SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Free spirits
By Eileen Small


May 29, 2008
Thursday PM

Many years ago -- and I am 57 now -- when I was 14 I won a state essay contest and got to represesent my state on a big tour of New England landmarks. I got to go to Gettysburg and the NY World's Fair and it was a two-week blast! For a little girl from a one horse town in Oklahoma it was my first look at the world "beyond" and you will notice, I no longer live in Oklahoma! It was the beginning of doors opening to me.

Understand, it was 1960-something when I went. The rules were simple: fit in, do what you are told or don't go. Nobody planned on wasting their time or the group's time looking for me. I think they were right on target and that the problem is kids today! If I had been given a chance to go to Japan it would have been SUCH an honor that I would have followed every rule they gave -- and believe me I had the grades to qualify if such trips existed back "in the day"! If you cannot manage to follow rules for 3 weeks in order to be PRIVILEGED to do something awesome that 99% of one's classmates will NOT be allowed to do, then you really have NO future in life anyway -- so why waste the cost of a trip to Japan in the first place?

Being a "free spirit" is good. Getting a life is better. If I was a chaperone in Japan and a kid wandered off because he/she felt it was "cool", I'd call the parents, continue on with my group activities and hopefully she/he could find their way back to the good old USA! If not -- then that is the parent's problem. Or better yet --don't take such kids in the first place!!!! I wouldn't!!!

Eileen Small
Ketchikan, AK


Received May 28, 2008 - Published May 29, 2008


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