I hope this post finds you well. My position, along with several others, is not being renewed for next school year due to a reorganization taking place. Being an hourly employee, I had to look for summer work anyways, and so I’ve been searching for new employment over the last several weeks. I’ve found work that has caused me to have to leave a little before the school year ends.
This blog will certainly continue, and I hope you’ll stop by from time to time. In the coming weeks and months here, I hope to expand on my Exploring the world of music series and talk more about scholarships and careers. I’m also working to line up several interviews, including one with my friend and former band mate who currently attends the U.S. Naval Academy, if he can make it work. This would be an awesome interview and discussion for anyone who’s interested in pursuing admission into a service academy after high school.
I want to thank you, for everything. As many of you know, I’ve always worked in various business roles, and this school year was my first formal experience in the world of education. Learning is a two-way street, and I learned so much from you. I sincerely hope I was able to have a positive impact in your life like you have had in mine.
Here are some of the main highlights and memorable moments from our time together:
To the group of freshman boys that dug up several photos of me on Facebook from my days in a local band and made a tribute video out of them: That brought me great laughter and joy. Thank you! I also got a kick out of the poster you recently discovered of me at the Muskego Public Library:
To the group of gentlemen at prom who asked me if I’d ever consider managing and promoting your rap group: As you know, I’m more of a rocker, personally, as evidenced by this photo that I’m sure you’ve seen already. But I’m certainly willing to give it a try, if you’re serious! I just don’t know if we can book you into Muskego Fest, though…
Career conversations – There were several of you who sought my ideas and advice about career paths and any associated training, experience, and schooling that would be needed. I really enjoyed these meaningful discussions with you and helping you conduct a little research. I hope you found these talks fruitful. I know I certainly did. It was wonderful learning from you.
English 11 class – Really, really enjoyed reading and discussing your papers during our unit on education! You covered some deep and interesting topics around the areas of student engagement, year-round schooling, pay for college athletes, the value of homework, and education systems in other countries, among others. My mind is still pondering many of these subjects, and I’ve been checking out some of your original sources to learn even more. Excellent work!
Lessons in “cool” – Between you and the undergraduate college students I work with as a senator in Cardinal Stritch University's student government, I learned that Facebook is now for soccer moms and old-timers; that Twitter isn't much better than Facebook; that Instagram and Snapchat are where it's at these days; and that Converse shoes are, once again, all the rage.
Some final advice here:
Know that tough times, which we all experience throughout our lives, are only temporary. Never be afraid to seek out guidance and support from family, friends, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, professors, resources in the community, etc. There’s no doubt that many curve balls will come your way throughout your life. But you’ll also have plenty of opportunities for home runs and even grand slams coming at you right down the middle of the plate. Knock ’em out of the park.
Learn something that’s interesting to you this summer. And I’m really hoping you’ll take that to mean more than just mastering the latest moves and strategies in Fortnite, Cookie Clicker, and Minecraft. Learn about a couple of careers you’re genuinely interested in. What will you need for training, experience, and/or schooling? Are there any volunteer opportunities that may give you an edge? Anyone you can chat with during the summer at family gatherings and parties about these potential paths? Anyone in the community that you can interview, shadow, or take a tour with?
What we generically call “drama” – You’re at an age and in an environment (high school) where “drama” has the potential to lurk its ugly head around the corner at any given time. And I’ve seen it take on many different forms. While the issue, whatever it is, may seem like the world to you and your friends/classmates at the time, it most likely means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. It’s not worth losing friendships and potential friendships over. Remember what’s truly important in the end – your friends.
Trust the process. A professor of mine in my doctoral program lives by this creed. Some of the best conversations and learning opportunities can come about when we simply, “trust the process.”
In closing, thank you once again. What a sincere pleasure it’s been getting to know, working with, and learning from, you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can ever be of further assistance to you, such as a job or scholarship reference / letter of recommendation. Take care of yourselves and each other, stay safe, and enjoy the summer. See you around.
All the Best,