Duel: Old vs. Young



My wonderful student teacher, (Alexandra) and I chose to modeling dueling posts for our classroom today. Since Alex is 30 years younger than I am, she chose to sing the praises of being “old”, while I wrote about the virtues of the season of “young”. We dueled with our writing selections, and the students eventually decided that Alex had indeed vanquished me. Never mind that they helped craft that particular piece of writing. I’m sure their voting wasn’t biased. So in the end, age triumphed over youth. Perhaps that was my plan all along. (wink.)

You can read more about writing duel or duet collaborative pieces here.


Old is Bold

I dislike being young.

Everybody knows it’s true; being old is better than being a baby…I mean young.

When you are old, you can do whatever you want.Like, WHATEVER you want.

When you get older, you make more $$$$$$$$$$$$.Cold. Hard. Cash.

When you are old, you will never have to BEG Mom, Dad, or Santa to get you a dog.

Being old = NO SCHOOL FOR ME!

I want more respect, more experience, more wisdom, a driver’s license!

When I am older, I will have my own kids and tell THEM what to do.

I don’t want to be babied

Young people can’t drive and aren’t that awesome.

Young people waste their money…on toys and dolls.

Being old is bold.



Oh to be Young Again…


Some say age is just a number. 


Age is also gray hair.


And gravity.

My once-strong chest has dropped down to become a saggy waist.


Sure, age might be a number

but it is a growing number.

More years,

more pounds, 

more gray hairs

or maybe less hairs altogether 

and more bald advertising space on top of the noggin.


Young perhaps is a bit uninformed

but young is vibrant

young is innocent

young is fearless

young is invincible.


When I was young, 

I knew everything

I was full of dreams

I ran towards challenges

and if I fell

I rose again.


When I was young

the world was huge

and inviting

ready to be conquered.


When I was young

I never wanted to sleep

but I wanted to savor each day,

each night,

and all the moments in between.


When I was young

my eyes saw clearly

as a pair

and 20/20 was perfection.


Now I see but a blur

glasses on for far away

glasses off to read

and the numbers on my visual prescription

are no longer in unison.


When I was young

There were weddings

and baby showers

that gathered friends and family

and added to our numbers.


Now we are brought together

when someone passes,

their number being called

as our group of elders

senses numbers dwindling

or numbers being etched

on markers 

telling beginning

and ending.


I’ll take a younger number

invert my 51 to 15

transform my reddening eyes

to reddened skin

of teen inflicted acne

With braces on my teeth

instead of braces for my knees

youthful ignorance

vs. the wisdom of ages


Oh to be young again.

If age is just a number

then trade with me

if you’re younger.

and welcome the gravity

that awaits you.

21 thoughts on “Duel: Old vs. Young

  1. Pingback: Dueling Poems | Reflections on the Teche

  2. What a great place your classroom seems!
    Love the humor but also serious, quality writing.
    Your student teacher is fortunate, as are you, and your students, too.


  3. How cool are these?! I love the paired writings. They remind me of the parallel stories that are in Sara Holbrook’s new book. It sounds like teacher and intern are having a good teaching time. Thank you for sharing the pieces.


  4. I’m on your side old guy :)! But it doesn’t matter does it! The energy in your room is exhilarating and your kids will never forget this experience. Your student teacher is very lucky to be learning with and from you 🙂


  5. A post infused with humor, talent, word play, voice, and friendly competition – what a great model for students. They must love being taught by the two of you! The photo made me laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. First of all, you have an awesome student teacher, yes? You tell her there are jobs in Iowa. 😉 Secondly, thanks for sharing this. This is a great model of what a dueling post can look like. Yes, there is a lot of gravity when you get older, but Old is Bold. That’s my motto today. Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like this idea of dueling posts. My students love a good competition. I think the old poem nailed it, too. I don’t pine over being young again, but I do miss the young mother days with my children. They are all grown up and no grandchildren yet. My arms yearn to hold them again.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the duel! Sometimes it’s hard to compete with those younger, more energetic student teachers, right? You’re all over it though–youth is a figment, a blink–and even though some of us might be done? We can revert back to our imaginations. The spirit of youth is a thread. I can still leap, still run, still smile and still love my kids, just like I did when I was young. Forget those saggy wrinkles…I have them too. You have your sense of humor, and that, to me…means you will forever be young! 😉 (Mirrors lie!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I started reading, I thought this would be a poem for two voices, but I love how it turned into a contest. The kids may have voted for not having to beg Santa for a dog, but I’d vote for your circular ending. Fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I absolutely love this! How wonderful that you and your student teacher were able to develop such a great relationship with each other and with the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a perfect model! I love the choices you made and how the students help craft the old piece. Voice is huge here. Just perfect! I want to do this. I’m gonna recheck the twitter feed.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh my, braces on teeth versus knees! I have to vote for the Invisalign ones now that I’m closer to 51 than 15. The ones I had in the early eighties seem archaic, barbaric, and heavy. Excruciating pain on my jaw when they were tightened. I wore them for over two Years!!! And I had head gear. I’d take age 51 over 15 for that reason!

    Liked by 1 person

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