I remembered a pastel painting completed in 2017, and the quotation that inspired me from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a novel that some students chose to read and then review for an assignment when I was a high school teacher. Here it is once again, for Throwback Thursday.

How do you mend a broken heart?

Broken hearts are hiding everywhere in high school.

“I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they’re here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.” ~ Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Heartbroken - pastel painting on Mi-teintes pastel paper

“Heartbroken” –  9″ x 12″Canson Mi-Teintes paper. Pan pastels and Faber Castell pastel pencils.

High school years are difficult for some teens. There is considerable change to deal with, and not that much confidence to navigate all the twists and turns that are thrown at them.

So many teens face their fears alone. They feel overwhelmed by all the decisions they must make about their future.

Add to that other pressures coming from their peers, their parents, and their teachers and it isn’t difficult to see that the high school years are challenging for many adolescents.

“Heartbroken” shows the young student who lacks self-confidence.  Much like an earlier painting, Forever a wallflower, she withdraws a little more each day until someone reaches out and listens to her. Who will it be?

Will it be the teacher who sees her quietly sitting at her desk while others chatter and laugh before class?  (The reality today is that they are all on their cell phones, so there is very little communication even among them in hallways).

Perhaps her one close friend, will notice a change in her behaviour?

Will it be Mom who wonders why her usually vivacious young daughter has suddenly turned moody and temperamental?

Who will really listen?

Who will help before it is too late?

Other pastel portraits include:


6 Responses

  • So true, I know our daughter who is a Secondary school teacher has an extraordinary number of students who are having life challenges. Have to add Louise that this girl comes across as more than a painting, so realistic, well done ????

  • This is true , we have to put ourselves in others shoes instead of judging . We never know what people are going through , everyone has good days & bad days . Thanks for sharing Louise , I like the way you think & very considerate teacher .

    • Yes, Fran…when I was teaching, I tried to remember what it was like for me in high school…it isn’t an easy time for most people I would think. Some students had such unimaginable hardship in their lives…heartbreaking for the teacher too to know about the struggles they faced, sometimes pretty much alone!

  • Lovely Louise. The emotion is there. I guess the same can be said at any age. Walking and wandering how everyone days and lifes are doing. Student of life…

    • Very true! So many people in our lives as a teacher…and so many heartaches…especially in high school! Merci d’avoir laissé ce commentaire!

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