Wednesday, October 5, 2016
First Person: Opportunity
I talked with several high school students on their way in. They were all tired, but they understood the situation. A few were worried their education would suffer. Periods are cut to 30 minutes. The superintendent told me the schedule might be tweaked to emphasize the basics, and that doesn't seem like a bad idea.
I look at this as an opportunity. Let me take you back to the mid 1970's.
Right around the same time, an elementary school in the district was also closed. It was another fire trap. Those students were shifted to the junior high. The junior high students shared the high school with us. Older kids went in the morning. Younger ones had the afternoon.
I loved it. First, it got me out of a dangerous building, a building district management thought was just fine, thank you. It was sickening. Second, it was less time exposed to a soul crushing atmosphere with a mostly disconnected and uninspired faculty.
Here's where I benefited even more. I lived close to the Penn State campus in Dunmore. There were many visits to its library during my free afternoons. Yes, a real library with real research materials-- not that joke of a library at my high school.
I asked a few Wyoming Valley West kids what they will do with their afternoons. The responses: sleep, hang with friends, and play video games. I nearly wept.
Wyoming Valley West students: go to the library. Kings, Wilkes, Ousterhout and Hoyt are close. Read something. Write something. If your teachers don't have the time or inclination to look at it, send it to me. I'll read it or pass it along to one of my teacher friends for a critique. Heck, I might even publish it here.
I'm not stupid. You need some fun and goof off time, especially before winter arrives. But, please make the effort to learn something during your free afternoons. You won't regret it.
AT 12:00 AM