By Zachary Harmon Talon Co-editor
Ladies and gentlemen we’re being watched. 1984 is still relevant. You don’t have to go far to find some conspiracy theorist in his tin foil hat telling you that President Obama is reading your text messages, and has access to your Facebook account. Even if the NSA is watching us, that is not why I’m writing to you. I have intentions of this being read by high school seniors, however in all actuality, If you can read, this applies to you, too.
Growing up is an odd experience, mostly because we don’t really know what to do. Middle school is different than high school, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that high school is slightly different than college will be. Thinking back on the past few days, the way we figure out how to act depends on the actions of the people ahead of us. I remember being in middle school, or even being a freshmen and having those guys I’d look up to and thinking “wow, they have their lives together,” and I’d try and set a course similar to theirs. I even remember being in elementary school and having those I’d look up to who where the “big kids” in the 6th grade.
Today, you are one of the big kids. Every move you make is being scrutinized by younger eyes. This first came to my attention when my volleyball coach came up to me a couple weeks ago and told me something that I thought was hilarious.
Now I must explain, I have a very unique serve in volleyball that involves me running my fingers through my hair while my left arm is extended, holding the ball, followed by a deep squat before hitting the ball. What my coach told me was this – his elementary-aged daughters have added a dance move called “The Zach” into their repertoire of dance moves for post-school celebrations. I found this surprising, given I figured most people just saw me serve, chuckle, and move on with their lives.
Just the other day I ran into one of our seventh graders at a theater in San Francisco, of all places to run into a Redwood kid. Though I’m not positive, I’m willing to wager that someone was keeping tabs on me both at the theater, and then in the Bart station, and then in the train.
Several days later I was having dinner with a friend who was one of those “big kids” I had looked up to when I was a freshman, and believe it or not, I caught myself carefully watching, just like the old days.
Now I’m just over here being a senior, and you’re over there, and we’re all in the home stretch, with a hand full of weeks till summer. Like so many of my peers, I am suffering from a terrible disease called “senioritis.” For some reason or another once we get accepted to a college we just lose all motivation to do anything. “I’m leaving in like 8 weeks, what are they going to do if I quit/don’t do ____?” crosses my mind on a regular basis.
Then I remembered all those seniors I looked up to when I was but a youngster. They didn’t quit. At the time I thought nothing of it, but what if they did? I would have felt let down and disappointed. Imagine your favorite hero giving up and walking away from his villain in the heat of the fight to watch TV because he didn’t feel like fighting evil anymore. There would be so many kids throwing down their lightsabers and Captain America shields in disgust.
Believe it or not, you have a tremendous impact on those years behind you, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a teacher, senior, freshman or sixth grader. Go out and impact those for the good, rather than letting them down in this last quarter. Rather than thinking “I’m leaving in like 8 weeks, what are they going to do if I quit/don’t do ____?” think “I only have 8 weeks left to impact those who look up to me in the best way possible.” Show them God’s love. Invite them to Bible Study. Train them to take your place when you go on to the next place God takes you.
The year 1984 by the way, was a great one for inspirational songs. To be honest, I wrote this story listening to Joe Esposito’s “You’re The Best Around” and Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need a Hero.” I’ll throw them on to the bottom if you want some theme music for your fourth quarter.
Now go, make it a goal to go out as a legend, not a quitter.
There is the ending to a story to be written and you hold the pen. Go get ‘em.
“You’re the best around”
“I need a hero”