USC speech

March 26, 2008

Schoolkids answer questions about dating and marriage

Filed under: Uncategorized — minimax @ 12:08 am

Do you like children? How many (more) children do you plan to have? Do you prefer to have a boy or girl? If you have children, how has the experience of raising children been different from what you expected? Have you ever heard a child say something that greatly surprised you?

chips and dip : a snack of potato chips or other types of chips eaten with a thick sauce into which they are dipped  • comment : something that you say or write that expresses your opinion  • committed : loyal and willing to give your time and energy to something that you believe in  • compliment : to praise or express admiration for someone  • consciously : in a determined and intentional way  • criteria : a standards by which you judge, decide about or deal with something  • disastrous : extremely bad or unsuccessful  • fate : a power that some people believe causes and controls all events, so that you cannot change or control the way things will happen  • function : the natural purpose (of something) or the duty (of a person)  • gross out : If something grosses you out, you think it is very unpleasant or disgusting  • have in common : to share interests, experiences or other characteristics with someone or something  • intuition : an ability to understand or know something immediately without needing to think about it, learn it or discover it by using reason  • mess with : to use or become involved with something or someone dangerous  • obituary column : section of a newspaper with reports that give the news of people’s deaths and details about their lives  • play dead : pretend to be dead  • signal : to show that you intend or are ready to do something  • process : a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result  • spouse : husband or wife  • stuck with : have to deal with someone or something unpleasant because you have no choice or because no one else wants to  • turn sour : to become unpleasant or unfriendly  

1 What do most people do on a date?

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. (Lynnette, age 8)

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. (Martin, age 10)

What do you think of Lynette and Martin’s responses? Do you agree with Lynette that boys have fewer things of importance to say than girls? While you were first dating your spouse or romantic partner, did you tell lies to them in order to make them interested—as Martin suggests one should do? What do you, or did you, usually do on a date? Do you prefer to do the planning for a date, or have the other person do the planning? Have you ever had a particularly memorable date that you would like to share?

2 What should one do on a first date that is turning sour?

I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns [ > obituary column]. (Craig, age 9)

Have you ever had a particularly disastrous date? What sort of place and activity would you choose for a first date with someone? Have you ever had to avoid someone as Craig said he would do? If so, how did you avoid meeting this person?

3 How can one know when it is appropriate to kiss someone?

When they’re rich. (Pam, age 7)

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.  (Curt, age 7)

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do. (Howard, age 8)

Have you ever kissed someone and then discovered after the fact that you shouldn’t have? Do you think kissing someone signals a commitment to them? If not, what action best signals that two people are committed to having a stable relationship with each other?

4 Is it better to be single or married?

I don’t know which is better, but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m never going to have sex with my wife. I don’t want to be all grossed out. (Theodore, age 8)

It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. (Anita, age 9)

What do you think of Theodore’s comments? Do you think a happy marriage is possible without sex? At what age did you start being attracted to the opposite sex? What do you think of Anita’s comments? For you personally, do you think it is better to be single or married? Why? Do you think there are more people who are married but wish they were single, or vice versa?

5 How should one decide whom to marry?

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. (Alan, age 10)

No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with. (Kirsten, age 10)

Do you agree with Alan that two people must have the same interests in order to have a happy marriage? Do you and your spouse (or significant other) have the same or similar interests? Did your parents? How much do you agree with Kirsten that whom one marries is largely a matter of fate? Thinking back on how you came to marry your spouse (or fall in love with past or present lovers), how much control do you think you had over the process? When you have fallen in love, has it been with someone who met your criteria for someone you could fall in love with, or did it just “happen”? Have you ever felt you were “stuck with” a partner? If you are married, can you describe the process you went through in deciding to marry your current spouse? If you are not married, what are the most important criteria you will use to decide on whom to marry?

What do you think your mom and dad have in common?

Both don’t want any more kids. [ > Neither of them want any more kids.] (Lori, age 8)

6 What is the right age to get married?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person forever by then. (Camille age 10)

No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.  (Freddie, age 6)

Do you agree more with Camille or Freddie? Why? Personally, what do you think is (or was) probably the ideal age for you to get married? How different is (or was) this age from what your parents considered to be the ideal age for you to get married? How much pressure were you (or are you) under to get married quickly? Do you think most people who get married are happy? How about the marriages of your close friends? If you’re willing to talk about it, how about your own marriage (or current romantic relationship)?

7 How can a stranger tell if two people are married?

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. (Derrick, age 8)

Do you think you have a strong intuition when two people are married? If so, can you explain how you can sense if two people are married or not? Do you think you can tell if a friend of yours is having a sexual relationship with someone else even before he or she tells you? Do you think you and your current (or most recent) marriage or romantic partner make a good couple? What comments have people made about you two?

8 How would the world be different if people didn’t get married?

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there? (Kelvin, age 8)

Could you ever consider having children outside of marriage? Do you think providing a stable environment for raising children is the most important function of marriage? If not, what do you think is the main function of marriage? How about for you personally? Do you think marriage between homosexuals should be legalized? Why or why not?

9 How can one make a marriage work?

Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck. (Ricky, age 10)

Do you think Ricky’s advice is good? If so, do you think there is any general type of compliment that a wife can give to her husband that will have a similar effect as a husband complimenting his wife’s appearance? In your marriage or other romantic relationship, what if anything do you consciously do to make it “work”? Do you think you or your partner does more? Do you think in general that your marriage or other romantic relationship “works”? If not, why not?


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