For the second time this year I was faced with a media teacher crossroads. It’s yearbook night for seniors. Our senior class puts on an ice cream social and all seniors who pre-ordered can get their books the day before they go to the rest of the school. This senior night was almost in doubt when a major severe storm hit just before show time.
But as often happens in Wichita Falls, the weather moved on and other than a some hail damage we were no worse for the wear, so we decided to go forward with senior night using the staff that were there.
That’s when the AP wire alert sounded on my phone. When I saw a massive tornado hit the OKC metro area, we turned on CNN. We kept it on for a few minutes and I made the call to turn the TVs off.
It’s senior ice cream social and yearbook night. Most students are either related to or know someone in the OKC area.
We could watch the news or we could celebrate. We couldn’t do both.
So we turned the TV off and we passed out he books and the seniors who made in after the storm had a great time.
On the way home I listened to the news and cried.
It’s interesting because the yearbook theme this year is Hero. Yearbook editor Emma White’s done an amazing job writing theme copy. Her closing copy fits today perfectly:
“The Oath: Sometime life throws you in the dumpster. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re there until a hero comes along, grabs our reaching hands, and pulls us out. The people free, walking around, have to be heroes because they are the only ones who can see the cages. We have a duty to help one another, to reach out even if we can’t help. A superhero never saved the day by himself. Even prominently solo-working heroes like Superman and Batman have their counterparts. The world would be in shambles if Superman and Batman didn’t have Lois Lane, Robin, and Officer Gordon. Spider-Man is just a creepy mutant kid without Uncle Ben and Aunt May, As Rider Raiders, we have to stand up when we get pushed down. When we’re told we’re not as good as everyone thinks we are by our toughest critics, we will be the ones to stand back up and prove them wrong the next time around. We can’t do it. We can’t face the world, not by ourselves. It is not humanly possible to enter the world alone and come out alive. The obstacles on the quest of our lives, finding our identities, learning who we are, cannot simply be overcome by one person. We are finding the differences in the world between the good, the bad, and the ugly, and realizing that they often all three come together. We are finding the hardships of life can only be overcome when we are there for one another. Our oath in leaving high school, in leaving this year, is to always look forward, but to never forget who we were, and that we will be heroes for as long as we can deliver a roundhouse kick to the face of our fears.”
Praying for people in OKC, for those babies who’ve lost their lives and their families who have a world of heartbreak ahead.
**Photo by Hope Alvarez, copy by Emma White.