May 13, 2009

My Trip Back to Martin County High School

Posted in Community Outreach, free tagged , , at 2:19 pm by jannyf

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to 3 classes at Martin County High School (MCHS).  This is where I attended school and graduated in 1990.  Sure, there are some cosmetic changes to the exterior of the school, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.

For instance, they still have security guards on campus.  These are older, retired men who have to put up with teenagers.  The faces are different but they still do the same thing:  chase after you when you don’t stop at the guard station, hang out in the front office looking for coffee, and trying to build relationships with the kids.

Yes, I remember where the science wing is.  It hasn’t moved or changed, except for technology and keeping more doors locked.  And the teachers still have to deal with teenagers.  Technology may have changed, but a teenager’s attitude has not.

For instance, there are always kids who have to go to the bathroom.  I remember pulling that stunt to get out of a class for a while too.  And then there are the kids who decide to not pay attention to a guest speaker.  Although I wasn’t one of them in high school, there was always a few in my class who would sleep or work on their homework instead of paying attention.  As a guest speaker, I saw my share of eyelids and homework being worked on.

Gone are the days of blackboards and chalk dust, and now they have Powerpoint for notes.  With this generation of kids, you have to be on the forefront of technology.  They enjoyed the You Tube video I brought, but I don’t think they liked listening to me talk for the rest of the time.  When I was in high school, our guest speakers would bring props or other things to try and entertain us.  I guess as teens we constantly need entertainment.

This generation wants everything now – they are used to instant information, access and gratification.  I think if they could fast forward their lives, they would.  I have a wish list for them:

  • Life moves quickly once high school is behind you, enjoy the days you have now.
  • The ‘real world’ is not the one you see on TV – there are bills to pay, jobs to take seriously and work to be done.  Savor the freedom you have right now – once you graduate, life can consume you.
  • Take a look around at the friends you have in high school.  Enjoy your time with them, laugh alot, and take lots of pictures and document it!  As you grow older, you won’t remember all the fun you had, but the memories you print out and write about now will take you back to another place and time and restore the smile to your face.
  • You have a high school sweetheart, and the chances that you marry this person are very slim.  However, they will teach you many of life’s lessons:  respect, love, trust.  Take those lessons with you and remember the good times you had as a couple and not the nasty breakup that occurs down the road.  Don’t ever be bitter.

High school really hasn’t changed all that much.  There are new challenges for teachers in dealing with today’s youth.  But are those challenges really all that different?  Didn’t we wear clothes that were considered ‘risque’ at the time?  Wasn’t there a female teen or two that ended up pregnant?  Didn’t we have a class clown, a class jock, a burnout and the kid who was always in trouble?

The more things change, the more they stay the same……..