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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seventeen Again

As our senior in high school reaches the proverbial home stretch, we are focusing (no pun intended) on yearbook photos. Of the 90 pictures taken by a friend last month, she needs to make her final choice and send it in, along with a baby picture, a list of her high school activities and an inspirational quote. She goes to a small school with an ever-tightening budget, so we (Mom and Dad) have been extorted to pay for a color ad at the back of the yearbook with another childhood photo of our girl, coupled with a tribute or sage advice.

Now, coming up with a thoughtful accolade for our daughter on demand, one that points to all the ways in which she is exceptional, fits a quarter of a page slot, and doesn’t horrify her, well, that was just plain hard. I spent most of yesterday rifling through stacks of old photo albums and Googling inspirational sayings. Franklin Roosevelt's “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” came up a million times as did Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” More years ago then I care to acknowledge, during Glee Club back back in junior high (that term itself dates me, I'm well aware), we put that poem to music. Then we sang the thing to death.  All these years later I shudder when reading the poem because without fail, that tune seeps up and embeds itself on a continual loop in my brain for the next several hours.  Pass on old RF.

Finally, after reading many overused, trite maxims, it occurred to me that there might be a snippet of wisdom to be discovered via pop culture. Within minutes, I’d come up with this:

“It is our choices…that show what we really are, far more than our abilities” spoken by Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Nice to know that a fictional wizard can offer such insight.

When it was our daughter’s turn to find her quote, she Googled too. She’s narrowed it down to three:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt

and this:

“Hang the code, and hang the rules. They are more like guidelines anyway.” Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean.

If you were seventeen again, which one would you choose?


Jon Paul said...

If I was seventeen and asked that question, I would undoubtedbly pick option three. That was basically my approach back then anyway.

Now, with what little wisdom I've gleaned from the intervening years, my feeling is that option two is the better choice. Interesting how things have changed... :D

glnroz said...

"It is our choices......"
just sayin',,

Watching them grow,, my goodness..

Lydia Kang said...

I love the ER quotes, the first one in particular is important to me, but for a yearbook page I'd pick the Sparrow quote! It's so awesome.

KarenG said...

I'd pick the first ER quote. I love that. And how applicable to high school and to life. Never Jack Sparrow, can't stand the guy.

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, I love the Pirates quote. I also love that one by Eleanor Roosevelt. I just watched Princess Diaries and it was on that movie. I like the one that goes, "Whatever you are, be a good one." I think Teddy Roosevelt said it, but I'm probably wrong.

Robin said...

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ER

If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will either. Nuff said.

jbchicoine said...

If I were 17, I'd go for the third quote, but personally, I like the first--I still have to remind myself of it!

Mimi said...

I would have picked the third one.

I'm stopping by from the over 40 blog group.

rae said...

I would still pick the third one!

Colette said...

Ahh, the nice thing about having boys is that they just let their moms pick.

On the quote -- I would definitely pick one from a woman. I can bet that 90% of the quotes used will be from men.

Erin MacPherson said...

Ha. I like Jack Sparrow's quote but I"m such a rule-follower that it makes me cringe. I want to say "wait, but some rules are good!!". My favorite quote is "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams". Huge congrats to your daughter (and to you!)

Andria said...

I'm 34 and I would still want to choose option 3. What a great quote to have in a yearbook!

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

I'd go for the fun 3rd quote. You never regret doing the fun thing. Besides, it's still very meaningful. Too often we wait too long to realize that the rules are not everything that life is about. By the way, my personal life quote: If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space!

Mary said...

At 17 and even now at 62, Captain Jack would be my choice.