Monday, May 14, 2012

The Curious Lives of Teenagers: Love?

The subjects (15-16 yo San Diego honors teenagers) were posed the question: "What is love?" in preparation for beginning William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. They wrote anonymously, and had five minutes to turn in an answer. Here is the raw data for what they wrote:


Cool I guess sometimes

The puppy that jumps into your bed at night, snuggling and shaking while a storm roars outside, but you don’t move your legs long after they’re numb.

A dangerous necessity, and the world’s greatest mystery.

“Tyler will you go to prom with me?”

Like spinach. It’s unhealthy and can give iron poisoning.

Evil. Spell it backwards. I’ll show you.

Not having to wear makeup or give a crap what you look like.

Not good for your health. Emotionally draining yet that undescribable feeling you get when he says  your name or makes you smile.


The family restroom at Disneyland.

I’m not sure. Tell me 760-XXX-XXXX (yes. a real number was used. A student called it immediately)

Our warm up exercise in class.

It is impossible to watch any popular movie without seeing someone falling in love

“the closest thing we have to magic” –Aquamarine


Contagious, spicy, and dangerous. Love is innocent and both strong and demure. If hate is an illness then love is the cure. Love is kind, strong, and forgiving. Love is solely reserved for the living.

Eight equals D.

Not really working out for me right now

The boy with the bread.

Jake & Emily.

Catching the Benedick.

The 6th month of the year on the 9th day.

The motivation.

A poop sometimes. It’s fun but painful.

Giving someone the power to destroy you, but believing that they won’t.

Will never have a specific definition.

A bucket of fried chicken.

Jake wanting Emily’s number.

The right hand man.

The start of the end.

Stupid. It makes you fall for a person you would never think to be together with. It makes you stumble, mumble, and blush furiously at random times. Love permeates your thoughts, invades your dreams, changes your life. It distracts you, immobilizes you and frustrates you. And worst of all, it makes you unbelievably, indescribably happy.
**Names and phone number have been changed. Otherwise, there were no alterations. 


  1. OK, people have startling wisdom, and with teenagers it comes in the most unpredictable flashes. I like "The boy with the bread" simply because I just finished reading those books and they made me weep. But not moving your legs to give your puppy comfort is wonderful.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. I have to agree with the following: "Giving someone the power to destroy you, but believing that they won't." That sums it up to me! That and a good poop...