May 2012   final Mr. Roetzel rant from Hudson High School

I understand there will be some separation anxiety with leaving this class and the school - but in a short time much of high school will become a distant memory.  So take big bites of the good stuff in your life.  Don’t get in the newspaper for something stupid, don’t marry for money, and don’t judge muddy shoes or others too harshly.  Try to get outside and away from the many screens in your life.  A walk in the woods settles your mind, puts you in the moment, and sometimes creates a space for clarity.

Love what you love, never miss a funeral or a birthday; never pass on a ride in a canoe, rollercoaster or piggyback.  You may never know what and who you enjoy without taking a chance.  Realize you are going to change- so it’s okay to change your mind, your major, even some beliefs in the years ahead- as often the things that feel most important to you now, will likely change.  It may even become harder to come home.  Don’t worry about that one- it’ll most likely change back and you will love coming home.  

Leap a little…the net will appear.   Every town has a Swensons you just have to find it.   Growing up is overrated so make snow angels & sing happy birthday no matter how terrible your voice. Be generous with your best talents and gifts. Laugh at yourself.  And for God’s sake – understand what you believe in.  Paraphrasing Bob Dylan: “a fool’s mouthpiece blows a hollow horn” so know as much as you can about the ideas and thoughts you share.  Keep learning and realize some of the best conversations you ever had – you spoke very little but listened to every word.

Make music with your life and thoughts.  Share Tommy Boy or something equally silly with your children.  Buy one car just because of the color, avoid people who give you the creeps, and trust your heart about goodness.  No two people ever stand in exactly the same river- so be tolerant of other vantage points.  Give simple gifts at unexpected times. Try to get your pets from the pound. Gather roses while you can.  Every season has beauty & character- wabi sabi may be something’s best moment.  Give yourself time to be good at things- everyone falls off their first bike.

Remember to put the lotion in the basket or you might get the hose.  Don’t live in a van down by the river for more than a week.  Life is a jet plane…it moves so fast.  Follow your heart; maybe take some photographs along the way– later you can share that journey with those most important in your life.  Thank those who matter to you.  Send hand written letters when apologizing.

And lastly when you get stuck on the right gift to give – don’t play it safe and give something that reminds you of them- take a risk and give them something that will remind them of you.   So “scholars”- thank you for all that you have given to me- especially your spirits, efforts, creativity & laughter this year and so many in the past.  They were great gifts.  

 Insist on yourself...never imitate – Emerson

 Jim Roetzel     Hudson High School   May, 2012