Friday, May 22, 2009
Hey, if you are reading this then it is quite possible that you have come out of the study induced coma called "finals" and, regardless of how things wound up for you, will find some solace in the redeeming qualities of summer! Some parting words for each of you as the school year winds down.
Freshmen: You have one year under your belt, don't blow it! Yes high school is exciting and disappointing all at the same time; like getting a sucker from your dentist! A full mixture of seemingly confusing do's and dont's. Things like, "learn to think for yourself!...(as long as you don't question what I tell you to do!)". The goal for you now is to learn how to grow and thrive in such a system. My advice is to you is to start preparing now. I gave each of you a list of summer reading books along with the books that you will be reading next year. Pick up a copy of fun stuff and required stuff and read it. Self preservation means that you will need to take a proactive approach to being ready for next year. My other suggestion is to make a study group of friends. People that you can count on to help you out and vise a verse a when you really need it. Essentially someone who you can work with even if you don't have the same teacher. Odds are that you will have similar assignments so you should still be able to help and learn from each other. As Yoda says, "Remember what you have learned. Save you it can!". Dude, that puppet is hecka smart.
Juniors: You have the biggest task in front of you. The transition from Junior (mentally) to Senior in the course of 10 weeks (the length of summer! Shocking, I know). You have spent to many years in school to not finish well, and frankly, it's time to show your quality. You have the tools and the skills, put them to work for you in a way that insures that you have a successful year. Remember the characters from the stories that we read about, they are a glimpse of who you could become, but also a warning of what can easily befall those who are unwary. Consider the stories of the early Americans and Statesmen, those Revolutionary men and women who stood up and made the world take notice not just with there words, but with their deeds as well. Be the leaders that I know you can be. Lead by example. In your personal life, in your school, in your home, be the example. If you want to change the world kids, its done one person at a time and it starts first with "self". If you are half the people that I believe you to be, you will make excellent young leaders. Funny, and you thought that all you were getting was an "English" class.
Creative Writing: Each of you has the capacity to write the story that is laying dormant in you. Is it hard? Yeah, it is. But that doesn't mean that it shouldn't get done. You took my class cause you wanted to be a writer. Well, writers write...even in the off season...even if they don't take another semester of Creative Writing. Write your poems, stories, plays, and letters. No life was ever changed by sitting still and ignoring the universe. Your time is right now, and it is for as long as you can hold on to it. Put paper to pen every day and make it count! This goes for me as well as you so don't start with the, "Well, he isn't going to do it!" business. Write today because there is no guarantee on tomorrow. I learned this from Ray (Bradbury) so I'm telling you. This isn't for a grade, its for better development as a human being and our desire to connect to something bigger than us...Our window to the divine. Get back to me after the summer and show me what your pen discovered for you!
In closing, I would just like to say thank you to all of you. You shape me as much as I help shape you, always for the best. I will see you in 10 weeks. Adieu