Letter to the Editor by Todd Burgener: I saw the TEDx event at Lake Forest High School recently and was so glad to have had the opportunity to attend. Inspired by the students, staff and community members whom I saw and heard, I wrote this essay. As school boards in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest begin the process of transition, I thought the community might enjoy it.
“I sometimes have a Petoskey stone in my pocket … yesterday I did. It’s there to remind me that things are not always as they appear.
“When dry and undisturbed, a Petoskey stone is dull, gray and plain. It looks more like a stone than even a stone. When made wet or polished, however, a beautiful and intricate design is brought out into the open, revealing the fossilized coral that the stone really is.
“As people, many of us are the same as that stone. Left untended, our unique qualities remain hidden from view…sometimes even from ourselves. Often it takes someone or something else to interact with us to reveal our unique qualities, passions, skills and talents. It is because of this that the educational experience we receive is so vital. That experience is not to form us into what we “should” be, but should reveal to us what we “are” and what we “can” be.
“Like the best Petoskey hunters, the best educators are able to see the mostly hidden qualities of their students and to work to bring those qualities to the surface. The process of education is like the application of polish to the stone. It’s something that takes time, but when done well it allows the individual beauty to be revealed and remain exposed forever.
“When he was 9 or 10, my son used to tell a joke that he thought was really funny.
- Q: what’s round and gray and looks like a rock?
- A: a round gray rock!”
Maybe not always.”
— Todd Burgener, Lake Forest
This Letter to the Editor is from Todd Burgener of Lake Forest. Letters to the Editor represent the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of Daily North Shore.