It seems the curse of the scottish play has struck my theatre department. In the last hour I have had two kids quit the show, come back, gave a lecture on them needing to suck it up and deal because we open next week, one quit again and was talked back in by his friend, and then he told me he would do the show but wasn't going to talk to anybody in the cast. ARGH!
In all honesty I don't know how these kids are going to survive when they go out into the real world. I have one girl who hasn't smiled in two days and looks like she is in some kind of coma-state because the boy who is/was her best friend and her got into a fight. Neither one of them thinks they did anything wrong, neither one is willing to be the bigger person and talk to the other about what is bother them. The boy is just letting it roll off him and doing what needs to get done, the girl has completely shut down.
I love working with teens. This is the worst part of my job (right up there with casting a show). I want to make things better for them, but need to realize that I can't fix everything. I try not to let it get to me, but these kids are so important to me, some of them don't have any other strong, stable adult figure in their lives. I don't feel like I can just cut that connection.
Then I have the one who thinks she is more of an adult than her 17 years really allow her. She only sees things in black and white and refuses to even consider that there are gray areas. She in some ways makes things worse by perpetuating the "hatred" and anger that some of the kids feel toward one student in particular. This student is going through some serious growing pains, he says he hates everyone who used to be his best friends. He has been mean to some of them, treated them poorly, but it seems to me more like a cry for help than anything. He has recently gotten out of a very destructive relationship (for both parties, good kids, not good together). The kids who were his friends are siding with the girl because they say he was mean to her. Even as he tries to repair these relationships, they won't let him. They don't view it as him crying for help, they just see it has him being an ass.
All of this is going on in my cast of 13. The only ones not in turmoil are the ones who refuse to let it get to them. I am trying to be in that group. One of my motos this year is "Water off a Duck's Back". Although, right now, SUCK IT UP! seems to be more appropriate.