May 2

Today was a busy day. But it was good. We had hundreds of high school students on campus, and I was able to speak to several groups of them about how to study better. It was a little bit amusing, a little bit frustrating, and a whole lot of making me feel old. The groups I spoke to were all freshman. As I outlined how to take notes during class and techniques for test taking and study planning, I noticed how difficult it was for them to sit still and really pay attention. I kidded some of them about how teachers can actually see to the back of the room. Being 30 feet away isn’t considered hiding. And when you hit the kid next to you, it’s not a secret. (This did, in fact, happen.) Overall, though, they were good kids, and it was very obvious that they were just kids. And that’s when my mothering instincts kicked in. When I looked at all their young faces, I could see the potential in front of me, and I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them saw it in themselves. I wondered if they’d persist in school or get lured out of education by the promise of early dead-end jobs. The graduation rate in our district is low. I wondered how many of them would apply any of the tips I gave them during their high school years. I tried to stress the importance of figuring out how to be a student now, so that the upcoming years would be easier. I hope they heard me. I hope at least a few of them want to figure that out. When I look at kids that age, I wish there was a way to impart the knowledge that only maturity can give. And that’s when I feel old because I want to say to them, you’ll understand one day how important this is. And then you’ll wish you had listened better. But they may have. I hope so. After all, I’m thankful I’m in education where even during the difficult days, there’s the potential to help someone’s future.

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