Friday, March 9, 2007

Back In Time

I just returned from "Unity Day" at my alma mater - Western High School in Baltimore, MD. This amazing bastion of academia has the distinction of being the oldest all-girl public high school in the country - 163 years and still going...

A lot of who I am today harkens back to my years spent in the halls of Western High. This was a place where the notion of "girl power" was evident and practiced long before it was popular. We were encouraged, challenged and given the mission to be accomplished, stellar, powerful, educated women who would take on the world and give some back in the process. As I walked the halls today, headed towards the auditorium for the assembly - it was as if I traveled back 28 years to the time when I was a teenager, lugging the heavy history books, prepping for the SAT's, deciding who my date would be for the prom :) And during that moment of "travel", I realized just how far I had come - and what a tremendous influence Western High had been on me.

Many of my classmates have gone on to be successful in the areas of entertainment, business, politics and entrepreneurship. But we all still remember what it was like to be 15, 16, & 17 - with the world out there, waiting for us to make our mark on it. I had a chance - as many of my fellow alumnae did, to speak with the current crop of ladies who make up the student population at Western. I told a few jokes..but what I really wanted to do was inform and empower them with the notion of being the "best". Being the best means you always, without a doubt, do all that's within your power to make things happen - and make them happen at a level of excellence. I encouraged them to be free thinkers, to understand that at this point in their lives - they have the opportunity to begin the manifesto of their existence, to determine the pattern and direction of their own personal destiny.

Today - I took a few steps back in time and I saw the young girl who literally didn't know what her life was going to be like - but she knew that it would be something special. I stood by my old locker on the first floor (yes - I still remember the #1092!) and I touched the handle - at that moment, I was literally flooded with so many memories - good and bad. When I stepped away, I brought myself back into this moment and I smiled. The road traveled from Western High School to where I am now has been an exhilirating, frustrating, amazing, angry, suspenseful, paralyzing - but incredible journey. My years spent in those hallowed halls helped to shape the woman I am now - and I wish my "little sisters" who are just beginning their quest, all of the luck in the world........


Anonymous said...

Let our voices blend together in the praise of Western High. I agree Western High was 4 of the best years of my life . I know Western played a significant part in me being the strong independent woman I am today. Nothing like a Western girl !!!

" We're sweet and divine .. We're the class of "79"

Christine Smith said...

I defintely agree with Western High School being "Only the Best". Iam so excited to know that you went to Western High School. I mean I knew I could tell that the diva attitude came from somewhere. Your work is extremely wonderful, and I love the show. I miss seeing you on there. Good luck with your journey.
WIth the elegance of a dove
Soaring radiant and free
Nothing will defeat the class of