of the most common statements recently is “life isn’t fair.” We’ve all
heard this from our parents when we didn’t get what we wanted, from teachers
when we received a bad grade on a test or paper, or from other people when
similar “unfair” thing happened.
Life may also be described as “crazy”,
”unpredictable”, “precious”, and “baffling.” I’ll explain what I
mean in more detail shortly.
Life is the most precious thing there is. No matter how hard we try, death is
always hanging over our ignorant and naïve heads. Monday, March 5
at roughly 9:45 a.m. Santana High School in Santee, California. became yet
another scene of mind-bending teen violence. Ever since the Columbine
massacre, I have been trying to find answers to the motives of these enraged
teens. But I have almost always come up dry, with only a large number of
theories and questions that can never really be proven, answered, understood,
or respected. The suspect, Charles Andrew Williams, was 15 years old. He
opened fire in boys’ restroom and reloaded at least twice before killing two
fellow students and injuring 13 others. He was arrested and will face murder
charges as an adult.
Perhaps the most disturbing detail to come out of
this latest school shooting, other than the fact that two people lost their
lives, is that as he fired away at fellow human beings. He was smiling proudly
and enthusiastically as if the weapon he held in his hands represented years
of adolescent rage and aggressive energy, finally releasing itself. Columbine
also had a similar incident when the two killers asked a young girl if she
believed in God and when she defied all the odds and answered proudly “yes,”
she was executed without hesitation. I know, I know, the “media” blows
things out of proportion and may be partly responsible for these murderous
rampages because it gives the trigger-happy monsters the 15 minutes of
fame they so desperately desire. Yet if we ignore these incidents and try to
forget that they ever happened, no solutions will be brought about and future
generations will never know that such things can do, and will happen. If we do
not know the past, we will be doomed to repeat it.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the perpetrators of the worst school shooting
in American history, are two names that will hopefully forever be remembered
in the minds of humans alongside Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson, so that
no one will ever forget the inhumanity they committed.
This latest incident should also never be forgotten.
I say this not because Charles Williams, The alleged perpetrator, deserved the
fame that had motivated his rampages, but so that we can place a face with
these horrid events and make people everywhere aware of the seriousness of
”Life isn’t fair.”
No, it is not. It simply wasn’t fair that anyone had to be shot while
preparing for math or chemistry class on that Monday. Following this
shooting 13 kids were arrested in the state of California for possession of a
gun in schools. Also following the shooting were two other shootings, one by a
female. Lately, no matter where or how hard we look, human beings commit
unthinkable cruel acts.
Some would call these shootings the act of enraged teens. Enraged? Of course!
Unless we consider the years of psychological abuse endured by these kids and
the downfall of any form of a structured and loving family life to be nothing.
Why do these things keep happening? Well, trying to find a precise answer to
that question would require much more than an 800-word editorial. What we have
to do is stop blaming the media for the bad decisions of some flawed
individuals and start being practical about this new wave of killings. In
other words, watch for the warning signs.
There were plenty of those before this latest incident in Santee, Calif. The
kid might as well have been wearing a neon warning sign. He had been talking
to friends for days about bringing a gun to school to kill people, even asking
some to be in on it. When his friends got suspicious, he said he was just
The only thing we can really do is remember them and learn from the mistakes
that were made to set these young people off the path of a healthy,functional human being, and somewhere along the way transformed them into
ruthless killing machines
Every exit is an entry somewhere
else”, Tom Stoppard.
Graduation used to be years away, then months, weeks, and now its only days
away. We are leaving high school. Those people we’ve been with practically 8
hours a day, 181 days out of the year aren’t going to be there anymore. But
instead of dwelling on it think of what is ahead of you. Life isn’t over
once you leave high school, we have a world out there that’s just waiting
for us to explore.
High School was a lot of work, half of which I didn’t really do. It was
stressful, between homework, friends, boyfriends, work, partying, after school
activities, and all of the crud that we all had to put up with. But you have
to admit it’s been fun. I want anyone reading this to sit back and think
about this one thing, growing up in Carle Place has made you the kind of
person you are today. Imagine if you had grown up in a different school
district, with different friends, different teachers, and just the different
atmosphere. Where else can you honestly walk down the hallway and not only
know everyone’s name, but what street they live on, who their siblings are,
what sport or instrument they play, shoe size, etc.? Everyday I can’t help
but hear someone whining about how everyone in Carle Place knows everyone’s
business. But sometimes that’s not such a bad thing. When I got into a
horrible car crash at the end of tenth grade everyone in Carle Place knew
within a time span of 20 minutes to two days. As soon as I returned from the
hospital people were calling, visiting, and if I wasn’t home, leaving
balloons and a note on my mailbox. Things like that made the weeks of just
sitting in bed healing that much easier. If it wasn’t for the constant game
of telephone in Carle Place, I don’t know how I would have gotten through
|To my fellow seniors: I
can’t imagine what it’s going to be like going awaynext year and not
seeing all of you everyday. I came to this school in fifth grade, and since I
had been to many other schools I knew (or thought I knew) what I was going to
be treated like. Everyone always thinks the new kid is weird, that’s just
how it is. But when I walked up to the front steps of Rushmore that day, the
first person I knew in Carle Place introduced herself to me. Jacquie Wicks
came right up to me and introduced herself to me, told me what class she was
in, and asked what class I was in. I gave her the weirdest look in the world,
not because I didn’t like her, but because no one had ever done that before.
Then I walked into Mrs. Paradine’s room and was welcomed with open arms.
Everyone was so nice, and I remember to this day
kids from other classes peaking their heads in to see who I was. Within a week
I no longer felt like the new kid, and to this day I am still grateful for
that. Throughout the years we have all changed who our friends were, but still
remained close to anyone we grew away from. I have met the best friends I
could ever have here at Carle Place. We have experienced so much together
and it’s hard to let go. All of us who are off to college have so much
waiting for us. Instead of walking home across the field at 3 am, now we will
be walking across campus to our dorm rooms. We can’t take a one-minute walk
or drive to see each other anymore, for some of us it’s going to be a few
hours. I wish everyone good luck in everything they do. We have a strong
class, and I know we can make it. On June 23rd when we are roasting
in the sun, crying, don’t only think of all we have done, think of all we
|This is just the first of
many turning points in our lives.
To all the faculty and administration: Thank you…. Thank you for being just
the way you are. Life is going to be a lot different now without Mrs.
Doyle’s bowl of cherries, Mrs. Bourla’s copy machine wars, Mrs.
Klatsky’s constant enthusiasm, and of course Mr. Rueth’s root tip
diagram. All of you have helped not just me, but my class grow into the kind
of people we are today. I
must say we do have the craziest staff on Long Island, Mr. T’s chant before
tests, Mr. Binger’s constant antics, and every other crazy thing our
teachers have done, has made high school fun. The coaches also deserve a lot
of thanks, along with the PHYSICAL EDUCATION, not gym, staff …you know you
are going to miss me. If it wasn’t for my tennis coach, Mr. Paradine, I
wouldn’t have found my college. I owe him a huge thank you and a lot of
credit. And if it wasn’t for Mr. Keim I would have never discovered my love
for arguments, and possibility of studying law in college. Once again, you all
I’m a senior. This is my last column. My grade point average isn’t high
enough for me to give you school advice, and my personal life is way too weird for
me to give you tips on social etiquette. We, the class of 2001,are all
leaving, moving on, graduating. It’s incredibly sad, but there is no doubt
in my mind that we are ready for it. As for everyone who still has a few more
years of school, make the most of it. Take it from me, I had to learn the hard
way. High School is A LOT of work, most of which I didn’t do (
as I said before). It seems like a drag, but the more you do now both
academically and extra-circularly, the less catching up you have to do
your senior year so that you can enjoy it. Get involved in our school clubs,
write for the paper, try out for the musical, and play that sport. Make
yourself a well-rounded person, and enjoy all of these activities. The worst
thing you can do is deny yourself these pleasures. I didn’t realize how
fun all of this was until my junior year, and in my senior year I had a lot of
catching up to do. But most importantly have fun.
So this is it, some of us are leaving, some staying. No matter what Carle
Place will always have a place in my heart. I wish the class of 2001 good luck
in everything you all do. Look on toward the future, and once and a while,
don’t be afraid to look back to the past. Thank you and goodnight