• Missed Class Work (William, Tina and Brian - Graduates)

    Read  information below answer these questions and all highlight questions below them.







    The Graduates


    WILLIAM is graduating with high academic honors and awards for leadership and basketball.




    TINA is graduating, but barely.  She had a lot of potential, but she hasn’t developed it.




    BRIAN isn’t graduating.  What do you think happened?



     Today we are going to begin a 10-week course called Too Good for Drugs and Violence.  The following rhetorical questions are designed to prompt students to think about their goals without actually discussing them.  Ask these questions without allowing time for students to answer.  Does everyone want to graduate high school?  Why do you want to graduate?  What are you going to do or accomplish after you graduate?


    Let’s start thinking about your graduation.  Imagine you are there right now.  You are wearing your cap and gown, and the orchestra is playing “Pomp and Circumstance”.  Does anyone know how that goes?  Allow students to hum “Pomp and Circumstance”.  Friends and relative in the audience are clapping and cheering for you.  How do you think you are going to feel on your graduation day? 


    You have so much to be proud of and a lot to be excited about.  You have done well in high school, and you have almost unlimited choices ahead of you.  The principal has started to call the names of the graduating seniors and you are watching them cross the stage to receive their diplomas. 


    There is William, at the head of the class.  He has won leadership and basketball awards throughout high school and some of the best colleges in the country have offered him scholarships.  You and your classmates have voted him “Most Likely to Succeed.”


    Now Tina crosses the stage.  She is graduating, but just barely.  Back in middle school, you thought Tina would set the world on fire, but when she got to high school she just fizzled out.  In middle school she was an A-student, a star volleyball player, and a terrific actress.  However, in high school she didn’t participate in any activities and just scraped by with Cs and Ds.  You heard she didn’t even know if she was going to graduate until last week.  She had so much potential, but she didn’t develop any of her skills or talents.


    Looking at the other graduates, you can’t help but to think about Brian.  He should have been here today.  It is really too bad about Brian.


    I am going to put you into groups now to discuss these three students- William, Tina and Brian.  In your group, talk about what you think happened in their lives during the past 4 years.  What did they do – or not do – that led to where they are on graduation day?


    In you notebook, on page 2 is the “The Graduate” worksheet.  I would like you to write some of your group’s answers on this page.  We will discuss the ideas from your groups.  Divide the students into groups.  Allow five minutes for the groups to answer the questions on notebook page 2.  When time is up, signal your students to refocus their attention for a class discussion.


    What ideas did you come up with for William?  What did he do during high school that made him the person he is on graduation day?  Call on students to share what they think William did.  List their ideas on the board. 


    Do you think William was just luckier than Tina and Brian? Allow students to answer. 


    What makes the difference isn’t luck.  What makes the difference is setting goals and persevering until you reach them.


    Let me tell you what I think happened to these three:


    I think William and Tina dated through middle school and into high school.  However, during William’s junior year his telephone started to ring.  Coached from all the major colleges around the country were calling him saying, “Son, you are going to be the next great thing to happen to college sports.”  William saw his future; his dreams were starting to come true.  He spent all of his time studying and playing basketball.


    Tina felt left out of his life, so she broke up with him.  Tina was devastated about her break-up with William.  She lost interest in school, her friends, and her family.  Soon, she decided it was time to move on.  After the trauma William caused her, she decided to go after the bad boy of the school, Brian.  They started dating.  Brian got Tina way off track and influenced her to drink alcohol. 


    Brian loved to party and didn’t care about school.  One night, Brian got drunk at a party and decided to drive home, thinking he was not too drunk to drive.  On the way home, he swerved across the centerline, hit a car head-on and killed two people.  He is currently serving time in prison for two counts of vehicular manslaughter.


    Tina barely graduated because she let Brian distract her from her goals.  She let him pressure her to drink and she lost track of what she wanted in her life.  William won a full scholarship to the University of Florida where he plans to study pre-law.  You may choose a different university or one from your area.


    The moral of this little story is that you decide what to do with your life.  No one else can or should make those decisions for you.  You have to decide what you want from your life and choose a path that will get you there, just like William did.  You cannot let drugs, alcohol, or violence keep you from reaching your goals.