“(Teenagers) today grow up so fast…” -Kathy Syron
Where did you go to high school and when did you graduate?
Leto High School in Tampa, FL. (I graduated) in 1972.
What were some things you did in your spare time?
I worked full time at U-Save grocery store. The one in Town and Country is still there. And I read, and I had a boyfriend. I was in band, which kept me busy.
Did you read and write in high school?
I read a lot. The best book I read was probably nothing my English teacher made me read…my first book that was colorful was “The Godfather”. And all the same ones that you guys read. I read a lot outside of school, though. But I had different interests then. I did not write a lot, but I wrote a lot of notes to my boyfriend. We didn’t have texting!
How did Leto compare to Steinbrenner?
We were one of the first comprehensive high schools…they had vocational (programs) plus college bound. It was a fairly new school when I went there. It was not as affluent (as Steinbrenner), but academics were strong there.
What were some things you learned in high school (outside of the classroom)?
Responsibility. Because I was working, I had to buy my own car, buy my own insurance, buy my own clothes, pay for college. And I learned independence.
What career were you interested in in high school?
I didn’t give much thought. All I thought was that I was going to college. I was going to see what I was interested in and decide in college. I became an English teacher to make kids interested in reading and didn’t realize that’s not the only thing I do.
How have you changed since high school?
I am much more accepting of differences than I was in high school. The people you hang with are probably similar to you, and then in college you expand your horizons. Then, when you teach and you see everything, you become a lot more accepting.
What is a piece of advice you would give teenagers today?
Slow down. Smell those roses. Don’t get so caught up in electronics and sit back and enjoy a good book once in a while. Learn to be alone, to be able to sit in solitude. And like whatever you choose to do in life.
Natalie Barman / Opinion Editor