Refining interests defined busy school year

“What did your senior year mean to you?” Four high school seniors from Hood River County will write about this question between now and graduation day in “View from ‘02” First up is Sarah Fix who worked as a news intern this year. Sarah and her classmates will graduate June 7. — Editor


News intern

How the times can change in just the few years of high school. As an underclassman, I saw myself as that overachiever; graduating from high school with 32 credits (four years of eight classes each) and never having an offsite class because I would be to busy taking all the hard classes. I was also determined that I was going to be a scientist when I graduated college.

Now as school goes by, and my senior year is almost up (ranking in the top fifth in my class and am scheduled to graduate with 32.5 credits and three English college credits), I know that not all of my future plans are going to turn out the way I initially thought.

Starting my last year of public schooling, I only had to take one credit of English to receive my diploma, leaving open seven classes. I had planned to take as many college level courses as I could, but my priorities altered. People always asked me why I didn’t graduate early, but my answer is the same then as it is now; I don’t feel I’m college ready.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m going to college because I know if I don’t start right away, I never will. But school life changed for me in my junior year — I got involved.

Now, I don’t mean I all of a sudden started yelling “Go Eagles!” or “attitude check!” down the hall every two seconds, but my heart set on things that I had never imagined that I would enjoy or have any interest in, two classes especially: theatre and journalism.

Both courses took a dramatic turn in my life last year. In my journalism class, I started off this past year by taking the position as the business manager and learned the role of a section editor. Later, I was deemed Editor in Chief of The Talon, the high school newspaper, and will continue the responsibility until my final high school days.

My fascination with the theatre arts was with what happened outside of class; the productions and technical work. The first significant work was when I earned the position of stage manager for the production of Inherit the Wind, and it went all up hill from there. I continued as stage manager for three more shows, and have also worked as light and sound operator, light and set designer, created both sets and props, as well as directed Cross Purposes in this year’s One-Act Festival. Today, I am the Drama Club President, and have received the Star Technician award.

Overall, my senior year was not a typical one, and I’m am glad for it. I could not have had a better year. People always made fun of my “hard” class schedule of one real class (Writing 121-123), but between my interests, I was always working on some project for either the theatre or The Talon and continue still (cleaning the out the prop/set area in the theatre and putting together three newspapers at once).

What a wild ride. After I take my turn down the graduating aisle, I plan on spending my last high school summer with my friends before we travel in different directions. My objective for this next year is to experience dorm life in Eugene at the University of Oregon, where I plan on continuing my education in the fields of the theatre arts, journalism, and Spanish.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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