Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Project #2: 12 to 1

Today's the first day of school in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools, which means thousands of first-graders are starting the long journey to 12th grade -- the last year of high school. That thought led to my new interactive project, 12 to 1.

I'm looking for incoming high-school seniors to participate.

Here's the idea: If you're an incoming senior, what advice would you give to incoming first-graders?

What would you tell them about what the next 12 years will be like? What would you tell them about how to make it through? How have you changed since you were in their shoes? What stories do you have that might help them understand?

Incoming seniors: Send your thoughts to me at ttomlinson@charlotteobserver.com with the phrase "12 to 1" in the subject line. Make sure you say on there who you are and what school you're going to.

And if you happen to have pictures of yourself now AND when you were in first grade, send them along, too.

Teachers and parents: If you want to nudge your seniors to do this, it won't hurt my feelings a bit :)

We'll collect these over the next few days... in the meantime, if you're NOT an incoming senior, but you have advice for first-graders, well, that's what the comments are for.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Here's the idea: If you're an incoming senior, what advice would you give to incoming first-graders?"

Is this a joke? How much "advice" do you think a first-grader is going to retain?

tommy tomlinson said...

Well... I remember lots of things that happened in first grade. And the advice is not just for the first-graders, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

I would tell them to switch school systems, move out of charlotte, or go to a private school.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I remember lots of things as well...mainly the bad things I now realize how I could have avoided. Not "bad" like prison/jail bad...but conversations that could have gone better or interactions I really messed up.

It is all a learning experience, but it would have been great to have had someone help me avoid some of the mistakes,

Taylor said...

What a truely wonderful project! I have a four year old that just wishes she were starting Kindergarden this year. I wish she would just enjoy being four. She looks up to the teenage lifeguards at our pool, whose advice I have no doubt she would take. Indeed, it is not about retaining the advice, it is about learning the life lessons that they need to get through the 1st grade. Unlike the uber protected envirnment that is often Kindergarden, 1st grade symbolizes the begining of one's independent educational growth. High School senior's are similarly being prepared to go out into the world and fly on there own. I love this and can not wait to see the finished project!

Todd Walker said...

Anonymous 11:08.....
I am sick and tired of people like you. Do you have to complain, be negative, or be down right hateful about EVERYTHING? Get a life.... or if you don't have anything nice or good to say, keep it to yourself!

Thanks Tommy for all that you do..... I'm sorry you have to put up with people like 11:08.

Cotty3 said...

I would extend Todd Walker's rebuttal to cover Anonymous 11:24! and I concur with Taylor that I can't wait to see the compiled responses.

Anonymous said...

Two years ago, I had a son starting his senior year while his sister began her second grade year.

Here's some of what he told her:

Be nice to everyone
Pick your friends carefully, and cherish them
Don't worry about those who talk behind your back
Have fun
Do your best to truly "like" your teachers because if you like them, you'll have a better attitude about learning

there was so much more talked about... it was a really neat 5-minute conversation in the car ride to their respective schools

Anonymous said...

"Todd Walker said...
Anonymous 11:08.....
I am sick and tired of people like you. Do you have to complain, be negative, or be down right hateful about EVERYTHING? Get a life.... or if you don't have anything nice or good to say, keep it to yourself!

Thanks Tommy for all that you do..... I'm sorry you have to put up with people like 11:08."


I wasn't complaining or being negative or any of those other things. I was simply stating my opinion.

But if you want negativity, try this: Don't like what I write or don't like someone whose opinions differ from your own or a writer for the Observer? Then don't read it. Oh, and I have a life and I like it just fine, thank you.

I respect Tommy as a writer, but think this premise is sort of silly.

And Tommy: I, too, remember lots of things from first grade. The teacher, playmates who grew up to be lifelong friends, and playmates who never got to grow up because they died for one reason or another. I remember the first books I read, and recess and playing tricks on other kids.

What I don't remember (from first grade) is older kids of any age giving me any advice on school and/or life, because I don't think they gave me any or would have been capable of it. It was first grade and I was six years old. I wasn't projecting 18, 25, or 40 years into the future, and seriously doubt any current first-graders do, except perhaps as some sort of fantasy type thing.

Anonymous said...

I think Todd Walker is a blowhard!!! Everyone has an opinion, just because you dont like it, dont bash other people!

Anonymous said...

Cotty3 said...
I would extend Todd Walker's rebuttal to cover Anonymous 11:24! and I concur with Taylor that I can't wait to see the compiled responses.



Hey Cotty your a blowhard too!!! Private schools are much better and thats where I choose to send my kids!! Deal with it. I dont see anything wrong with it!!!

tommy tomlinson said...

I go away for a couple of hours, and look what happens... Do I need to put some people in timeout? :)

wiley said...

My advice is:

Do not leave it up to teachers or "educators" to decide your education future, but give them proper respect.

Do not let EOC tests dictate what your classes will be the next year.

Always question the status quo and make sure you don't become part of it.

Lastly, listen to your parents. They have already been through what you are about to embark upon.

Anonymous said...

My advice for first graders (of all ages) would be the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. Speak to others as you would like to be spoken to. This applies to everyone, always. If we all did this more often, the world would be a much nicer place.
Now, stop the name-calling because it's completely counterproductive and pointless. Furthermore, if you analyzed your own comments, you're saying exactly the same thing as the comments you're rebutting.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:17/2:22,
I hope your precious private school teaches spelling and grammar better than what you've displayed.

Larry said...

Folks if this is a closed set then make it such and live in your habitat.

Otherwise ignore what you will and move on.

I buy my paper each day, I place ads when necessary and I own stock in McClatchy, so I have as much right to comment as I see fit, as does the next person.

What is strange to me is when people attack the other person and not the ideas. Why is it necessary for you to belittle others to make yourself feel superior. Is your life that useless that you feel useless?

Try debating and not degrading, see how much better things go and how much you learn and especially how much you can teach.

Gary Morland said...

I'd tell the first grader, "Even when you leave your sweater or backpack at school, no one will be upset with you." Pre-emptive strike. This actually happened with our daughter (the forgetting--not the assurance) and we found out years later it was kinda traumatic to her. So, I'd make sure the grace and love was all up front and obvious.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Good project; keep it up. Methinks the advice you get may be applicable to more than first graders (ala Comment #8)!

beff57 said...

Thanks, Tommy! What a fresh idea. Yes, I don't think a first grader will retain much advice given to them, but why not make them aware that someone older does care about what they will encounter. Kindergarten and 1st Grade are scary, even more so than when I was starting out(...ok...many moons ago..hint..I graduated HS in 1975!!!) For some of these kids, this is their first encounter with "big" kids, depending on their own memory to bring their bookbags home, etc. Remember, could you "retain" all those reminders and "'cause I said so' from everywhere. Children today are faced with so much more than we were back in the stone age (before computers, I-pads, text and such. They are asked to grow up much faster than we were. Give the next generation a break....the national debt alone is enough to make them drop out before Senior year!!! Again, keep uo the good work, Tommmy!

Anonymous said...

1. Remember #2, and #3
2. Leave little Mary Anne what's her face alone from grades one through age 34. She just wants a baby daddy thingy guy dude what's a ma jiggger.
3. The America your parents grew up in won't exist. All those stories of fun and grandeur, and boot strap businesses are just great but will never apply to you.
Your fate is to be a drone, born to share the fruit of your labor with someone who is having more fun than you because they are strong enough to game the system.
In 2008 they called it wealth spreading. Be happy, worry, but be happy, you can sponge off the government for health care on your parents policy until you are a grown up, capable of fending for yourself at the age of 29. Before then democrats think you are a worthless plume of inert gas.
4. All secrets to life can be extrapolated from Amy Heckerling movies of the 1980's and 19990's.
5. Tommy Tomlinson will be B*tch slapping you with 10k run award ribbons on your graduation day, in glorious Technicolor and with glee.

tommy tomlinson said...

Well, I see the Optimists' Club meeting has let out.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Master Shami said...

Most of the bad guys are habitual of playing with true emotions of innocent girls. Here are some safety tips required to be followed by the girls to protect themselves. Hope it will give lot of guidance and create awareness.

Marlene said...

Although I do NOT advocate fighting, it is nonetheless true that you may have to stand up to an occasional bully or you will be picked on the rest of your academic life. Educators try their best to protect all children, but there always seems to be a certain number of students who attract bullies when the educators aren't within eyesight.

This being said by the mother of a super small kindergartener who got into a fight on the school bus his very first day of school. He ended up with a bloody nose, but no one ever picked on him again. (He graduated from NC State this past May.) :-)

Anonymous said...

Great project! As a parent of a first grader I look forward to what the more seasoned students have to say. Thanks again for doing this!