Seniors from across Malheur County answered a three-question survey in the final days of their school year. These are their thoughts as we welcome them to our community as accomplished, independent adults and they learn what responsibilities that entails. Some answers were lightly edited for spelling, space or clarity. This week, we hear from Vale, Nyssa, Jordan Valley, and Harper. Next week, we will have the answers from Adrian and Ontario. From what we see here, the future of our community is bright.
PAST: What one improvement would like to see in the school system you’re about to leave?
PRESENT: What worries you most about the United States today?
FUTURE: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
TRENDS AND TAKEAWAYS:
We want more arts and music education. Nine graduates said they would like their school to expand creative offerings in the future, making it the most common parting suggestion. Seniors also wished for more real-world learning, better school spirit, and improved shop and agricultural classes at their schools.
Less division and racism. More unity and empathy. The class of 2018 largely worries about the same things: The United States is becoming more divided, less willing to understand people who are different from themselves, and quicker to react with hate. Many saw this as a fundamental threat to our country. Other graduates fear for the future of gun rights or the effects of a generation exposed to so much violence, particularly frequent mass shootings.
Seniors were optimistic about their future lives.
Seniors were optimistic about their future lives.
ONTARIO, May 30
Past: I would like to see an improvement in the atmosphere of the school. As the outgoing student body president, I have spent many hours working with staff and students. We have great school spirit when it comes to football and basketball, but not as much regarding the fine arts, or even day-to-day activities.
Present: Political strife.
Future: I see myself in the middle of my residency. This means I will have graduated from medical school and will be working toward becoming a practicing psychiatrist. I also hope to own a few pet dogs, and maybe even have a family.
Past: I would like to be able to stand at lunch. I also think the school should stop restrictig girls from wearing certain clothes. I understand the clothes that are just inappropriate, but I would like to be able to wear tights and maybe even show my shoulders. It is NOT a distraction and I do not want to feel like I am doing something wrong when I am just trying to wear what I feel comfortable in.
Present: Donald Trump as our president.
Future: Graduating college.
Past: Better lunches. They have gotten a lot worse.
Present: The rising gas prices.
Future: I see myself as a registered nurse and just starting a family.
Past: Better lunches and better dress code.
Present: Minimum wage going up becasue it is decreasing the value of the dollar.
Future: As an ER doctor or Life Flight nurse.
Past: One improvement I would like to see in the school system I’m about to leave is for staff to realize the of the age students. If they expect us to act as adults, they should treat us like we are.
Present: The immaturity of adults.
Future: Living every adventure exploring the different aspects of life.
Past: Let us stand up at lunch.
Present: Start of World War III.
Future: Owning my own business.
Past: While there are many class choices to pick from, I would prefer many more to be added, mostly classes that will give you better hands-on skills for careers students are interested in.
Present: The meeting that President Donald Trump is going to have with Dictator Kim Jong Un. I have many worries that he is going to offend him.
Future: I see myself finishing up my last year of residency to become a pediactric surgeon.
Past: More school spirit! Nothing brings a school together better than school spirit.
Present: The violence. World peace should be our goal.
Future: Out of school, married, and happy!
Past: More students doing sports.
Present: Going to war.
Future: Still in Ontario area.
Past: To not prioritize sports over everything and to let students participate in national movements that occur during school.
Present: I worry about the current leadership our country has and the increase in gun violence.
Future: I see myself continuing to study law and possibly starting to settling down.
Past: The school spirit. There are always those few kids who go out for every game and cheer the loudest but I would like for everyone to have a ton of school spirit and dress up for every game, stand in every zoo, and cheer louder each game.
Present: There is no much violence. I hope that our nation’s goal can be to achieve world peace and that we will be able to reach that goal soon.
Future: I see myself married with a few kids of my own, working as a pediatric nurse.
Past: I would really love to see more freedom given to the students. At this point, they are not given the choice to learn and grow from their mistakes. The school is preventing us from growing up.
Present: I worry that people are growing more and more entitled, and eventually nobody will be held accountable for their actions.
Future: I hope to be in a successful career with a family and home.
Past: I would like to see our school support our band, choir, and drama programs more.
Present: The lack of accountability people are held to. People need to understand there are consequences for their actions.
Future: I hope to have my bachelor’s degree in theater education and to have started my own family.
Past: More student involment.
Present: The political divide
Future: Employed as a successful engineer.
Past: Revise the dress code.
Present: Your president.
Future: Being 28
Past: I would change the amount of opportunities available to underclassmen.
Present: So many people act entitled to the world, and they think their opinions are the only ones that matter. I worry that people will ridicule others for having opinions besides their own, and this will create a society where no one speaks their mind and no one wants to be around others.
Future: I see myself fresh out of college, starting a job as a computer scientist and on my way to change the world through my career as a “father” of technology.
Past: More focus on the mental and physical wellness of students that take on big loads, such as working late hours after school days or taking on college classes along with a high school schedule.
Present: Our president and the fall of the United States from going to World War III.
Future: I see myself as a kinesiologist working in a rehabilitation facility.
Past: Big thing is administration needs to be more respectful toward their students. Most rules revolve around leaving for lunch. Plus 20 bucks for a parking pass?! Rip off. ... Definitely could have had better years in volleyball and basketball if parents’ and students’ [complaints] were taken more seriously. O Positive is a joke.
Present: Stupid people that don’t use their brains and think Trump is hurting our country.
Future: In the profession I love doing, with someone I love. Hopefully will have forgotten all the [bad] memories from this place.
Past: I would like to see more literature taught in the English classes.
Present: I don’t believe we as a society are truly preparing our youth for the world after school, whether that be high school or college. I fear the lack of preparation will result in the downfall of this country.
Future: I see myself teaching special education and married. I plan on having children and going back to school to earn my master’s degree.
Past: Better planning and notices for upcoming events.
Present: How the U.S. is not pulling itself out of debt but instead it is going even deeper.
Future: I see myself as a medical assistant raising my own child.
Past: More trusting administration.
Future: In a beach house, swimming in a pool of popcorn.
Past: A more reasonable school staff.
Present: McDonald’s took the Orange Hi-C drink off their menu.
Future: Working as a surgical intern at a teaching hospital.
Past: To not be so controlling.
Present: I don’t know.
Future: Having a family.
Past: The old building should be being replaced.
Present: Gas prices.
Past: More school involvement.
Present: That our country will become a place where no one will know how to express themseleves in a manner that is not hurtful toward others. I also worry that people will become more secluded, creating a world where everyone is isolated.
Future: Being a physician assistant in the pediatric field.
Past: New office faculty.
Present: The Democrats.
Future: Living in Hawaii.
Past: More school involvement at sports games.
Present: The economy.
Future: Rich and not living in Ontario.
Past: I would like to see better management of serious problems when brought to staff attention.
Present: Chaos is going on all around us.
Future: I see myself with my teaching certificate and just beginning a long journey in the teaching field.
Past: Students have no say in what they want improved. This school is way too strict. Follow along with the Nyssa School District and there will be a huge improvement. Ontario School District is ruined at this point.
Future: Working with a home and car.
Past: To be able to use all of our doors that we have. We only get to use the front doors.
Present: What worries me the most is all the shooting atacks that have been happening.
Future: I see myself being a travel nurse and loving my job.
Past: One improvement I would like the school system to make is to be more aware about bullying. A lot of kids are being bullied and the staff sometimes does not recognize it until it is too late. Other than that, I have really enjoyed my time here at Ontario High School.
Present: I have not really thought about this. I guess what worries me most about the United States is how the government deals with money.
Future: I see myself married with a family. Also, I see myself as a kindergarten teacher! Somehow, I am hoping to make a difference with the people around me and help out the community in so many ways.
Past: I would have like to have been taught some important life skills before I went out on my own, such as paying bills, doing taxes and the ways of loans.
Present: The level of unemployment worries me. I hope to go to a city one day and not see homeless people on the street.
Future: Working as a successful dental hygienist in a beautiful city. I also hope to be married and starting a family of my own.
Past: I would like the future generations of Ontario High School to want to come to school. It would be nice to see teachers actually care about their students.
Present: Donald Trump.
Future: I see myself living by the ocean, helping endangered sea animals and making bank.
Past: Restroom policies.
Future: I see myself having my dream career as a registered nurse. Having my own place to live and succeeding.
Past: Less stupid rules. OHS has some really stupid rules like we are not able to stand during lunch.
Present: The opioid epidemic.
Future: Having a decent paying job.
Past: Administration is too strict.
Future: I see myself cruising in a BRZ.
Past: I would like to see less focus on test scores and more on learning and understanding the content of the classes. Basically, stress the importance of the content, not test-taking skills.
Present: The shortage of individual integrity in many citizens and and government.
Future: I hope to see myself as a computer programmer with a family of my own and still strong in my religious faith.
Past: Hire better teachers .
Present: The current political climate.
Future: Next to my darling.
Past: An improvement I would like to see is treating the students more like adults so they can learn responsibility.
Present: I worry most about the shootings happening, especially those in school.
Future: A successful buisness owner of my own skin care line.
Future: With a career far away from here, having parties and waking up the next morning not knowing where the heck I am. (;
Past: This year was crazy and fun, but along the way there were some flaws that need to change. Everyone needs to be treated equally, between students but specifically between teachers and students.
Present: What worries me the most about our country are DACA students. All those students deserve an education and a great future. DACA gives so many children the opportunity of becoming someone important in our future. President Trump should not destroy so many dreams.
Future: I see myself being in my own classroom teaching a bunch of little fifth graders in Spanish, preparing each student to become great profesionals.
Past: I would like to see improvement in school resources and student awards.
Present: I’m worried that we are going to be bombed and I believe we have an unfit president.
Future: I see myself being a successful realtor.
Past: Better breakfast and lunch.
Present: Racisim because people are starting to get violent.
Future: I see myself living in Caldwell, Idaho in a big house as a nurse anesthetist, making money and traveling a lot.
Past: Nothing. I think the system is great.
Present: Decreasing jobs for people.
Future: Fighting wildland fires and getting in with the BLM full time.
Mary Ellen Buxton
Past: I wish there was more concern about individual success rather than test scores, statistics, and how it all makes the school look.
Present: The absence of compassion on both a small and large scale.
Future: Settling into my career, building a foundation for myself and my future family, probably with a plethora of dogs.
Past: Student rights.
Present: Lizard People uprising.
Future: In debt.
Past: Nothing I can say without getting in trouble.
Present: The one thing that worries me about the United States today is the lack of responsibility and maturity.
Future: Living in an apartment with my best friend, partying.
Past: Better approach toward students and their involvement.
Present: The threats being made to the United States.
Future: Working in the medical field and having a good job that supports me.
Past: One improvement I would like to see is a healthier selection of breakfast food. When I come to school every morning, I’m greeted by pastries and sugar-filled foods. The school states that our food is healthy. Then what do you call that?
Present: What worries me the most is the fighting and conflicts between the U.S. and other countries.
Future: I would like too see myself doing my dream job of singing and making music. I would like to see myself succesful in that.
Past: No lunch stickers in order to leave for lunch. Parking passes should not be $20!
Present: I don’t know.
Future: A successful person who achieved their life goal to become a nurse somehwhere in the medical field.
Past: More like school. Less like prison.
Present: The direction we are going.
Future: With a family and good job.
Past: More understanding about absences.
Present: The national debt.
Future: With a steady job I enjoy.
Past: Letting us use all the doors.
Future: Being a physical trainer and living on my own.
Past: I would like for there to be more support for students participating in social causes. Students have an abundance of things to fear for in this country. Therefore, I would like to see more support for causes that focus on certain issues involving schools, such as participating in national walkouts and raising awareness, as well as actually talking about issues.
Present: I worry about the considerable wave of intolerance in the country. There is no denying that bigotry takes place every single day in our country, and this particularly frightens me.
Future: I see myself being financially stable while in an occupation that I truly enjoy. I hope to create a great foundation for myself and my future family.
Past: New office staff.
Present: The Democrats.
Future: Being a national champion saddle bronc rider.
Past: Being able to leave for lunch.
Present: Our president.
Future: Hopefully working in a law firm.
ADRIAN, May 27
Past: I would like to see my school(mates) be better leaders than they are right now because of the many things that have happened these past four years, both good and bad.
Present: I worry about how teens are protesting about how guns should be banned. It all just starts from kids bullying other kids.
Future: I see myself somewhere between college and auditioning for movies because I plan on becoming an actress one day. I would also like to start a family in there, too.