Explore your interests by trying something new
By SUSAN HALE
Published June 26, 2006
Countless days go by where I peruse the local newspapers and am delighted by the many stories about students from Lecanto High.
The daily accomplishments of our Panthers continue to amaze me. How I wish the media were sustained by those positive tales about our students as they contribute to their own success, their teams' success and their communities' success. But I guess that is just not reality.
Part of my morning daily ritual, which begins at 4:30 a.m., is to get my coffee, my laptop computer and my newspapers. I fire up the laptop, and while it is booting up, I read the daily newspapers. Many times, I forgo the hard copy of the papers and just read them online.
I get so excited as I read about the diverse population of students and their participation in activities that interest them. Among the topics: skateboarding, chorus, crew, Key Club, National Honor Society, tennis, band concerts, soccer, Rotary Club, students of the month, community service at medical facilities, Art Society, basketball, ROTC, softball, Model United Nations competitions, swimming, drama, football and so much more.
Without a doubt, I think that the amount of talent displayed by our students is noteworthy and commendable.
Oh sure, the talents vary. Some are based on interest. Some are based on academics. Some are based on athletics. Some are a combination of all of the above.
The fact is, there are so many areas that allow one to get involved.
Sometimes, just trying something affords one to learn so much about one's likes and dislikes. Trying something is certainly a golden opportunity for everyone.
Not every day, but at an increasing pace, I am faced with the dark side of daily newspaper reading. My bubble bursts. I read about a student, or an alum, who has been arrested.
After recovering from the initial heartache and disappointment, my sadness is replaced by anger. The anger is a strange mix of emotions for me.
Why did this person, with an entire lifetime ahead of him, not take the time to STOP and THINK?
The consequences of placing oneself in a negatively life-altering predicament should be the first thing that comes to mind.
I wonder why didn't he take a moment to STOP and THINK and consider that one's life can be ruined in the same amount of time that it takes to snap one's fingers.
The result of poor judgment and involvement in an illegal situation is NOT worth risking the rest of one's life.
All of the students and alums that I read about who end up on the dark side possess skills, talents and aptitudes that I should be reading about on the bright side.
Somehow, instead of expressing their individuality by exploring and experimenting with those positive attributes, they shy away from it.
Perhaps they are down on themselves.
Perhaps they think it would be easier to stifle themselves and avoid unknown situations that could give them a positive outlet for their thoughts and aspirations.
Lots of times, people don't know how to get involved in something new.
I claim that these are not valid excuses and encourage all of you to STOP and THINK before getting involved in the dark side.
Susan Hale of Homosassa is a business teacher at Lecanto High School. Guest columnists write their own opinions on subjects they choose, which do not necessarily reflect those of this newspaper.
[Last modified June 25, 2006, 22:35:02]
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