Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to High School with John Hughes

My darling daughter started high school today. Sigh. She is my baby so it is a momentous occasion. High school. Wow. It made me think of my own high school days back in the 80's and all the girls I attended high school with. Again, wow. It also made me think of those high school movies we all watched and identified with. The 1980's and those high school movies. Who could forget them. And of course John Hughes. John Hughes - the quintessential 80's high school movie guy. Who could forget him. In fact, today I was asked when you were in high school, were you "a brain, a princess, a jock, a basketcase or a criminal. Don't you just love those crazy Facebook quizzes! I of course was not a cool kid like my daughter so definitely a "brain" for me. She on the other hand would be a "princess". Funny how as easy as it was in the 80's to characterize the student body, it's just as easy now. High school never really changes.

I remember high school being mostly about fitting in. No one captured this better than John Hughes. The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful, to name just a few, showcased high school and the "fitting-in" concept brilliantly. Mr. Hughes' stories may have been a little over-the-top (makes for a memorable movie), still they defined a generation and many more that followed. I do remember very definitively how we all fit into these seemingly limiting categories. And it was okay. We were a generation defined by how adults saw us. (Did I just sort-of quote the movie?) But we were. As teenagers, of course we were trying to find our way and find ourselves, but truly, we had already been labeled. And as my daughter enters high school today, she will face the same challenge. She too will be labeled or categorized and will work very hard to fit-in as will her classmates. Thankfully, she is armed with this catalog of John Hughes movies that will show her generation as it did mine, that it's okay to be seen "in the simplest of terms, in the most convenient definitions" as long as you remember who you really are.

picture courtesy of The Internet Movie Database (

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