(This letter was written as part of a Brainerd High School class project.)
Going through 13 years of school, I have come to realize many values, but one in particular sticks out the most in my mind. It's not about the valuable things I have learned in class. It's just the basic concept of growing up.
High school is where many students do their growing up. Between ages 15-18, people go through many different changes that help them choose the course of their life.
I, myself, know that I have gone through many changes while going through high school. Being a senior, I know that I have grown up a lot from my sophomore year, which was only two years ago.
Growing up during high school has not always been easy. Many of us have experienced some very sad times. Whether it was being teased, being lonely, or losing a loved one. I think losing loved ones is one thing that has touched the class of 2000 deeply. Though it was a very sad time, it has helped us grow, together and by ourselves.
I know that I wouldn't have grown up the way I did if it wasn't for my friends. I've had many good friends, but only a few who have been great. They have stood by me through thick and thin, and without them everything would have been just a little bit different.
Teachers come and go, but there always is a teacher that sticks out in one's mind. For me, it is Mr. Johnson, the ninth grade math teacher. He was the only teacher to give me the privilege of attending summer school. Even after that, he still remained to be one of my favorite teachers.
I think the most important people who have participated in my growing up is my parents. One of the biggest things I'll look back on when thinking of high school is living with my parents. They are the ones who have touched my life the most. I know raising a teenager isn't the easiest thing, and I give every parent credit for having to do this. I know my parents mean more to me than they'll ever know.
I think growing up is one of the biggest values of high school people can attain. Don't get me wrong, after graduating there still is a lot more growing up to do. Besides high school getting us ready for college, it gets us ready for life.
(The following letters were written by Central Lakes College students as part of the Community Awareness and Activism course.)
Concerned about teens
I am concerned about our teens. I have lived in Menahga my whole life and there has never been a safe place for teens to get together and have fun. I am most concerned about the lack of recreational activities for adolescents age 10 to 15. Sure, you can drive your teens 15 miles to a bowling alley, theater, and restaurants, but how many parents are willing to do this, particularly if they leave their kids unsupervised? In our community there is a playground for the younger children, and older teens who can drive find all types of recreation and entertainment outside our community. But what about the teens who are too old to play at the playground and too young to drive? What is there for these kids to do to get rid of their excess energy?
We need to get these kids off the streets and out of trouble. There are too many kids aimlessly wandering the streets with nothing productive to do to keep them out of trouble. I think that we, as a community, can come up with a place for these kids to meet and hang out, besides the parking lots of the convenience stores. It is when these kids have nothing better to do, that they then start vandalizing, robbing, throwing parties, and causing havoc in our community. I think that it is about time we start thinking about our youth because they will soon be our future.
Science has made many discoveries since the dark ages, yet along the way it has been opposed and hindered by many of those who would stand to benefit from it. Recent breakthroughs in genetic engineering may lead to cures for diseases and ailments such as step throat, ear infections, malaria, hepatitis C, cancer, diabetes, and asthma. According to Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, "Gene-based technology offers us tremendous reason to be optimistic about conquering even the most enigmatic diseases, like AIDS." Within the next 10-15 years, the plight of other genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's, Down's Syndrome, Tay Sach's, hemophilia and sickle-cell anemia may no longer exist. In light of all of the suffering genetic engineering has the power to cure, one wonders why whether or not it is 'natural' is even important. Indeed, if all scientific progress had been impeded on account of it being 'unnatural,' then human kind would never have left the trees.
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