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Houghtaling: Seniors — You Are EGHS, Today and Tomorrow

By passing through the halls of East Greenwich High School you have become a part of its history, Robert Houghtaling writes.

By Robert Houghtaling

Dear Graduating Seniors

Many years from now, perhaps on a rainy day, you will head to your attic, or cellar, to grab a tool or household supply.

While sorting through some stuff your eyes will glance upon an old box filled with High School memories. For the most part you would have forgotten about a lot of these items. It has been so long since you last peeked that sometimes your yesterdays seem to have belonged to someone else.

There on the top of a discarded pile is your High School yearbook. Nobody is home and you have time to spare. Why not take a moment and travel back to yesterday?

The faces will make you smile (most of them). The styles will cause you to cringe. The friendships, fun and struggles will jump off the pages. Even though it has been so long, the memories have always been there. A bit of serendipity just pushed things to the fore.

At a time when the beach and summer jobs beckon, such thoughts are far, far away. At a time when your family gathers to celebrate and sharing moments with friends is dear, tomorrow probably seems like tales old folks tell. The power of today is beautiful. In fact, adults should practice embracing it more often rather than constantly preaching about tomorrow. While this piece I am writing speaks to the future, my intent is to show that thousands of todays are in the DNA of tomorrows. In short, make sure that you always keep today close to your heart. Tomorrow will be richer for it. This is a lesson your parents can impart upon you and vice versa. Today and tomorrow need not be mutually exclusive. Just a thought.

By passing through the halls of East Greenwich High School you have become a part of its history.  During my thirty-one years here many young people have been adorned with a cap and gown. Thirty-one years in the future a generation yet to be born will do the same (perhaps in a new building). You and they are the soul of the school. You made the teachers better with your presence. Others in your graduating class will gaze at a picture of you somewhere down the line and smile. It might be because of an activity you shared. Perhaps your smile and friendly way brought about many fond days. Whatever the reason, because of you, someone will have precious recollections. You mattered in ways unspoken. Beyond the grades, honors and well-earned achievements, you mattered because of your collective uniqueness.

Thank you for participating in a long, sometimes arduous and joyous ride. You have given as much as received. It has been fun watching you grow. It has been wonderful learning from you as well. Hopefully one day in the future there will be time for a visit to the old school. You are East Greenwich High School. Give your parents and loved ones a hug–then enjoy a wonderful summer.

Robert Houghtaling is director of the East Greenwich Drug Program 

Timothy M Jones June 22, 2014 at 08:08 AM
Harvard Divinity an entire course devoted to in the moment and enjoying the day the people you meet. High school and college is not about grades,awards etc. nor is about the Commencement speaker. You know the one that told you put your nose to the grindstone you can become anything you want just go for it. Commencement speakers come and go parents will fight for award nights ,next year it will be something else. You as a student will remember your friends your teachers the fun you had . When you tuck your award under your arm put your nose to the grind stone. And one day BANG you git a bloody nose. Didn't get the job ,lost the job ,lost the boy friend. Lost the girlfriend. Look under your arm you will find high school and college buddies right there. That's your reward. Have a great summer. Bob s friend Tim J

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