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What is a wall? It's something that protects you, keeps you safe from rain, bad guys, other harm.

What about the walls in a jail? Those walls keep people inside. People who society has deemed as being too dangerous to be a part of society, or people who need guidance to be a successful part of society.

I'm going to suggest that there are other walls besides those physical walls... there are invisible walls.

I want to share a story with you about me...

When I was in high school, I wanted to take an auto shop class. But, the teachers and counselors told me that I couldn't. They gave me two reasons. One: because I was a girl, and girls weren't supposed to work on cars. Two: because I was supposed to go to a four-year college, and four-year colleges would think it was better if I took French and Orchestra... not Auto Shop.

What did these teachers and counselors do to me?

That's right, they built some invisible walls around me.
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Well, this story continues to 14...15...16 years later. Recently, my husband bought a 1965 Chevy Nova. If you've ever seen the engine compartment of a Chevy Nova, you know that there's lots of space in there, and room to work around. It's not like these new cars that have fancy schmancy high tech computer chips that you have to be a tech whiz to be able to work on them.

My husband knew that I had wanted to work on cars before, so he said to me, 'Honey, why don't you work on it with me?'

And I said, 'Okay.'

But when the time came, I had every excuse not to go into the garage and help him.

Do you know why?

I was afraid. I had built up an invisible wall around myself to protect myself. I was afraid that I would mess up the car, or someone would laugh at me because I was girl and not supposed to work on cars.

Do you think that was a good thing for me to do?

No. I don't think so either.

I'm going to extend this story to you. . I?m going to suggest that as students, each of us might have an invisible wall around us. Somewhere, sometime, maybe in real life, maybe on TV, we saw a student who asked a question, and other kids called him names, or laughed at him. And that?s when we started thinking that it wasn?t okay to ask questions.

After all, who wants to be laughed at?

But, do you think it's a good thing to have an invisible wall around us?

Some of you say "yes", and some of you say "no".   I agree, those invisible walls do protect us. And sometimes we need to have them, especially against things that can be harmful to us, like drugs, and other things. But I also agree with the "no".

If we stay hidden behind our invisible walls, we are never going to be able to experience life outside. If we stay inside these classroom walls, we'll never be able to feel the wind on our face, smell the flowers, feel the sun's rays, hear the birds outside.
If we stay behind our invisible walls, we are "protected", and I'm going to suggest that life might even be quite "lovely" for us.

ButI'm also going to suggest that the life we're living then is a lie.

We're selling ourselves short.

We're not reaching our full potential.

So what we need to do is W ash A way those L ovely L ies.

Because it is safe behind those walls.

We do feel protected.

But it's a lie.

So remember:

     W ash

     A way those

     L ovely

     L ies.

--Mrs. Samson can be contacted at [email protected]
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