Thursday, May 15, 2014
Climb to top of ladder
High schoolers have a tendency to rush those years away.
“I can’t wait until I graduate,” is pretty common, maybe more so when students reach the 10th grade.
I tried to emphasize to Emma and Andy, my two older children, that they should try to slow down and enjoy those precious years, focus on academic and extracurricular achievement and spend time with friends.
Believe it or not, I can recall my high school years, too, and how I thought they never would end.
A couple of weeks ago, while visiting Hamilton, Ala., I ran into a fellow member of the Class of 1979.
We both shared similar thoughts.
“I can’t believe it’s been 35 years.”
It is rather hard to explain to a teenager, but the years indeed fly by. I often look back and say, “Where did the time go?”
Now I’m approaching age 53 and already considering, “When do I want to retire?”
The answer to that question is likely “never.”
This week’s newspaper includes our annual graduation edition – recognizing high school seniors across the county in the Class of 2014.
I’ve talked with some.
Some have their goals firmly in place. Others are still uncertain about their paths after high schools.
Truth is, some of those goals may change, and it’s OK not to know exactly what you want to do with your life at this stage of the game.
I was pretty sure about my college major coming out of high school. But then after one year of college, I took a year off, and then started back. It was probably the best thing for me. It made me more dedicated to reaching my goals and stirred my enthusiasm, too.
It was a whole different world back in the late ’70s.
Disco music was king.
Some of the top groups included the Bee Gees, the Village People, the Commodores and the Bay City Rollers. Rock was popular, too, from the likes of Foreigner and Boston.
Singers topping the charts were Andy Gibb, Barry Manilow, Peter Frampton, Rod Stewart, Shaun Cassidy, Olivia Newton-John and Mick Jagger.
Popular songs on the radio (or the cassette tape) included “Three Times A Lady,” “Le Freak,” “Sharing the Night,” “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision” and “Sweet Life.”
Saturday Night Fever was one of the hottest movies on the big screen.
We wore those short basketball shorts, not the long ones that drop to the knees or below.
Three-piece leisure suits were stylish.
Boys wore their hair long, including yours truly, and that seems to be back in style somewhat in 2014.
But at the same time, teens from the ’70s and those today share similarities – all stepping into a new arena with the world at their fingertips.
It’s been a pleasure for me to get to know many members of the Class of 2014 at our various schools. I’ve followed them in athletic competition and in the classroom. They’re great young people.
It’s my hope they will take the knowledge they’ve gained and the lessons they’ve learned and reach their potential, in college and/or the workplace.
“All that stands between the graduate and the top of the ladder is the ladder.”
– Author Unknown
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