Opinion pieces and columns

Looking Back

excerpts from the Whitney Messenger archives

September 2, 1960

370 Enroll Wednesday At Whitney
Schools; Loss of 10 Students

A total of 370 students enrolled at Whitney Public Schools Wednesday morning as the 1960-61 term got underway.

This was ten less students than reported on the first day of school last year.

Registration figures Wednesday morning placed 193 pupils in the elementary grades, 100 in junior high school, and 76 in high school.

A large number of parents attended opening exercises and Superintendent B.E. Oberholtzer expressed appreciation for this interest.

September 16, 1960
Staff Selects New Name for WHS Paper

The journalism class of Whitney High School decided last week in a regular meeting to adopt new names for the school paper and annual.

The weekly paper put out by WHS students has been called “The Wildcat” for several years while the yearly edition of the annual goes by the name “The Blue and White.” The class decided to swap names for the two, calling the paper “The Blue and White “ and the annual “The Wildcat.”

Pat Swilling is serving as editor of the Blue and White this year. Assistants are Nelda Allen and Ann Brown.

An Exploding Supernova! We’re Due…

Astronomers have found dramatic evidence that a black hole or neutron star spiraled its way into the core of a companion star and caused that companion to explode as a supernova. The astronomers were tipped off by data from the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS), a multi-year project using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA).

Theorists had predicted that this could happen, but this is the first time we’ve actually seen such an event. The first clue came when the scientists examined images from VLASS, which began observations in 2017, and found an object brightly emitting radio waves but which had not appeared in an earlier VLA sky survey. They made subsequent observations of the object using the VLA and the Keck telescope in Hawaii. They determined that the bright radio emission was coming from the outskirts of a dwarf, star-forming galaxy some 480 million light-years from Earth. They later found that an instrument aboard the International Space Station had detected a burst of X-rays coming from the object in 2014.

It is estimated that in a galaxy the size of ours, a supernova should occur about once a century, on average, and since we have not seen one in the Milky Way since 1604, it seems we are “due.” Of course, it is possible that there has been one or more recent supernovae in our galaxy, but that they happened on the other side of the galactic core, and were blocked by dust and not visible from Earth.

Remember: Keep those night lights shining down so we may look up! Questions? Llsmith47@aol.com

P.S.: On December 13-14, the Geminid meteor shower will be visible all night long, since Gemini appears just an hour or two after nightfall; the radiant is highest a little after midnight.

The art of priority

After the long, hot days of summer, it is time to get back to business. We never stop teaching nor registering students at the college; however, summer appears to be a bit more laid back, not as hectic, and with much more time to regroup and prepare for the upcoming fall semester. This summer was no different, and I found a sense of excitement in thinking about having more students and athletes back on campus.

Hill College President Dr. Pam Boehm

After the first couple of days of the semester, I found myself climbing back on the rollercoaster and jumping full force into the many activities, events, and meetings that vie for my time. For teachers and administrators, this is normal behavior. You want to be the best and do your best for your students, faculty, and staff. However, all of the things that vie for your time prohibits you from putting them first. Petty and mundane things steal much of our time. This is not the right way to begin the new school year, especially when there is a pandemic going on. After a good talk with myself, I decided that I can’t be my best for my students, faculty, and staff if I don’t prioritize my time and put forth my efforts on my goals and the things that make Hill College great. This requires something a bit different. I am reminded of an old technique that I used to share with my students when I was teaching…the art of priority.

The art of priority requires self-reflection about the things that are important to you and the things that matter to you. For me, people matter, which means I want to spend some focused time and energy building new relationships and fostering the relationships that I have already made. To be the best to others, you have to work at it. It takes effort and sacrifice and requires self-discipline. What I have found is that you can easily spend a lot of your time each day on things that give you no return. Investing in people and relationships has a value and return that ends in success.

Here are some questions to ponder if you find yourself in a situation where you are spending too much of your day on the mundane: Do I have plenty of time to do all that I want to and need to do in a day? Do I spend time during each day on the things that are important to me and that really matter? The answer is oftentimes no. We allow trivial, petty, and oftentimes negative situations to creep into our day that ends up being unproductive. So, how do we prevent this from happening? The answer is to learn the art of priority. One way is to make a list of the things you want to accomplish in your day. Assess and place a check mark beside the ones that you accomplish. You will find that you spent some time on things that really did not matter.

An easy way to remember the important things that really matter and that will drive your productivity is to begin with a simple exercise. You will need some supplies: a large clear jar, a box of golf balls, a box of sand, a box of pebbles, and two cups of coffee. Instructions:
• Fill a large clear jar with all of the golf balls that you
can place in it. Is the jar full…Yes/No?
• Pour a box of small pebbles in the jar. Is the jar
• Next, pour a box of sand in the jar. Is the jar full…
• Last, pour two cups of coffee in the jar. Is the jar

The jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things in your life: God, family, children, health, friends – things that if everything was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – just not as important – job, house, car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff. Things that we worry about but don’t really make a difference.

What would happen if you were to put the sand in the jar first? There would be no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, what really doesn’t matter, you will never have room for the things that are important – people that matter.

This lesson teaches that you should pay attention to the things that really matter to you. There is always time to clean house, fix things that are broke, on and on. If you set your priorities each day placing emphasis on the things that matter, everything seems to fall into place.

Are you wondering about where the coffee fits into the picture? No matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend. Take care of the golf balls, the rest is just sand!