A young boy takes his mother’s place in a group of gemstone-based beings, and must learn to control his powers.

How SU studies

Pearl: 60 flashcards, five quizlet accounts, clothes with highlighter stains, is literally vibrating with nerves when the test is being handed out

Amethyst: motivates herself through rewards, ie treating herself with snacks or a break after a page or so. It doesn’t really work.

Garnet: organized, but only calm on the outside, listens to music the whole way through and will punch someone if they ask for a pen during the exam

Peridot: did the paper last week, studied for that thing a month ago, stays up all night watching netflix instead and is fueled by coffee and spite

Lapis: DOES NOT.

Jasper: will knock everything off her desk in frustration while working, easily distracted by wanting to redo own eyeliner or fight the neighborhood raccoon

Steven: PASTEL STUDYBLR. Tea, blankets and good lighting, but spends a lot of time making his notes look nice instead of reading the words. It’s a problem.

Deconstructing the “Parent of the Hero” Narrative

I’m really glad that my predictions for the “I Could Never Be Ready” song turned out true in the way that they did, about Greg being hesitant about parenthood and generally uncertain.

More and more we’re seeing SU deconstruct the narratives we’ve just grown to accept in fiction. The birth of a demigod-like figure is one of them. A lot of the time we don’t really put a lot of focus on the parents. They’re either completely willing and unafraid for their child, or not really part of the story.

In fact, looking back at most of the big stories that have broken into numerous forms of young-adult pop culture, as old as time, we’ve had stories of parents passing away, parents having to go away for work reasons, parents who don’t understand (and don’t try to). I wouldn’t say just parents either. In many of these stories, we don’t see a guardian-figure until the worst possible moments. 

By and large, there is an implicit message that young people have to fend for themselves, learn about how things work, and change the world on their own.

Chances are, you’d be thinking of a few of these stories right now, but I’m not here to name-names. I’m not saying these were terrible stories by virtue of that missing detail. It’s worth asking why it’s such a familiar narrative, though.

I wouldn’t say that at this age, young adults “don’t care” and are only self-centred. That’s a complete disservice to them and to the people with whom they engage. I will say though, that these stories tend to be focused on their protagonists and their audience, who are also people of this age group; in the same way children usually take a backseat in a novel about adult life (unless said adult is constantly interacting with children).

1. About Gen-This versus Gen-That

Personally, I’m not fond of the use of “generational divides” and using them as a reason to throw blame and a lot of ad hominem attacks thinly veiled as criticism. To me, there’s a clear reason why the previous “generation” doesn’t just vanish the moment a new set of people are born. The rationale behind formal institutional educations is that some things can be taught by someone who has already learned them. There’s a lot to be gained from working together. And of course that’s easier said than done, but I like how SU shows involvement is possible in the smallest unit of society: The family.

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