Letter To Students Of Fort Vancouver High School
05 August 2013
This is a post from last summer, but a recent conversation with a friend inspired me to move it back up. We were talking about how our youthful notions of "success" have disissipated as we've gotten older. We were wondering if that was just another way of saying that we've lowered our ambitions or whether we've in fact expanded our definition of success. Perhaps that's a sign of maturity. Or lazines. Or both.
This was originally posted on June 25, 2012
Recently an English teacher at Fort Vancouver High School in Vancouver, Washington asked if I'd write a letter to his students about "success." He explained that 75 percent of the students at the school were on a free or reduced lunch program. He said that many of his students barely understood the meaning of success, let alone how to achieve it. "They have heard me talk about success ad nauseam," he wrote. "I think if they see a letter from you and other writers it would carry more weight."
I offered the following thoughts. I wish I knew what other writers this teacher approached and what they had to say. I could always use more advice in this area.
June 15, 2012
Dear Students of Fort Vancouver High School,
Your teacher asked me to write something to you about success. I'm flattered by the request, as it implies I have some first hand experience with the subject. But in sitting down to really think about it, I realize I'm not sure how to talk about success. In fact, in many ways I'm not even sure what it means. I hear you might be similarly confused on the matter, so I guess we're in this together.