March 22, 2004 4:30 p.m.
Power Up Computer Lab
My journey of the youth interview begins in the Power Up computer lab with only a few people taking advantage of what the lab has to offer. I see a young man with a couple of friends playing an internet adventure game. I ask him “Would you like to complete a survey for me?” I think after seeing him playing games I call him game boy. Even before handing him the survey he tells his friends “ I am great at math” after one of his friends says that someone interviewed him this morning. After hearing that comment I tell myself that I am going to interview game boy. Upon completion of the survey I ask game boy if I can interview him. He says “No problem”.
I begin the interview with what he feels about the word math, game boy replies, “Math is a fun word and easy to spell.” I laugh and ask him about if he feels math is important, he says that he knows math is important to not only to him, but to his friends and family. And he says that he knows that math is important to his future of becoming a video game designer and programmer. He tells me that he is very successful at solving math problems and that he rarely uses a calculator in school. And he tells me that if math was not required he would still take it because “you have to learn math to pay the bills.”
After a short intermission of him helping a friend with his game, we continue on with the interview. He tells me that he knows advanced math is important, but will be hard and looks forward to taking it in college to help his video game studies. As for taking math class in school, he likes math, but does not enjoy the “one thousand problems a night for homework.” He feels his math teachers do a pretty good job in teaching math, but still does not want a lot of homework with problems such as “zero plus zero.”
I conclude the interview with what he plans to do after he graduates from Padua High School. He replies, “I am leaving Padua and never coming back because there is nothing here.” And after I thank him and begin to depart, game boy concludes with the long lasting comment of “my computer and video game career is just a back up plan because I am going to be a professional basketball player.” I laugh and walk out the door, and begin to think to myself about how the journey of this youth will be interesting, exciting and rewarding. The journey continues.