On the first day of class, my art teacher provided each student with a small fistfull of Play-Doh and instructed us to create a sculpture that represented how we feel about the beginning of the school year. While deciding what to sculpt, I envisioned the year to come: my senior year, which promised engaging classes and leadership roles, exciting events and ambitious goals. I thought of the art piece newly on display at the main entrance, with the words “open hearts, open minds” greeting passers-by. After the 18 months of closures and restrictions, “open” perfectly expresses my hopes for this school year, and so, sitting in art class that first day, I fashioned an open hand.
As the Editor-in-chief of the Satellite, I commit this year to fostering relational and intellectual openness in the way our publication leads the student body.
With all 2,000 students back, the halls can feel crowded. A return to 30-minute lunches and a set bell schedule can make the day seem like a blink. Immersing ourselves in learning, especially for the unmotivated, no-longer-virtual student, can make our heads swim. In short, the beginning of this school year feels to some like stepping out of bed into cold morning air after a fitful sleep. We do not always appreciate the plunge.
But with time, and a sliver of patience, I carry full confidence that we can reacclimate to daily life. To our left and to our right, we will find each other experiencing the same adjustments simultaneously. This year, I hope we can learn to wear our heads on swivels, seeking opportunities to embody servant leadership by lending aid to our fellow students.
As a staff, too, the Satellite will do the same: study our surroundings for your stories. As journalists, we work to showcase the news for the student body and further the culture of Neenah High School. I encourage all students to connect with one another through our publication by reading, watching and engaging conversation in the comments.
This year marks a shift in the way we can choose to think about student life. We can approach school with reluctance and grumbling, closed to the world, or we can unfurl our barricades to experience each opportunity with gratitude. Open minds and open hearts begin with open eyes and open hands.