Even though most people will never admit it, I think we can all learn a lot from Charles Dickens and his books.
Granted, reading Great Expectations during my days at Oswego High School was no walk in the park, I think its message is so powerful...especially today. Although the main character, Pip, is born and dies very poor and lonely, he always lived with great expectation of what was to come.
During this day and age, I find it more and more difficult to keep my outlook positive and my chin up. Nations are raging and the earth is quaking; everywhere we look we see corruption and despair. Being a college student and living with college students who, in case you forgot, know EVERYTHING, life can seem pretty grim. Whenever I have these moments, I simply count my blessings and look for the positive in those around me.
One of my favorite parts about being the president of such a wonderful organization that is the Character Counts! Coalition, I get to work and interact with students, faculty, community members; the whole gambit. We truly live in a wonderful community full of wonderful people and wonderful things.
For your sake and mine, here is a run down of some of the AWESOME things I saw going on since my Spring Break from North Central started just three days ago:
Wednesday afternoon I was working in my office at OHS. I had just moved out of school, so I was all kinds of exhausted. I come out of the Student Services suite and see none other than Susan Posmer, my eigth-grade Language Arts teacher and Junior High Drama Director at Traughber.
She has since retired and has begun substitute teaching. We were chatting idly about how her retirement is going, when I asked why on earth she'd come back and sub. "Well, Ryan, I don't do it for the money; that's for sure." While Mrs. Posmer loves subbing, she confessed to me that she truly misses her classroom; not because of the day to day work or the paper grading, but because it was there where she truly felt she had made an impact on the students. She confessed that her one goal during the year was change the life of one student sitting in her class.
It was so nice to hear the woman who has done nothing but inspire and encourage me through my years talk about her unceasing committment to her students and dedication to Oswego. That's something we can all learn from. Thank you, Mrs. Posmer.
A second example came Friday. I was finishing the afternoon announcements at Fox Chase Elementary where my mom is the principal's secretary. One of the teachers, Mrs. Palatine, was telling me about her son, Cameron, and his success in high school. I had seen Cameron that day as I came out of my office heading to OHS' main office.
His mom explained he was meeting with Mr. Wayne, the Principal at OHS. Cameron has drafted a plan that, pending approval, would raise money for a program called Jeans for Wishes that helps children with cancer. He would like a time when OHS staff could wear jeans to work, but they must donate money to this fundraiser in order to do so.
For a freshman in high school to come up with, organize, and orchestrate such a plan is simply remarkable. Thank you, Cameron. The Character Counts! Coalition supports you.
Looking for the positive things happening around us is something we hear all the time; isn't time we all gave it a try? It's not cliche, it's just the right thing to do. I have begun to notice things looking up and looking brighter since I have made it a priority to find the good in the things that I encounter every day. If we all do this, how can we not believe, even for a second, that the best of times are still ahead for Oswego.
And I don't think it's just a Great Expectation.