The Optimist

To the Times of Ti: If you're reading this in Ticonderoga, Moriah or Port Henry youll have more reading to do than usual this week. The Optimist newspaper, a subtle counter-suicide publication for teens, is at your fingertips. Thanks to the Times of Ti youve received one of the issues of The Optimist from the 2007-08 school year to give you a taste of whats to come. In a week or two, the next Optimist youll get has a huge amount of writing from Ticonderoga High and youll see that its just absolutely crammed full of ideas, worries, self-awareness and wisdom. Teens have problems, to be sure, but they continue to amaze and inspire with their honest self-evaluations and varied possible solutions. Yes, the content might disturb you, but isnt getting it out more important than not knowing what the youth is going through? The Optimist newspaper was founded 18 years ago, before many of the current writers were born. The concerns of teen-agers have mounted expeditiously, I assure you. When visiting schools as a guest speaker, I ask four questions before giving the students a journalistic deadline of approximately 20 minutes: 1) Whats bothering you right now? 2) How does it feel? 3) How are you dealing with this burning issue? 4) What are you learning from this experience? Not only does writing help the author, but also serves the reader because feelings of isolation are diluted with the sharing of universal problems. The Dear Optimist page(s) offer shoot-from-the-hip maternal advice in response to the questions proffered anonymously. Again, wet your whistle with the paper you receive today, but just wait! The next issue will knock your socks off because, thanks to Mr. Mike Graney, Mrs. Debbie Breitenbach and the effusive and irrepressible Toby Herbert, Ti High teens will be in the spotlight! Boy, did I ever have a blast meeting everyone at this amazing school! Love and optimism, Heather McKeown, editor The Optimist

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