Twenty years without a break. From the time we're five to the gods know when. Always the pressure to keep going or be poor and useless. High school sucks, and unlike our parents, we aren't even done after high school; we have to spend those torturous years looking forward to more. Twenty years during which we can't miss a day without permission; can't eat without permission, can't pee without permission. No adult would keep a job like that for twenty years straight, but we expect our kids to do it. We aren't that shocked when our postal workers or stock brokers snap under the stress, but man, we're horrified when mere children can't handle it.

My dad told me to take a year off between high school and college; and he told my brother the same thing. Both of us did take a year off; then I did two years of college and took some more time off. My dad is proud of me. Me, I'm giving my kids a couple years off in there to just travel, or visit family, or something.

Could it be that Columbine is just what happens when partially developed humans are subjected to monstrous, continuous stress for the entire first quarter of their lives?