“Edina would be a nicer place if we could all talk to each other and not be awkward for not knowing each other,” Stanley Wu, a 16 year old, wrote in his letter to Mayor James Hovland.
Star Tribune reporter John Reinan’s story about the letter today is required reading for everyone who’s occasionally grumbled about the loneliness of Minnesota.
True, Wu thinks it’s an Edina thing where people don’t say hello, but that’s simply the ignorance of youth, although he spends his time between Savage and Edina.
In Edina, he said, he’s gone so long without knowing his neighbors that if he were to introduce himself now, “It would just be flat-out weird.”
And that is the innocent intelligence of youth.
The people who moved into the house across the street three years ago — the house that formerly housed our best friends in the neighborhood — remain strangers to us. We missed the “window” for introducing ourselves under the conventions of these sorts of things.
But here’s the most intriguing parts of Reinan’s story:
Wu wrote his letter as an assignment for a high school English class. Students could write a letter on any topic they chose, and he said he wanted his to be “fun and have a community feeling.”
He added that his teacher, Matthew Batesky, mailed the letters for the students “because we did not know how to mail anything.” Batesky was unavailable for comment because of school policies on student privacy.
Students in Edina don’t know how to mail a letter. And why would they need to?
Related: 55 Things That Kids Growing Up Today Won’t Know (Thought Catalog)