High school is just starting for some of you. Fourteen years ago I started this journey into public education. That long ago, a bunch of fourteen year old girls and boys went through the same thing. Well, not quite the same. As a first year teacher, I must have been rough around the edges. I’ll bet they knew it, too. They are all twenty eight or so at this point. Some of them have children, some have none. Some are still in school, some did not continue on that path. Some well adjusted, some maladjusted. All these years later more than 2500 individuals – all types of people then – have become everything from PhDs to drug addicts. I’ve taught them all. I’ve seen students years later appear on the news, sometimes beside a politician, sometimes inside a copcar. Haven’t seen those two combined though, not to say it couldn’t happen.

No one could ever predict what would become of any of my past students. Just like none could have predicted what I would turn out as, where I would end up.

Bottom line…and I didn’t think, speak, act or feel this way for a long time. It was a long time coming.

You’ve all heard me say it, and I’m sure you’ll hear it again and again throughout your lives.

Live in the moment. That’s only part of it, though. It is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.

But here is the big one….when you are in that moment, do what’s most beneficial in those given situations for the rest of your known lives whether its pay attention in class, stay really silent during a tense game of hide n seek, spend time with your parent(s) whether you can actually hug them or you have to see them through glass, at a grave site, in a court.

And what about a look into your future?

Be good.

When others aren’t, you must be.

When you get the urge to do something wrong or bad, play it through to its end. In your mind, find out what could happen in worst case scenarios. And then realize that you don’t have to follow through with a bad decision just because you think you want to make one.

Play through the good decisions too. Imagine the best possible outcomes.

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