Growing up: Contrasting values and living their lives

Growing up: Contrasting values and living their lives

Alexandria Poh

Sophomore David Lu and his brother younger Michael Lu share a brotherly moment. Michael’s childhood is much more influenced by technology that David’s was, but they both agree that friendship is always a priority. Photo used with permission of David Lu.

To sophomore David Lu, Valentine’s Day meant a typical busy school day, complete with homework and studying. While he did set aside some time to make his girlfriend a gift, most of the day consisted of going through the usual motions.

Certainly, it was nothing like the card exchange and party that his fifth-grade brother Michael had at Regnart Elementary School.

Comparing his memories from elementary school days to the way his brother spends free time today, David notices a change. While he used his free time to play soccer and basketball with his father, Michael uses any chance he gets to play computer games. Nevertheless, David is not surprised with the way things have changed for younger children these days.

“It’s because technology is becoming a bigger part of life,” David said. “When I was his age all I had was a computer, and he has an iPad, computer, stuff like that.”

So what exactly does Michael do?

“Minecraft!” Michael said. “I play every time I have free time.”

And so he does. From his brother’s behavior, David guesses that with time, the childhood of kids will become increasingly technology-oriented, and thus increasingly different from his own experiences as a kid. He does not consider Michael’s frequent gaming particularly good, reasoning that children ought to exercise and get out more for the good of their healths. Michael, on the other hand, does not think his lifestyle needs changing at all.

Yet while their day-to-day activities may have changed, the way David and Michael treat friends and special occasions has stood the test of time. David may not treat Valentine’s Day with any particular importance, but Michael’s experiences remind him of his own childhood.

“[Michael] made little cards for everyone in his class because his teacher told him to. All teachers do that in Regnart,” David said. “I used to do the same thing.”

David, who also attended Regnart, remembers the holiday celebrations that Regnart held, even celebrating Independence Day just before summer vacation. Though he does not particularly miss the parties, he does miss the time he had before high school. From what he sees about his brother’s holiday activities, this aspect of elementary school life never changed.

Another aspect of their lives remains a high priority: friends. This past Halloween, both David and Michael put homework and games aside in order to spend time trick-or-treating with their friends. It was a typical weekday, but they agreed that socializing and keeping up with friends is of utmost importance, no matter the circumstances.

“I don’t think [David’s] going to go anymore, since he says it’s only for us kids,” Michael said. “But [when I’m older], I’ll go if my friends go with me. I would only go with my friends!”