Letters to the Pilot

Thursday, April 4, 2002

Music to Storm Lake's ears

Congratulation to the entire Storm Lake Music Department, and specifically to Jeff Tollefson, Frank Hoskins, and Carol Peterson for their award-winning 1st place performances at the 2002 Musicfest in Orlando, FL. We all can take great pride in knowing that we have one of the finest programs in America right here in Storm Lake.

As a last minute chaperone for this "educational" field trip, I realized once again that Life itself can be a masterful teacher, and that learning isn't limited to just the students:

* I learned once again the results that occur when people like Tollefson, Hoskins, and Peterson pursue a passion for excellence in their work.

* I learned once again the results that Practice and Discipline can generate, as all the effort and hard work by the teachers and students came to fruition.

* I learned once again about the impact of volunteers, as I watched with awe at the time, talent, and treasure devoted to this effort by countless others. If their rewards in life will be in direct proportion to their service to others, they will indeed be richly rewarded.

* I learned once again of gratitude, when a student's lost billfold - including his ID for the return flight home - was retrieved from the lost and found department. It reminded me to always do what's right, and someday that favor may be returned.

* I learned once again of the self-esteem generated by the accomplishment of goals, as the student's broad smiles and huge trophies so proudly signified.

* I learned once again to be careful of comparisons, for someone will always be judged to be better than us. While respecting ourselves, I know to also treat others with the utmost in respect and courtesy, for that goes with winning in life.

* I learned once again to have pride in our youth, as they were repeatedly complimented by others for their outstanding behavior throughout the trip. I realized that these kids were some of America's finest high school students.

* I learned once again that having fun is an important part of success in life, and that if students are having fun they are being taught, the learning somehow seems to take care of itself.

* I learned once again paraphrasing the saying at one of our restaurants on the trip, that "life itself is a race, and those with the best scores win." I hope I will always strive to do my best in whatever I am participating in.

* And lastly, I learned once again that life has patience and perseverance as a teacher, repeating the lesson over and over until I "get it." I learned a long time ago what happens when I don't get enough sleep, and life again reminded me on this trip that I won't be forgetting that lesson anytime soon.

The Storm Lake Music Department has helped create memories that we will cherish and treasure for the rest of our lives. I am grateful for having the opportunity to get "taken to school" by them.

Duane Miller,

Storm Lake