Passages and Points

June 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

I blinked hard as I watched my fourteen-year-old granddaughter march down the aisle at her middle school graduation. This was a passage, one of those doorways that once gone through would forever change life. Middle school was over. It would be just a blink again before she’d be graduating from high school. The girls who had started first grade together were now bejeweled, party dressed, hair perfect and looking mature for their years. The 8th grade boys,mostly a head shorter, had yet to catch up longitudinally and sartorially but wore sweetly earnest expressions.

I listened on an echoing p.a. system in the stuffy gymnasium to Langley Middle School’s principal Rod Merrell give his outgoing eight graders ten points of excellent advice. Geared for students going into high school, his comments resonated with me and could just as easily suit a baby boomer, the newly come of age person, and the one who can see the end of the road from here.

With Principal Merrel’s permission, I’m repeating some of his points.

1. “Set short and long-term goals.

2. “Challenge yourself.

3. “Find a passion.

4. “Find people who share your values.

5. “Make friends with upper classmen.

6. “Don’t take yourself so seriously–embrace your inner nerd.”

Seniors, along with kids going into high school, can benefit from challenge and goal setting. Call it what you want … a bucket list … a wish list … or maybe a “If I were to die this year what would I be sorry I hadn’t finished or hadn’t accomplished?” list.

I never thought of upper classmen as being just friends older than me. Some of my best friends are “upper classmen.” As they are, so will I be. And I think I’m an “upper classmen” for younger friends.

But, what I really like about Principal Merrell’s comments is “Don’t take yourself so seriously.” It’s time for all of us to “embrace that inner nerd.” We’re all nerds if we’ll admit it. Let’s embrace it–wear orange proudly, be socks and sandals people, get acquainted with water balloons again, and remember, if you blink this moment will be gone.

© Inger Logelin 2011

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