The Princess's Diaries

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Teenagers who actually get it...i'm stunned

Oh my goodness!! I just watched the final episode of No Sex Please, We're Teenagers, and it really touched my heart! I didn't watch the previous episodes, mostly because the blurbs i read about it presented it as a gimmicky sensationalist show that both whinged about the state of current society and also pointed and laughed at the leaders' naivete and optimism. This couldn't have been further from the truth (shame on you, The Times)

This programme is a documentary following a group of 12 teenagers who join the Romance Academy and take The Pledge to abstain from all sexual activity for 5 months. However it was about so much more than just doing your best not to do anything wrong. During this episode every young person spoke out about how they had changed as people as a result of getting involved in the Academy. They view their own lives and other peoples' from a new perspective, many seeing the opposite sex for the first time as people to get to know for who they are inside not just for what they can get from them. Many of the girls said they realised that they are special and valuable, and that giving away sex ultimately cheapens them in boys' eyes and in their own. They grasped the truth that clothing inevitably sends messages and that they have a personal responsibilty with regards to how they are perceived. They learned that relationships can be meaningful. The 12 teenagers had obviously been on a valuable and life-changing journey, which they expressed with excitement and pride and honesty.

One of the best bits was when Rachel and Dan, the two Christian youth workers who lead the project, handed over to two of the original 12 to lead a new group of teenagers for a month-long course. It showed that the original guys really believed in what they were doing and had learned to value other people the way that Rachel and Dan had loved and valued them. An amazing scene showed one of the new girls phoning her boyfriend after the first meeting to explain that she wanted them not to have sex for 4 weeks. She said to him "this way we can talk more and you can get to know me properly for who i am". The boyfriend was angry and didn't know if he wanted to continue their relationship. The girl was in tears, feeling the pain of realising for the first time that she was only desired for one thing.

I was talking to Chris Curtis today (well Chris was talking to me!) about the dilemma of youth work in Sixth form colleges: just how do you do it?? The structure of FE has changed a lot in the last few years and this, along with an absolute scarcity of going-for-it christian sixth formers, means that the old models don't work any more. We have to find new ways of getting the Kingdom of God into the Sixth Forms. No Sex Please, We're Teenagers really inspires me because it proves that teenagers can care about how they live; they do have the capacity to dream for a more meaningful way of life and take steps to achieve it; that they can engage with the church (Rachel and Dan did not hide the fact that they were Christians, and the meetings were held in their church); that they can accept love from those who value them, and love and value others in turn. I'm sure that one of the keys to contemporary sixth form work is engaging with non-Christians. Rachel and Dan weren't trying to create celibate teenagers; the focus wasn't on living righteously. It was about loving the young people enough not to judge them but to help them see the choices they have and helping them make good choices; it was about helping them to exist in community; it was about helping them to see their responsibilities. The very active and involved nature of the project meant that, although they were being taught and guided by the youth workers, they essentially discovered the truth of the youth workers' words for themselves as they lived it out. Gotta remember that.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My Day Out at the Zoo

Heehee! *squiggles and giggles* Just spent a wicked day at Whipsnade Zoo with Stef and his mate Dan. Got a good long look at some of the animals - like the chimps, who were eating and grooming and there was a baby one who kept tumbling about - he was so cute! There was a beautiful tiger prowling around right by his fence, the elephants (including two adorable ickle ones) were really close, eating hay, and a very noble looking beast of a reindeer came up to say hello too. We saw the 'Birds of the World' display with a very funny hopping toucan and some macaws with stunning plummage, and we also got to watch the sealions being silly and splashing people. The most awesome part for me was watching the seals through the underwater you know i love water and swimming and they swam so fast and turned and looped so gracefully and it was cool looking at how they broke through the surface of the water from made me wanna dive right in too! Then at the end of the day we went for a bit of a play in the children's play area which involved getting stuck in cago nets and whizzing down those excellent tublar slides! Wheeeee!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

My Turn to Squeal

Eeeeeeek! Saw Ewan McGregor in Guys and Dolls yesterday with me mum. Eeeeek! *squeals aplenty* *reverts to teenager mode* He's so gorgeous! Check out that cheeky grin! Those twinkling eyes! And he really can sing - live, not just for film. *Swoon* So upon arriving back home of course we had to watch Moulin Rouge straight away - possibly my very favouritest film. My brother and i also flounced around the kitchen singing the songs, particularly the Elephant Love Medley which you can have great fun doing as a duet! Try it!