Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Trial Run

The high school I attended wasn't wonderful. It was populated by an uneasy mix of rural kids straight from the farm and blue collar households and Air Force dependents who were rarely there more than two years or so. The teachers were lackluster, the principal was obviously uncomfortable with the whole 1970's culture, and the school had no AP classes whatsoever.

Nonetheless, I made the best of things, scored the grades, got the college acceptances, and moved on.

That's life. Make the best of the situation you're in. Find a way to shine. Don't fall into the blame game (if only my school was better, if only we could afford something better, if only I had a fill-in-the-blank). With initiative, focus, and hard work, much more is possible. (I didn't say anything is possible. That just isn't reality.) I don't think it's Pollyanna-ish to focus on the good. It's simply a matter of allocating energy to its best possible use.

Our son attends Dunwoody High School. He focuses on the opportunities and steps around the sublime lunacy of class schedule fiascoes, experiments in course offerings, and near-daily policy changes. There are many, many positives about his school: Stellar teachers who are passionate, creative, and caring. An athlete heading to Harvard because he's talented and smart. Students choosing four AP classes in a single block semester because they can. Talented scholars carrying demanding classloads and competing in cross country, tennis, swimming, Mock Trial, orchestra, band, and other programs as well as volunteering and cleaning out waterways and pursuing their Eagles and hiking twenty miles through the desert and working part-time jobs. College and scholarship offers pouring in.

Yesterday, the DHS Mock Trial team, in just its second year of competition, presented its case in two rounds and scored very high points as well as an impressive array of Outstanding Attorney and Witness awards. The team applauded the winners, cheered each other's accolades, and graciously headed home for homework and rest.

I am very proud of the students of Dunwoody High School. Each day, they give me more reasons to appreciate their energy, sense of fun, and hard work.

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