Students discover their identities
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought." — Buddha
With Memorial Day weekend come and gone and graduation approaching, it seems to be the season of remembrance. We redeem from oblivion places and friends which will never be the same, because we will know them in a different context, whether that is on a phone across the country, or by their graves.
At the Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts, we remember the teachers who have sought to provoke our thoughts and now dwell in them. Their ceaseless dedication in the past years has left a sense of gravity in our minds, pulling us back to what they have taught us.
Kelsey Rundell, a senior, said, "I will always remember how positive Mrs. (Emily) Ellsmore was, even when soap was blowing up in her chemistry class or when you turned something in late. It really helped me make it through senior year."
I remember the sense of compassion that my social studies teacher, Larry Yocum, imparted upon me after I watched the films "Schindler's List" and "The Killing Fields" while we talked about genocide. It was the recognition of these atrocities that, in part, led me to become avidly involved in issues of slavery, starvation and conflict today.
Many students will remember English teacher Ruth Atkins for the lectures when she asked us to question and debate the value of etiquette, form, beauty and truth. Others will remember her Latin and French courses, in which I, personally, developed a passion for linguistics.
Keith Runyan, another senior, said, "Something I will take with me is a lesson I learned from Mr. (Daniel) Tejada (the martial arts teacher). He taught me that if you don't have to struggle for something, it isn't worth having."
Something all students will remember is the essence of the school and its dedication to the performing arts, having produced numerous plays and two showcases this year. Many of these plays were student written and directed, but this only touches on the talent and creativity of the student body and faculty.
Younger students have an incredible future in store for them. They will grow and learn in the school's cherished sense of community and will, more importantly, discover their unique passion.
The older students reflect on the years in which they have grown in the gusto and bustle of the school where they planted their roots and took nutrients from its soil.
With gratitude, I can say today that many of those teachers whom I leave behind have been, at times, among the wisest people I have ever known, watering us with their dedication and care. I am glad to say that I am among the many seniors at MCAA who have been transformed by its community and mission: Having begun on awkward wings, we have chirped and trilled on the stage and stretched our wings, and slowly, we are learning how to fly.
Mark Runyan is a senior at the Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts. This is his final column for the Education section.