November 7, 2011
Professor Stephanie Haywood
Adolescent Rites of Passage
Adolescents face many challenges in today’s society. Expectations of our teenagers are too high. There is considerable evidence today that the great majority of adolescents pass safely through this stage of life and become reasonably happy adults who make contributions to their families, friends, and communities. Yet there are many who are under greater stress than in previous decades. There are many experiences during the adolescent years that may mark this time of development however everyone’s viewpoint may vary. Many adolescent celebrate their own rites of passages differently. Culture, tradition, and family influence all contribute to these variations. Adolescent transitions from teenager into young adulthood can leave a positive or negative impact on their young lives. This paper will showcase a description of a girl’s rite of passage experience into womanhood– Menarche, and a teenage boy’s rite of passage into manhood – a family tradition passed down through generations past. Kristy’s Rite of Passage
Kristy began her day as usual with a delicious breakfast cooked by her Grandmother Jill. The aroma of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon enticed her to dress as quick as she possibly could to devour Grandmas delicious cooking and her homemade hot tea for the stomach pains she had been recently experiencing. Kristy loved her grandmother. She had come to live with Kristy and her parents in 2009 because her grandfather had passed away. Kristy and Grandma Jill spent many conversations together discussing about boys, past crushes, grandmas life as a child, a teenager, and as a young adult falling in love with Grandfather George. Every morning they departed with a kiss, a hug, and an “I love you.” Today was a beautiful Spring day in the month of April. Kristy was a 6th grader at Pearl Highlands Elementary School. Today was Sports Day and the 6th graders were enjoying a day of swimming, volleyball, basketball, flag football, and relay games. Co-ed teams were formed to make the competition fair and fun as the children enjoyed working on a team with others that they do not normally associate with. Luckily for Kristy, her best friend Suzie was on her team and enjoying the festivities with her. As the relay games began, Kristy and Suzie ran to each other to participate in a three-legged race. Joseph tied all six pairs of partners together as they lined up to take their place in the relay game. With arms around each other’s necks Kristy and Suzie practiced walking and running together as a team. Suddenly Kristy experiences abdominal pain that causes her to fall to her knees and grasp her stomach area. She is not sure what is happening but feels as if she is unusually going to the bathroom in her pants right in front of some of her team members. Then George gasps as he spots a redness on Kristy’s light blue shorts. Kristy is experiencing her entrance into womanhood – the topic of Grandma Jill’s conversation for the last three weeks. Embarassed by the situation she is escorted to the girl’s bathroom by her school Advisor and her best friend Suzie. Fortunately, Grandma Jill had encouraged Kristy to pack extra clothes and some sanitary napkins that came with the Kit that Kristy’s Mother had bought for her. When Kristy had arrived at the counselor’s office she was greeted by her mother and Grandma Jill. With warm hugs, kisses, and tears of joy they welcomed her with a celebration of Menarche. The counselor explained all the social/emotional and biological changes she was going to face. John’s rite of passage
John Smith had anxiously waited for this day for over a year. Great-Grandpa John, Grandpa Ted, and his Father, Jesse had shared this special day with him through stories passed down from generations. John’s father had been preparing him through books and...