I noticed something peculiar among my students. But first, let’s set it up correctly. I teach all ages and all levels. My youngest one in my schedule right now is 4 and my oldest one is probably 65 (This is an educated guess).

Inevitably, the younger they are, the more impetuous, energetic, hurried. The older they are, the more wise, tranquil, peaceful.

It makes me think of a line of a French writer named Marcel Pagnol who said that young people are always in a hurry while old people are just the opposite. It might be because, past a certain age, life is not a one-liner anymore. Things become more complex, more grey. Also, it might be because older people enjoy life differently. Their thrill is the next motion, the next thought, the next reasoning. On the contrary it seems that what gets the young pupils going is the next discovery, the next shot of adrenaline, the next 3 seconds truth. Old people seem to be turn more inward than young ones.

Now, before you put me in the basket of pontificating middle age man, hear this: old or young, human beings share a very common way of looking at things. I saw a documentary which was tracing a YouTube mystery, a salesman who appeared in a video back in the 80’s and haven’t been heard ever since. The man had become a viral phenomenon because of his rage as he’s trying to remember the lines for the commercial he’s shooting, especially, the way he said the word: “Acoutrement”.

The documentary traced him and invited him to an evening in town to watch his famous video and make an appearance. So, here is this older gentleman now in his 70’s, maybe even 80’s, welcomed by a bunch of young hipster excited to meet a YouTube celebrity. Forward to the end of the event when people say goodbye and he leaves the place. To his friend and to the camera he state something like: “I didn’t think young people would be interested in me. These people were very nice. I enjoy my time with them very much.”

Yes, I agree with the man. I think exactly the same thing. I see these very young pupil and we find ways to relate to each other. There is a common denominator in humanity. I believe it is the job of the teacher to understand it and use it to help people learn.