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home : opinions : letters to the editor
September 20, 2017

9/5/2017 7:29:00 AM
Classroom posters provide food for thought

To the Editor:

I recently enjoyed going to my class reunion for the first time and being able to surround myself with those that I shared a large portion of my life. It was comforting to be amongst them once again.

I have learned with age that things and opportunities happen for a reason. A few of my closest buddies had passed away so the focus changed to the life of a young child on the southside. We shared and recollected all the opportunities and memories that this community presented to us throughout our early youth. There was never a dull day outdoors.

I thought of my son teaching high school history, so I searched Amazon for history books and in doing so I ordered a book of the real history of the Indigenous people. That led me to exact copies of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence just as they were originally drafted and written. I was thinking that those would be thought-provoking on a classroom wall. Then I started to view classroom posters and the first poster I read had the words of Mark Twain which simply but profoundly stated, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."

For me, I found out why when I returned from the Navy in anticipation of going to school to become a mortician as my mother wished. But, after three months of hunting, fishing and thoughtful reflection, I said no and started taking tests for employment. That's when I got the call from Chief Tony Paris asking me if I wanted to be a Rhinelander policeman.

The next poster I looked at had a bent upright cocked arm with a power fist and the wording went like this "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." That was written by Alice Walker.

My immediate thought with that is the apathy applied to voting day and that your reason for not voting is because it's not going to change anything.

The last poster reminded me of all the wasted time in school worrying about things that did not mean anything. The poster is titled "The 7 Rules Of Life" and number one is "Make peace with your past so it does not affect the present." Number 2: "What others think of you is none of your business." Number 3: "Time heals everything, give it time." Number 4: "Don't compare your life to others and don't judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about." Number 5: "It's all right not to know all the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it." Number 6: "You are in-charge of your happiness" and Number 7: "Smile you don't own all the problems in the world."

The last poster I viewed was authored by Nelson Mandela and it unequivocally stated that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. What better way to decorate a classroom than with food for thought.

Then today, I just finished consuming an Asian lunch and I opened my fortune cookie only to read, "Opportunity knocks on your front door." I thought sure that's the story of my life. Opportunity is knocking at my front door and I'm not home.

Craig Strid


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