Plugged InFor Jackie Hart, 13, who goes to Bakersfield Middle School, listening to music was a part of life. It was normal. As normal as having a name. Jackie would spend hours on her tablet, headphones plugged in, eyes closed, with music streaming from her device, through the cord, and into her ears. Sometimes, she would go on Facebook while she listened. But not on September 9th, a Wednesday, at 2:30 in the afternoon.
Jackie had just returned from school. She'd spent the entire six hours of classes daydreaming about listening to the sweet sound of music trickling into her ears. As soon as she got home, to her cramped, two-bedroom apartment, she grabbed the box of cookies from the small kitchen, entered her bedroom, and flopped onto the skinny mattress that lay on the floor. Her tablet was plugged into the wall outlet, charging. Jackie opened the cookie box and popped a chocolate chip one into her mouth. Slipping on her headphones, she un-paused the music that she'd been listening to that morning.
As usual, a wide smile spread across Jackie's face when the music entered her ears. She quickly got onto her Facebook app to see if she had any new notifications. Like normal, she had none, and her smile evaporated a little bit. But her hard life had toughened Jackie up, and she still wore her smile, even if it wasn't perfect. Jackie posted the song that she was listening to, and she'd gotten five likes within the next minute. She checked her friends' walls, liked some of their posts, and was about to dejectedly quit out of Facebook when she thought she heard her mom calling.