day 161 – JSA

I spent the weekend at the Spring State event for Junior Statesmen of America.  This was my fourth and final Spring State.  I have attended two or three Fall States.  Both my daughters were Chapter Presidents for their school.

This organization is student run and is a series of debates all weekend long.  Each block of time accommodates around eight debates you can choose to be a part of or witness and there were eight blocks total from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.

For Southern California and our region, Fall State is held in Costa Mesa.  Spring State is held every April at the LAX Hilton Hotel.  Every chapter needs an adult to drive them there and chaperone, monitor hallways, dances and general supervision.  I have been that mom and proud of it.  I didn’t come by it honestly.  The teacher advisor didn’t show up one spring and we were called back to LA after just dropping our group off, past my bedtime, to just attend as a stand in teacher/advisor, so the poor kids could get their room keys and stay.  I remember not being too gallant about it but I did it.  And then, it was just expected.

These young attendees (900 this time from all over Southern California) are political activists.  The mission is to strengthen our democracy by educating the youth.  Debates ranged from PC’s vs. Macs to the effects of online learning to drone warfare to the American education system to nuclear weapons to liberalizing immigration quotas to stricter government regulations for corporations to US International involvement to modern day feminism to religion vs. science – to name a few.

They also hold elections, quiz bowls, talent shows, forums and dances.  The Hilton Hotel was buzzing with professional looking teenagers with respectful attitudes towards all.  It was and is a sight to see.  The boys look handsome in their suits and ties and leather shoes.  The girls look sophisticated in their dresses, skirts and pumps.  The entire event is a huge undertaking and the high schoolers take over conference rooms, lobbies, cafes and over ten floors.

Goodbye, JSA.

Goodbye Destination Imagination, T-ball, Soccer, Softball, Horseback Riding, Tennis, Science Olympiads, Music lessons, Proms, Math Olympics, Science Fairs, Open Houses, Back to School Nights, Art Masters, Reading Groups, Dance lessons and recitals, spelling bees, plays, band concerts, wrestling, cross country running, summer nature camps, driving to schools and all events, carpooling, making lunches, volunteering, PTA, teacher- parent meetings, award assemblies, emergency trips to lockers for forgotten homework or objects or money and goodbye to the high energy of late night/all weekend long studying for AP exams.

Did I forget anything kids?  I am sure I have.

Soon, it will be the end of an era.  This weekend marked the beginning of the end of our last child’s High School Senior year.  I am ready because I am exhausted.  Time to rest.  But I don’t regret one minute of the investment I have made to improve our world’s future because our young adults are our legacy.  May they create something uniquely theirs for generations to come.

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