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The Paw Print

Teacher Throwback: Ms. Sawyer

Ms. Sawyer poses for her senior photo.

Ms. Sawyer poses for her senior photo.

George Beatty, Staff Writer

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Q: Where did you go to high school?

A: “Living Hope Christian Academy.”

Q: Is that here in Kansas City?

A: “No, California, Southern California, Orange County area.”

Q: Were you near the ocean?

A: “We were probably about thirty minutes from the ocean, and we had a lot of kids that were what you call ‘beach bums’ who lived and breathed and slept surfing. You just went to the beach, that’s what you did.”

Q: Were you a morning person or night person?

A: “Night person, 100 percent. I learn better at night… so I would study at night. If I had to wait and save studying for a test for the morning it would not get done. So I mean, I was up on time and got to school on time but I was cutting it as close as I possibly could to get out the door.”

Q: What was your group of friends like?

A: “I guess I was more of a person that had friends in different groups that I was in. I was the same person in each group but I had my art friends and then I had my friends that were more of the conservative type, they were more like me, but they were girls that in our community wore skirts only. So I hung out with them a lot because we had a similar belief system. I hung out with mostly girls – which, I do not know if that makes any sense – I had choir friends. I was a soprano in the choir in high school, but my brother was also in high school at the same time. He is two years younger than me. So, his friends were my friends and my friends were his friends. I would blend into the bass section [of the band] and I would hang out with the bass and kind of chit-chat with them. I loved politics at the time so I was always actively involved in politics and usually getting in some type of debate with somebody on politics.”

Q: In politics, what subjects or sides would you usually take and what issues would you debate?

A: “Republican, more conservative. Healthcare was a big deal at the time, so trying to figure out how they were going to change it up. Abortion was a huge discussion amongst our group. The things that we talked about were very different than the things you talk about now. A lot of it was more social issues, reform in America, but a lot of it was really healthcare.”

Q: What would you do for fun?

A: “I loved horseback riding, so I did that a lot. My friends and I loved to bake so a lot of the times I would go over and we would bake. My friend was really good at baking bread, so we would bake bread together. I did this really cool event, it was really funny, I went to a civil war reenactment. I was sixteen, so we dressed up as if we from that time. I had a hoop skirt and everything and we went to a barn and it was as if I stepped into the 1860’s and we did all those old fashioned, Virginia reels and those old fashioned dances. It was so much fun. I could not get in the car, my dress was so wide, but it was so much fun. So we did stuff like that, we hung out at the beach. You would do bonfires, roasting marshmallows. I did a lot of hanging with youth group, my brother and I both did, and we had a lot of friends through the youth group. I worked at Coldstone at the time, so I had a lot of friends from various high schools. So I made friends with a lot of kids on the drama team and in California you have a lot of people that are from other countries, so I had a friend from Columbia which was a lot of fun, having that cultural dynamic you would not necessarily get anywhere else that I really loved.  In-N-Out [Burger], we used to hang out at  In-N-Out [Burger] until 1 in the morning. Parents all knew, we would just hang out and eat burgers.

Q: What classes did you enjoy in high school?

A: “The Sciences-big surprise right- but I loved the Sciences so I did as many Science courses as I could get my hands on. My mother would say I hated math but I loved math, I loved trigonometry. I was in the band and I played the flute. So, a lot of the time if I was struggling in calculus I would go play the flute and I would come back and try and tackle the problem again, but I loved trig. I loved anatomy, that’s where I thought maybe I might be a doctor. I took a class that was called the history of the horse, so I learned a lot about the history of the horse and how the horse breeds came to be and mustangs and how we got horses here and all those kinds of things.”

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?

A: “I did golf my freshman year. I did horseback riding, really horseback riding was what I did. It’s more kind of the country, kind of western, I was almost ready to barrel race but I had not quite gotten that far yet. I was up too roping a calf before I left, but that was more of the things I did. I feel like there was something else- oh choir, well see I was a musical gal, so most of the stuff was choir, it was band, my brother and I both did marching band. We sang at Disneyland, which was a lot of fun.

Q: You sang at Disneyland?

A: “We were in the parade and they pulled us out and put us with a bunch of other high schools that were there and we sang a bunch of Christmas songs on risers and Jane Seymour was the MC and she spoke, but it was weird because there were so many of us, we were literally up against each other, singing in each other’s ears, but it was a lot of fun because we got to sit in behind Disneyland which was weird. We saw where all the parade floats were and we came out within these choir robes and walked the streets of Disneyland singing. I think we say silent night as we came out and then the parade floats would come out and it was our candlelight service, so that part was a lot of fun.”

Q: Looking back, do you like the way you were during high school?

A: “I am glad I studied a lot and I am glad I pursued the harder classes that I did. I want to say I wish I was more social. I mean I was I guess, I was in choir and I had some really good friends that I am still friends with today. I wish I had actually done more social activities and not necessarily buried my nose in a book all the time.”

Q: Is that something you would recommend for everyone else as well?

A: “Maybe more find a balance, because you could go both ways, you could be so focused on your studies that you do not get out and do anything and then you could have the opposite were all you are is this social butterfly and you barely get through school. You got to find some balance. But then there are some times where you can say there is an activity that I want to go to with my friends, let me see what I can do to get my homework done or my studies done so I can go, or just adjust things so that you can actually go and be social because it’s good to have friends, it’s good to have good friends, it’s good to have Godly Christian friends. I had those I just wish I had more time- I poured myself too much into textbooks and wish I had more time to hang out with them. It’s just finding a good balance, I would not necessarily go one way or the other, but find a good balance.”

Q: What do you regret the most about high school?

A: “I did not start working until my senior year of high school. I think I wish I had worked a little bit earlier. I think working, granted yes I would not start super young, but even just a year earlier. I think having a job gives you a sense of responsibility but it also teaches you to prioritize your time and I think if I maybe got a job my junior year, I think I would have learned these skills that I had learned my senior year that I wish I had a little earlier.”

Q: Did you think you would go on to pursue the career you are in now?

A: “I was mainly focused on being a doctor first. I had always wanted to be a teacher, literally if you go back to my papers when I was in second grade I have in there ‘I want to be a teacher’, and then I hit my science classes and so I thought maybe Gods leading me a bit down here. So, I shadowed a heart surgeon to see if that was what I really wanted to do, and I was like ‘I don’t know if surgery is for me’. Then I thought I may be I might be an OBGYN [obstetrician-gynecologist] for a while and then I got to college and it was like ‘Oh, this is not for me’ and I had to restructure and rethink things through and it was I think God’s way of saying I have other things in store for you. It is a journey, especially when you graduate from high school and you head into college.  A huge thing I wish I was more prepared for was that huge jump between senior year of high school and freshman year of college. There is a huge jump and  the expectations that professors have for you is so much higher than what is expected in high school. It is almost like a slap in the face because everything is fast-paced, you are tested regularly, there is so much going on and then you have all these classes you are trying to do plus also wanting to have a social life on top of it because you are in college. I wish I was more prepared my senior year for what freshman year of college was like.”

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Teacher Throwback: Ms. Sawyer