A Senior Reflection

Posted February 24, 2012 by oakcrest304
Categories: Catch-All, growing older, growing older, Memories, reflection

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by Audrey Humphrey

The first half of my senior year has come to an end. While the year so far has gone by very fast, the days earlier in the year seemed to move extremely slow.  I experienced my first “lasts” of my high school career: my last high school retreat and last winter concert. Even though I knew they were the last times I would be participating in those activities, in my heart they truly didn’t feel like the last, and I now understand sooner or later the feelings will come crashing in. Read the rest of this post »

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Letter to My Daughter (2040)

Posted February 24, 2012 by oakcrest304
Categories: Catch-All, family, growing older, Memories, reflection

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by Julia Clark

“In my daughter’s eyes I can see the future, a reflection of who I am and what will be. Though she’ll grow and someday leave, maybe raise a family. When I’m gone I hope you see how happy she made me, for I’ll be there in my daughter’s eyes.”

-Martina McBride

What a joy it has been all of these years to watch you grow and mature into the woman you are today. From the moment you came into this world, I made a promise to myself that I would raise you right and instill wisdom into every fiber of your being in hopes of your future success. But now, as you are about to enter the next stage of your life, I feel that I have not yet completed my job until I have given you a few more pieces of advice. As you often do, I pray that you listen to what I tell you and take it to heart, just as I did many years ago when my mother spoke these words to me. Read the rest of this post »

Time to Reflect

Posted February 24, 2012 by oakcrest304
Categories: Catch-All, reflection

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by Taylor DeMarco

Now that my senior year is about half way complete, it’s a good time to reflect on how much has changed in the past five months. I am still happy with the classes that I have chosen, and also very excited for the new classes of the second semester.

My stress has drastically gone down since I was excepted into college, which also has given me more motivation to excel in the few remaining months of high school life. Ironically, being accepted into college obviously also comes with its own fears of depending on myself for the first time, and the responsibility that comes with it. Read the rest of this post »

The Wheels Stop Turning

Posted February 22, 2012 by oakcrest304
Categories: Catch-All, Culture, growing older, reflection

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by Rachel Kunker

Cars, like most machines, go through many different stages. The diversity of cars is without number as they come in all different shapes and sizes. In addition, all cars tend to exhibit different features or strong points. A car’s lifespan can primarily be broken up into four parts each consisting of two years: being bought new, getting decaled, needing parts, and falling apart.

At the beginning of its life, a new car is envied by everyone. Everyone wants to see it, ride around in it, and just experience the new car. A new car could be described as being pure, not dirtied by the road, scratched from crashes, or torn apart. Its new arrival occupies all the talk of the owner’s friends, and they, too, wish to obtain their own new car. Read the rest of this post »

Leaves of Life

Posted February 22, 2012 by oakcrest304
Categories: Catch-All, growing older, reflection

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by Audrey Humphrey

Every year leaves change color. They begin young and strong with the color green in spring. As summer rolls in, the leaves grow to the proper size. Their colors brighten in the face of autumn, soaking in the last rays of sun. The darkness of winter soon bears down as the leaves lose their color and float to the ground. The changing of colors occurs within a human life as well.

The green leaves display the strength and vitality of youth. Upon hearing the first cries of a newborn baby, an image of unheard strength comes to mind. The strength crying requires to expel such a tremendous sound from a tiny baby must be extreme. As the baby matures into a toddler a new energy possesses the body. The most challenging period, the terrible twos, displays the constant energy pulsing through the child’s veins, as toddlers tear through the house leaving destruction in his wake. Read the rest of this post »

Success …by M. Kelly

Posted January 22, 2011 by oakcrest304
Categories: Culture, family, reflection

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What is the purpose of our life? Where do we find true meaning as we walk through our life? Ever since I found out my grandfather has stage four cancer, these are the questions that have been plaguing my mind. In the blink of an eye our lives can be threatened by death and we must face whether we have gained true success. Once again we are faced with another question… What is true success? As I have milled over these questions, one word has repeatedly come back to mind : Love.

So many times our society looks at success in life as how much money you attain, what position of authority you hold in your job, how nice your house is, or what kind of car you drive. But how many times does someone recognize success by the amount of love a person has?  As I thought about death and the difficulties life presents, I  realized true success comes from loving others.  Dictionary.com defines love as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person or an affectionate concern for the well-being of another.” By this definition we see that life becomes so much bigger than ourselves, it becomes a mission to serve others.

This idea was brought to life in an even greater way as I was reading Tale of Two Cities for my English class. At the end of the book one character chooses to give his life for another. At the end of this dramatic scene, he essentially says that the act of giving up his life gave his life true meaning. When I hit this passage I was so convicted! Society tells us to put ourselves first to gain success, yet here was a situation where success and a sense of true accomplishment came from dying.  You have to lose your life to gain success? At first the whole situation seemed like an oxymoron, but upon deeper reflection I realized that this sacrifice of death was the truest form of love. The real success of true love was shining clearer and clearer in my eyes.

So as I have walked through these last weeks, love has been my focus. Not what I could gain from others, but what I could give to them. It has not been about the huge steps I could take or the big efforts, but the small consistent acts of kindness that encourage others.  The wonderful thing is that through this journey and realization I have gained true joy — joy that goes beyond myself to an active joy that affects others around me. Therefore, now as I contemplate those same initial questions, I find my definition of true success is loving others to the fullest, and experiencing the joy that comes from that.

To My Son: Cautions Before War …M. Kelly

Posted January 22, 2011 by oakcrest304
Categories: Catch-All, family, growing older, reflection

My Dear Boy,
As this new phase of life dawns upon us, I fear that I have not adequately covered the things on which a mother ought to instruct her son. The journey you are about to embark on as you go off to war is unlike anything I ever dreamed you would encounter. What you are doing for your country is of the highest honor and loyalty. I am so thankful that your good character has led you to make this decision. I know your father would be proud to see you defending those that cannot defend themselves. His greatest desire was that you would grow to be a man that always took the higher road.

This leads me to the main point of this letter. As you go off to war, I pray that you will keep on the higher road. As I have expressed, your decision to go to war is an excellent decision on that higher road. Do not let upright choices vanish in the midst of your intense situation. The higher road will not always be the easiest road. Other opportunities and pathways will many times seem easier, but you must not compromise what you know to be right.

At the age of eighteen, you will have friends that will try to distract you from what you know to be right. Do not buckle to these influences. Your generation has so much potential just waiting to bloom, but too many times you and your friends do not even realize how your little choices distract you from achieving your potential. Take guard against perverse language, inappropriate content of conversation, and disgruntled spirits. Although these things seem small and insignificant in the physical fight that ensues you, if they are not guarded against, they will ruin your reputation and your life before you blink. It is important to choose friends that encourage you to do right. You will encounter many people that seem well-liked but would quickly take you away from the right.

The most important protection against straying from the higher path is your own determination. If you lack this and do not commit in your heart to staying on the higher road, you will quickly stray. Since you were a child you have desired to do right. Your spirit was so crushed when you thought you had disappointed me. You fought to be a strong, yet quiet example to those around you in order to honor authority. This decision of fighting for your country proves to me once again that this is still your goal in life. Do not lose this!

Each day you are gone, you will not be far from my mind. I will continuously be thinking of you and the joy you bring to my life. Thank you for not only honoring me with you life decisions, but living a life that reflects the character of your father. I am so proud to call you my son. Keep on the higher road.

Your Loving Mother