The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 30, 2013

College trip reminds of life's potential

Today's kids are driven tobe good, smart

(Continued)

That's a major difference from the world I grew up in. I'm proud of my high school, St. Paul Johnson. It's the alma mater of Herb Brooks, after all. Doesn't get much better than that. Getting involved in activities, though, is something that simply wasn't done. We had a yearbook staff and student newspaper. But only a small smattering of kids joined.

History Club? Science Club? Nope. Marching band? Well, I think we had a band, but the only marching anyone did was when they headed out the door at 3:10 p.m.

It was a different mindset back then. At school, we didn't want to seize the moment. We wanted the moments to fly by so the bell would ring and we could get out of there. Today, Emma and most of her friends actually like going to West and they take pride in their school and accomplishments (before any East parents call to vilify me, I'll add that I'm quite certain the students on the East side of town have the same experience.)

It feels like the go-getters of today are sort of following the words of Henry David Thoreau. Remember his famous words?

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived," he wrote. "I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

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