Teri Vance: Generational divide just a stone’s throw
I went into Rocking and Rolling this week, looking for a gift for Kristie Marano, who has spent the summer working at the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority. She was home briefly after graduating from the University of Mississippi before she leaves Monday to attend graduate school in Amsterdam.
It has been a fun summer, if less productive, as we’ve spent hours talking about life, love, religion, women’s issues and any other topic that wafted through the room.
As would be expected, she’s nervous along with her excitement about starting a new adventure. I went into the gift shop to ask owner Jeanette Champagne what she would recommend as a gift.
As fate would have it, Kristie had already been into the store, and Jeanette remembered her. Jeanette said after Kristie left, she had a lingering feeling she should have recommended Kristie buy turquoise as a way to bring a piece of home with her and for its balancing energies.
How perfect is that? I have long loved turquoise and now I love Kristie, too.
Here’s where the story gets even better. I came into work Friday with the little ring wrapped up as a farewell gift, and what do I see on my desk?
Kristie had given me a carnelian stone and a rhondonite, both recommended by Jeanette to bolster me in different areas of my life.
According to Champagne, when you give turquoise as a gift, it brings wealth and happiness to the receiver. So as Kristie embarks on her new journey, I’m hoping she receives all the happiness that piece of turquoise can bring her.
Also, go check out Rocking and Rolling. It’s a cool spot to find the exact gift you’re looking for.
On a somewhat related note, I’ve been considering generational stereotypes a lot lately. As I said earlier, Kristie and I became friends relatively quickly. She’s 22. A Millennial. You know, the generation that’s lazy and self-absorbed? No ambition.
But it just isn’t true.
Also, I just finished my first week back teaching my public speaking class for Western Nevada College’s Jump Start program. I teach the college course to juniors at Dayton High School.
They gave their introductory speeches on Wednesday, and I wish you all could have sat in on them.
They were honest and vulnerable and raw.
One boy described a panic attack he had last year. Not knowing what was happening, he was confronted with the question, Am I ready to die? He realized he hadn’t been living the life he wanted, so he’s made changes and he wants to continue to change. He wants to be kinder, more open to people who are different.
This isn’t the stereotypical 16-year-old you hear about.
Another girl told of how she’s seen her confidence fade over the years. She said she was outgoing and self-assured as a child, but then, “the world can be cruel.”
Those words have stuck with me. When she talks about the “world,” she means us. You and me. We can be cruel. And we can hurt people. That’s a lot of responsibility as adults to build up the youth rather than tear them down. That’s how we make the world better.
As I was contemplating all of this, I passed a man with gray hair skateboarding down King Street.
And it gave me hope. All of these generational distinctions are merely a social construct. We’re all here to be kind, build each other up and, when we want — and for as long as we want — to skate down the street.
Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.