I do not care to find out.   What are your feelings on Facebook?   Scroll up, BuzzFeed adult.   What social media app do you use the most?   Though apps like Vine, Yik Yak, and PHHHOTO (the pronunciation of which is yet to be determined) have come and gone, the real stalwart in the app world has been Instagram. There is nary a day when my Instagram account goes unchecked, and I would venture to guess that the same can be said for many Latin students as well.   Who’s the most popular celebrity?   How about I ask seventeen-year-old you that question and you answer it?! Seriously, there are way too many celebrities who could vie for this title that it’s really hard to name just one. At the moment, I think the case could be made for Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian, if only based on how famous they are.   Which celebrities get made fun of the most?   The Justin Bieber roast was a great indicator of how much the Biebs has fell in terms of social status over the years. So I’ll just say Justin Bieber and invite you to look up any SNL skit involving Kate McKinnon’s hilarious Bieber impression.   Skipping questions 15-18 because I am definitely not the best person to talk to on these subjects. If you’re still dying to find out the answers, find a trusted teen and proceed with caution.   What music do you listen to? And where?   Okay, so I’m also not the best person with whom you’d discuss music, if for nothing else besides the fact that I am not hip to the musics of today, but I’ll try my best. I think a lot of teens use Spotify or Pandora or iTunes Radio to discover new music, and there’s such a wide variety of tastes that I can’t nail down a certain genre that is universally enjoyed. Sorry. Next.   How old do you think is old? How old do you think a youngish substitute teacher probably is?   Ahh! I don’t want to offend anyone. But really, we were all young once, and we’ll all be old some day, so we can’t get all angry about age. In my opinion, ‘old’ people are probably in their seventies or around there, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. A youngish sub… maybe twenty-six?   What, if anything, do you remember about September 11, 2001?   Earlier I mentioned that I was born in 1997. To elaborate, I was born on December 8th, 1997, so I’m really young for 1997. With this in mind, I was about three years and nine months when 9/11 happened, so I don’t have any memory of the events. I don’t think any current teenager would; a nineteen-year-old today would have been about six years old at the time, so I suppose a really vague recollection might be possible for them, but I think that would be really rare. My mom has told me that, on 9/11, the teachers at my preschool all worked to make sure we weren’t aware of the events, and I think this would have been pretty common at preschools and kindergartens across the country (given how young we were), so I doubt you’d be able to find a current teenager with any memories about 9/11.   What teen stereotype would you like to debunk? I think that a lot of adults are wary of teenagers and think that we’re uncultured, or rude, or lazy. Yes, there are some teens like this, but there are also some elderly people like this, with many people in between like this. (There’s even toddlers like this.) I have met some incredibly poised and intelligent people who are my age or younger, and I think that judging someone based on their age is completely ignorant. Ill-mannered people exist across all age categories, not just teens.]]>