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This is sort of a tangential observation, but bear with me. This business of teenagers acting 'mature' by doing stupid, immature things is fostered by 'middle school'. By 'middle school', I mean the quite bizarre institution we have of shoving all of our pubescent offspring into an age cohort, marching them around through artificial structured activities in which they have only the company of other pubescents and a few exasperated chaperones (aka teachers, administrators, etc.) while cutting them off from either the care of younger children or access to the normal adult world.

If preschool is where our kids go to pick up viral diseases, middle school is where we send our kids to be infected with dumb social models to conform to.

End rant ;) Thanks for the thoughtful post.