1950's Worldview

A day in the life of a teenager....

DAY IN THE LIFE OF: A 1950 15 YEAR OLD MALE
David R. Alexander

SCHEDULE:

7:00am - Wake up.

7:10am - Have breakfast, do chores.

7:30am - Leave home and catch two busses to school.

8:00am - Arrive at school.

9:00am - Exam.

10:00am - Free period, talk with friends.

12:00pm - Lunch.

12:30pm - Time to ponder.

3:15pm - School ends, school sports practice starts (basketball).

6:00pm - Arrive home.

7:30pm - Sports practice (hockey).

9:30pm - Arrive home, get ready for bed.

10:00pm - Go to bed.

IN DEPTH SCHEDULE:

7:00am – I wake up to the drill-like sound of my “Edmonton Hockey” alarm clock and slam the off button. Words cannot express how I dread the day I have ahead of me. As I crawl out of my tattered bottom bunk, I see my five-year-old sister Jenny still asleep, fresh mildew above her, on the warm bunk above mine. Lucky… I think to myself, as I slide into my too-tight khakis and throw on a stained white shirt, my best attire (aside from a blue tie) my parents could afford.

7:10am – Just as I shake the ringing out of my head from the horrid alarm, I hear my mother screaming at me from upstairs: “David? Can you vacuum the living room before you leave?” I sigh, and grab the ingredients to make a sandwich for lunch, placing it in a brown paper bag with my name on it. I said my prayers and wrote my goals for the day, then headed for the vacuum. Few families nurtured and respected their children, willing them to exceed expectations and have a successful place in the world. Parents were manipulative, and didn’t have their child’s best interests in mind. I was fortunate to have a house, a shelter, a place to live, although I did wish it was larger and more welcoming to anything other than dust.

7:30am - After my grueling chores, I leave for school. A frigid December day, my brown rubber boots (two sizes too small) leaked under the pressure of the snowy, unfortunate conditions. I had a miserable two busses to catch before classes in just half an hour. As the first bus rolled up at 7:30, I sat down near the front and wrapped myself in my gym clothes, wondering why my coat wasn’t quite warm enough for the torrential Edmonton weather. I have been instructed at Church (every 7th day – Sunday) to always respect my blessings and appreciate my life on Earth.

8:00am - By the time I reached the small red schoolhouse my hair was frozen to my scalp, my backpack soaked through with moisture from waiting at various bus stops outside. I pulled out my science study notes and reviewed them before the up-coming exam. Unlike other students, I was seldom nervous for tests and didn’t understand the point in worrying. Many strived for a hockey scholarship to U of A, or travel cross-country to a foreign college for a fresh start. I required at least a 95% to maintain my position to attend the University of Alberta. Few of my friends will drive, creating a sense of urgency to attend university close to home to eliminate hassles of transportation.

9:00am – My science exam covered entomology – the study of insects. This was one of the pivotal units all throughout school (ecosystems, water, etc.) and I had studied the hardest out of anyone in my class. School this year had been very reserved: no new explorations, just the same units over and over, repeatedly. Entomology is one of my passions, but I cannot study it beyond the classroom due to my dreaded hockey endeavors. My mind races as I madly write all the last points I can remember, then race out of the classroom to prevent second guessing myself.

10:00am – Achieving a 99% on my science exam, I felt relaxed and liberated through the rest of the school day. Raymond (my best friend) and I agreed to meet at the ski hill this weekend. Excitement filled my body and I couldn’t help but smile. Raymond was generous, and I always appreciated his company. I couldn’t decide whether I enjoyed hockey more than skiing, but skiing was definitely more my speed, and significantly more intriguing! In our free time, my friends and I always played sports, and rarely went to each other’s houses. However, I still enjoyed a relaxing card game, or just talking on the phone.

12:00pm – Devouring my peanut butter and jelly sandwich at lunch, (so as not to get caught for having peanut butter at school) I quickly run out the burgundy school doors to take in all the fresh air I could before class resumed. Credit cards being introduced just this year, my parents were strained to receive one to pay for my academics. Thoughts of fortunate families rolling through my brain, I force back tears and walk solemnly back into the enclosed classroom where my next class took place: Government.

12:30pm – Government class was difficult, especially because economics didn’t overly interest me. This was the elective my parents chose for me (every year in Edmonton, we have a school/parent program for our parents do decide what we take for one period a day). Economically, there has not been much money in generations before me, causing economics to be slightly challenged in Edmonton this year. This was another reason why a scholarship was very important as well: I would receive extreme discomfort from my parents (especially my mother), and I would rather keep our household “content” for the future.

3:15pm – Yes, school is finally over… I thought, as I headed to my locker to change for basketball practice. I was power forward on our senior team. Anything I performed in, I strived to work hard and be the best I could be, solely because of my religion, and my morally tough personality. It was important to be strong, especially for my age, because there were 148,861 people I have to contend with for a job. Whether in sports, or in work, I was always fiercely competitive and had to be the best.

6:00pm – Chatting with my friends, two bus rides, and almost three hours later, I arrived at my unfortunately dated home and dropped off my school work. Preparing dinner early for my parents, I turned on the three-channel television and flipped to sports. Everyone in my class strived to be a professional hockey player… excluding me. Hockey, primarily ice hockey, is very popular in Edmonton, as the Edmonton Mercurys are the current World Ice Hockey Championship winners as of this year. Parents, including mine, threw their kids into a cheap hockey league to get them away from the house. I had hockey at 7:30 tonight.

7:30 – I will never forget the smell of a hockey rink: a slight plastic-like breeze devoured my senses and overcame me with discomfort and dissatisfaction. Stepping gingerly on the ice, an older boy – probably 18 or so – shoved me forward and into a board, creating a piercing pain through my left shoulder. Only a few hours until I escape this disoriented mess… I thought. The rest of practice was one in the same.

9:30 – Arriving home, I see my parent scouring over my test answers from earlier today. For hours on end I had the privilege of being straight in the line of angry fire over the 1% I got incorrect; I always marveled at how negative my parents could be. Showering and getting ready for the wonderful sleep I craved, I assisted Jenny with her washing, then put a bag of water in the fridge to make ice for my shoulder. Sometimes I wondered why my parents couldn’t do these simple tasks for their own family. I was busy enough with Church, school, and sports: I didn’t need the constant aggravation of everyone else’s antics.

10:00 – Looking back on the day I had lying in my cold, hard bed, I realized that the world can be an unpleasant, malicious place, especially those who aren’t as fortunate as others (including myself). Economic hardship throughout the world would not be looked after, and selfish nature would continue to rule society. However, somehow I knew there was a better life somewhere. Where people can take care of themselves and others, and prove to the world that you matter. This may eventuate in 2050... but I am still unsure. I was definitely willing to put in the work and effort to take future generations of my family there. Thoughts gently rolling through my head, my thinking came to a close until tomorrow, when I do it all again.

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