The conversations were all a little different in each class, but all settled on some similar themes. Students saw the themes clearly in the poem (make the most of the time you have) and were able to see just how quickly their final days in high school will vanish into the past. Additionally, we talked about the notion that nothing in life is really static and everything is constantly changing. The clubs, fads, fashions, and values of today will quickly seem dated, then cute, then funny, then nostalgic, and finally ancient as the years pass after graduation. I then reminded students that, despite the fact graduation is still 99 school days away, very soon future generations will come to the library...and look at pictures of them.
One question stood out to me from the discussion however; students seemed convinced people back in the 1950s and 1960s were "happier" and "really liked school" compared to the modern set-up. Many seemed to think they had more freedom, and some even felt sad they had to grow up in the 2010s rather than fifty years ago. While I wasn't around back then either...I'm curious if the students from the past would agree. Was the past a "golden age", or was it just more of the same? Did the students of the 1950s long for the glory days of 1900, or were they truly better off than their decedents today? I suppose the only way to find out is to ask...but even perspectives change over time. I suppose we'll have to wait to see how the class of 2046 reacts when they look through these books a generation from now.