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Nineteen Minutes

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“In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five.

Nineteen minutes is how long it took the Tennessee Titans to sell out of tickets to the play-offs. It’s the length of a sitcom, minus the commercials. It’s the driving distance from the Vermont border to the town of Sterling, New Hampshire.

In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed. You can walk a mile. You can sew a hem.

In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it.

In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.”

How would you react if you have been bullied and humiliated by your schoolmates from your very first day in school? How would you react if your parents are too busy praising their perfect son and that son is not you, but your eldert brother? How would you react if your elder brother is the one who initiated the bullying in school? How would you react if your parents are too buys mourning his loss and have practically forgotten that you also exist? How would you react if your best friend from childhood no longer wants to be seen with you or talk to you or remain friends with you? How would you react if you find it easier to hide from the rest of the kids? How would you react if your pants are pulled down in front of the entire school as a “joke”? How would you react if a private mail sent by you is circulated among the whole school and turned into a joke?


How would you as a mother react if your told that there has been a random shooting in your son’s school? How would you react if your told that its your 17 year old son who was the shooter? How would you react if your told that he killed ten other innocent unarmed students, injured many more and has caused grief to so many families?


How would you as a judge react if your told that you have to try thew case of a 17-year old who is your daughter’s schoolmate and her childhood best friend? How would you react as a mother when you see your daughter injured because of this shooter? How would you as a mother react when you see the pain and grief of your daughter who has lost her two best friends and boy friend in the shooting? How would you walk the fine line of being a mother and judge not letting one influence the other?


How would you react when you see your best friend from childhood has grown apart from you? how would you react when you see this friend be humiliated by your boy friend whom you otherwise love very much? How would you react when a private mail written to you by this friend is circulated among the whole school and is turned into a joke? How would you react when you see your boy friend and best friends humiliate him every single day? how would you react when you don’t like the humiliation suffered by your friend but can’t stand upto your friends? how do you react when your called on a witness in court and questioned on this?

We’r all envious of the popular kids who have it all – the friends, the looks, the girl/ guy? The one ones who get invited to all the parties? The ones who forget their homework and don’t get yelled at by the teacher? But what about the vast majority of kids who go through school unseen? or even worse are picked upon, humiliated and bullied every single day? Those who dread school. Those who try to hide in the wall and make themselves as small as possible so that noone sees them and0picks on them? Ever thought about them.


That’s what 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult is all about. I have sad this earlier and I say it again – this is one author whose books I enjoy and who actually makes me think. As a rule, I don’t go in for too much heavy reading, but I make an exception for Jodi Picoult.

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Written by SupMM

March 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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