Press Editorial

June 19, 2012

By Staff

Graduates, take time to explore life

A collective sigh of relief can be heard across the district from graduates of Issaquah’s four high schools.No longer will they have to endure the most frequent question asked of high school teens: “What are your plans after you graduate?”

By now the graduates know the answer and so do those who asked the question repeatedly for four years. The answer, of course, is most likely what all graduates before them have answered: Go to college or technical school, join the military, get a job, get married or take time off and then decide.

Congratulations to all. But special applause for those who have a next step that ends with “then decide.”

Too often teens are encouraged to have a life plan in place by the time they are handed a high school diploma. Today’s reality is that plans will change as young people go on to discover interests they never knew they had. And once they get it figured out, the road may bend, taking them in a new direction altogether. Throw in changing technology, an unknown economy and myriad other of life’s hiccups.

The best post-high school answer to future plans might be “expand my knowledge and skills.” Learning to appreciate education for education’s sake will create a foundation for life, for understanding of diverse people and interests, and foster better citizenship.

A well-rounded education is a stated goal in the Issaquah School District, but too often high school students get caught up in the pursuit of specific classes to gain entrance into a specific college that they don’t make time for the electives. Parents and faculty can help by encouraging students to explore life.

What are your plans after college?

Explore life. Now there’s an answer you’ve got to love.

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Comments

One Response to “Press Editorial”

  1. Shelley Watson on June 19th, 2012 8:09 pm

    I’m a dedicated supporter of free speech, whether I agree with it or not. I expect in the Press to see cartoons and opinions that aren’t necessarily in lock step with my own; that’s the blessing of a free press. However, I have to say I was entirely unimpressed, and a bit offended by the choice and timing of the cartoon in the June 20 edition of the Press. Our family graduated a second student from Skyline High School last week. As I eagerly flipped the pages to find the pictures of her class, and read the names of the valedictorians, I was surprised to find a cartoon depicting high school diplomas rolling off a toilet paper roll next to a toilet. I can’t believe that someone thought this was a great choice leading up to pictures of our wonderful students, and the names of those who excel in academics and student life. How offensive for those students, for the parents who’ve supported their efforts, for the teachers, counselors and coaches that have provided an excellent education in our district! I would be less offended if there seemed to be some point to the cartoon, but it simply delivers an insult. There’s no intellectual message I can discern. Does it mean our students’ diplomas are worthless? I doubt our district or students or faculty or parents agree. Does it mean that a high school diploma itself has no meaning, or negative meaning in our society? Certainly education has become undervalued. But if that’s the point, does insulting the work our students have done to gain their diplomas make that point intelligently? I don’t think so. Our society may not value education as it once did, but denigrating the diplomas our young people have worked hard to earn doesn’t add to society’s value of education. It simply reinforces the idea that education doesn’t matter, that a diploma is fit only for wiping one’s backside, and saddest of all, that the voice of our community believes that message strongly enough to make it the editorial cartoon in the same issue highlighting the hard work and achievement of our students. It’s insulting and denigrating to a school district and students in which some of us in this wonderful community take enormous pride.

    For the first time in my 19 years living in Issaquah, I’m disgusted by the paper. Shame on the Issaquah Press.

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