by Mark Pruett
A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the importance of childhood playtime. It reinforces my own belief that many young adults have been cheated by years of excessive schoolwork and teamwork, too many extracurricular activities, and a straitjacketed “just say no to anything risky” upbringing. I am convinced that modern childhood generally does not build enough independence and thirst for knowledge.
For the past few years I helped interview high school seniors seeking scholarships to come to Appalachian State University. These applicants come from all over the state. They play instruments and sports, participate in church and charity, and work in diverse jobs.
They also display remarkably similar accomplishments. They are at the top of their high school classes and possess generically good manners. They lead teams, groups and clubs. They are smart, solid and hardworking.
They might be surprised to learn that I, like many college professors, yearn for rarer traits — curiosity, passion, a wild streak.