School Spirit

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Good morning, students! (Parents, you can read this too or ask your student to read it.)

So if you don’t know this about me already, I am from Philly–and a huge Eagles fan. Our fight song goes something like this: Eagles Fight Song (0:41). If you listened to that, you probably didn’t find it particularly exciting. It sounds like a fight song, but who would really sing that? Well in Philadelphia, we sing together after every touchdown–something like this: Eagles Fight Song at Lincoln Financial Field (0:24). It might be tough to feel the difference on video, but when you’re there, in person, it’s electric. There’s just something about being in a crowd of people all cheering like maniacs in support of the same thing.

That is exactly how school spirit works. It’s not about what you do (such as sing a fight song), it’s about how you do it and who you share the experience with. Such is the case heading into next week’s spirit week, culminating in our first homecoming on Friday night! Here’s what I mean…

You could look at the list of things that we have in store for next week–Denver Rescue Mission, Chatfield Restoration, Twin Day, White Out, Color Run, Volleyball, Dance, etc–and if you consider each of these events by itself, it may or may not appeal to you. It may even seem a little boring (kind of like the Eagles’ fight song). But you’re missing the point. The point is not to consider what each activity does for you personally, but rather to use that activity to bond with your peers, embrace our school community, and come together for some school spirit. Get excited…have some fun…be maniacs! It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks about our school spirit activities, all that matters is how we choose to embrace and celebrate these activities as a community.

Next week is a huge opportunity for SkyView Academy to take a giant step forward as a high school. In the words of a popular artist from your millennial generation: “It’s [our] house, come on, turn it up!” Let’s have fun with this next week!

Cheers!

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P.S. Don’t forget to enjoy the fall colors before they’re gone!

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Set goals for yourself

Mt Sopris Sunrise

Can you believe that the semester is almost over!!! Well, okay… that’s a little bit of a hyperbole. But think about it for a moment: we are only 2 weeks away from the end of the first quarter and FALL BREAK. As soon as we get back from fall break, we have parent/teacher conferences. Then we have a 4 week stretch to Thanksgiving Break, 2 more weeks, then finals. That’s really only 8.5 more weeks of class time. Believe me–winter break will be here before you know it!!! So what does this mean for all of us?

Well, it means that the honeymoon is over and the newness of the school year has worn off. It also means that we are still far enough away from winter break that we feel like there is a ton of semester still left. So our natural response is to put it into cruise control. That means we become less cognizant of the rules and expectations, decide to let a few homework assignments slide here-and-there, and convince ourselves that “I still have plenty of time to get caught up.” I’m warning you: that is a BIG MISTAKE!

Instead of putting it in cruise control and letting off the gas, I’d like to suggest the following (parents, help your students out with this):

  1. Set an academic goal for yourself. Just one…don’t go overboard. You’ve had several weeks now to get a feel for the semester and should have a pretty good idea of how you might want to improve between now and December.
  2. Set a relational goal for yourself. We all have a relationship that is strained someplace in our life. Pick one of your peers or one of your teachers and set a goal to improve that relationship by winter break. Don’t worry about whether or not they are going to meet you halfway–be courageous, be patient, and YOU take the first step.
  3. Set a personal goal for yourself. Pick something that you want to achieve. Don’t do it for anybody else, do it for you. Climb a 14er before it snows…go see the fall colors at Maroon Bells…visit a hot spring…ski…do the movie marathon with a friend that you keep talking about…

Do it! Don’t just think about it–do it. I promise you: it will be worth it!

Cheers!

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Technology…you gotta’ love it

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Do you remember the good old days when technology was simple? I remember talking to my first middle school girlfriend on my parents’ phone that had a 20 foot cord. The only “technology issue” that we had to worry about was untangling that thing. And the truth is, once it was tangled, there was no undoing it–it was like that forever. Our first computer was a little more challenging, but still remained a fairly simple, mostly-functioning piece of technology. The only thing I used it to do was word processing–forget about internet…

But times have changed, haven’t they? Now we rely on our computers and our phones for all sorts of things…including learning. With that being said, let me remind you that this year, we are allowing students to use their computers during advisement. However, we are still in the process of updating our wifi and our access points, and these updates always create a need to debug the system. It is my understanding that this should only take another week or so and then we should be up-and-running and able to offer internet access to our students during advisement.

I promise you this: we are working on it diligently. I thank you for your patience as we sort this out. Until then, take a moment to share with your kids about the good old days–surely you have a phone cord story to share or a memory of your first family computer. Better yet, head on up to the attic and find your first cell phone–they’ll get a kick out of that!

Cheers!

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Failure Leads to Success

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Several years ago, a buddy and I drove out to Ouray, CO to climb Mount Sneffels (not pictured). When we arrived we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset and a quiet evening in beautiful Yankee Boy Basin, then slept under the stars–absolutely amazing! I was so excited to get started the next morning.

I woke up and started climbing only to discover that I was delirious with altitude sickness. It had never bothered me before, so I tried to keep going, but just couldn’t make it. I turned around and headed back to camp. Failure #1.  😦

I rested at camp for a few hours, drank some water and started feeling much better. I took off for the summit again. About halfway up I passed my buddy and he was carrying his dog who had quit on him after reaching the summit. I turned around and helped him get his dog back down the mountain. Failure #2.  😦

We had plans to climb another group of 14ers as well, so we broke camp and headed back toward Ouray. As we were driving out, a major thunderstorm rolled in and it started pouring. On top of that, we got a flat tire which we changed out in the mud and pouring rain. Failure #3.  😦

At this point, all signs seemed to indicate that I should give up, call it quits, and head home to share my sad story with my wife. Instead, we decided that our circumstances were not going to get the best of us–we were moving forward! So we continued on to our next group: Sunshine, Redcloud, and Handies.

It’s a good thing we did, because the next day was sunny and beautiful. I made it to the summit of Handies Peak and back down again in “record time” (and still spent an hour on the summit). To this day, Handies is still my favorite 14er that I’ve climbed. It was absolutely beautiful! (pictured above)  🙂

All of this is to introduce our character focus for September: FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS. Many of us read those words and cringe at the very thought of failure. But until we are willing to accept (even embrace) failure as a step in the learning process, we can never truly understand or appreciate success. Don’t let failure break you. Rather, use it as inspiration to move forward.

Still unconvinced?… Perhaps the following will inspire you: The Unexpected Benefit of Celebrating Failure.

Cheers!

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