Thursday, February 11, 2010

What A Difference A Year Makes!

Saturn, the time-keeping planet, is spending quality retrograde time in Libra, the planet of harmony and balance. This planet has a lot to do with maturity and lessons learned and in a social sign like Libra, one might see some growth with regard to relationships.

This is a perfect time to discuss the impact of time on the individual. I recently began a new job working with students at a high school level and I am constantly amazed by the differences between the students with regard to year. The freshman are much more immature than the sophomores who are less mature than the juniors who are, in turn (you guessed it, less mature than the seniors. Some people look at these groups and say, "Yes, well, it's the age." Well, naturally, it's the age, but to see how these things develop in packs, one must take a look at nurture (in this case, social aspects) versus the nature at work.

Children seem to learn things in groups. Of course they do; our society is built around this foundation. People do this as well, but it's not quite as formalized as when we are in school. There are milestones that we accomplish and it seems that the only instinctive knowledge handed to us is to learn from our own observations (especially of those around us). Sometimes, you get lucky and information is handed to you by a parent, a teacher, or (as is most common) a peer. For the most part, you learn the same things around the same time as your friends. After all, you're around the same age and usually you have the same interests, so it does seem fairly natural.

But what about maturity?

Are we learning to be more mature individuals by observing those around us? Is it something that people actually tell us? Or is it something subliminal; a signal that we pick up on when we develop the receptors for them? Young boys will often tease or hit girls they like. When they reach a certain age, they suddenly show their affections in other ways, although they're often just as clumsy at it. Sometimes, it's actually worded for us: "Stop being such a child!" Usually, this comes from an authority figure. Still, most people as teenagers are striving for the approval of their peers. They want to be socially accepted, so I can only infer that we pick up socially mature cues from our friends. Which means that SOMEONE in the group has to make the move first. Are they looking towards the people above them in the age bracket? Does it come from experience?

I remember coming home from my first year of college and heading back to my high school to say hi to friends and teachers (yes, I am that dork who was friends with teachers). I remember seeing the high school seniors and thinking, "Wow. They are so clueless and childish. They have no idea what's in for them." Did I gain this insight from my experience? From observing the other freshman at college? Where did I develop it? And looking back now, I can't even imagine the mindset that I had at 18 as I do now ten years later. The boy who lived then seems like an entirely different person. As does the same boy at age 8.

I am aware that there are a number of contributing factors to the development of the human being. As this is my first year at this school, I look forward to seeing how the current freshmen blossom into the mature seniors that I know they will be. I wonder what they will think when they look back and reflect on their freshman year in high school. Then again, one might say I'm in my freshman year as an educator. I wonder what I'll think four years from now. At least I have the comfort of knowing that I can't be called a senior for another 30-something years.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowed In

The Sun, planet of warmth and vitality, is transiting the sign of Aquarius, the sign of hopes and fears. It's a time of originality and eccentricity, just as hopes are often found to be. Time to explore your specific ideas and let them roam free.

In speaking of hopes and fears, snow comes to mind. Now, I realize that when most people consider hopes and fears, they don't exactly think of weather, but the recent snow warning set my mind upon this subject. It made me realize how beholden upon weather we are. Granted, since time immemorial, we have dealt with the powers of the heavens, but in a modern age, one might consider that we would have different methods for dealing with everything nature can throw at us.

I personally received a text message this morning letting me know that I would not have to work today because of the incipient storm. I'm rarely going to get upset that I don't have to work, but there was no snow! The snow that had people in terror preparing to be holed up in their houses ended up deciding to skip our area, leaving us feeling somewhat sheepish. However, other places have been inundated with snow, justifying their own preparations.

Nowadays, I have to say that I cannot abide snow. Yes, it's beautiful when it's falling and blanketing the city with its quiet power, but goodness, once its fallen and dirtied the streets, it becomes obnoxious. I can't stand the slush, the grey/black snow littering the sidewalks, sloshing through the subway floors, and falling from building awnings, not to mention the shoveling. It's tremendously inconvenient.

This is so different from when I was a kid. We couldn't wait for snow and often hoped it would snow enough to keep us out of school. I remember waking up early just to listen to the radio and find out if I had to go to school. It was like a present when I heard my school's number called. Then I dressed in my warmest clothing and went out to play. Nowadays, you couldn't pay me to go out into the snow. Perhaps I'll feel differently once I have children of my own and watch their glowing expressions as they watch the snowflakes drift down, but for now, snow my stay in the sky for all I care.

I hope those who were hit wth snow are safe and sound and enjoying the aesthetic power and those who are safe from snow are enjoying the convenience of getting around.