As a speech-language pathologist, I've recently had the opportunity to spend time with high school students with various levels of speech and language difficulty, and I asked them to "Tell me something that you know is true."
Here are their answers:
1. Chocolate cake sticks in your teeth.
2. Smoking affects your whole body.
3. Garlic is bad for your breath.
4. Bees do not ride bikes.
5. You need to wear a helmet when you skateboard.
6. You can't drink alcohol until you're 21.
7. Monster trucks smash cars.
8. Monkeys are cute and funny.
9. If you cheat on someone once, you'll do it again.
10. Ketchup is good on everything.
11. Green turtles are an endangered species.
12. Rich people get whatever they want.
13. Don't trust people who use you.
14. Love makes couples go crazy.
15. Mountain Dew is delicious.
16. Rich people are greedy with their money.
17. Love is just a concept.
18. Words hurt more than sticks and stones.
19. Money doesn't grow on trees.
20. Having a crush on somebody that you know you're not going to be with is hopeless.
21. I'm the awesomest human being on Earth!
22. People need someone to care about them.
23. If you're playing basketball, you have to keep dribbling the ball.
24. Stay in school or you won't get a good education.
25. If you say you're going to take care of your child, you're supposed to be there for them.
26. I love my mom.
27. I do know that there are bad people out there.
28. Aliens are real.
29. You can't be late for school or you get a detention.
30. When I get bored, I talk a lot.
31. Taking care of your teeth is important.
32. If a glass is on the edge of the table, it is more likely to get hit with your elbow and break.
33. Don't complain when something bad happens...clean it up.
34. You don't get pregnant by accident.
35. Rebellion comes from frustration.
36. Being weird is great.
37. When you hit your funny bone, it's really not funny.
38. Never believe the rumors. Don't make assumptions. Go right to a person if you have something to say.
39. You don't have control over what anyone else does.
40. You can't love if you can't trust.
Thank you to these students for participating and sharing their thoughts, knowledge, and life experiences. As you can imagine, this exercise expanded into conversations that ranged from deep and emotional to lighthearted and comical.
This month, the class of 2014 prepares for graduation and a life of learning new truths, dispelling or affirming the truths on this list, and finding their paths in this world.
To the students, trust your instincts, but be willing to listen to others; you don't learn anything when you're talking. Let people see your light, and hold onto the ones that bask in its glow. Be yourself, and make a difference in the world. You have the ability to change lives, so make sure you change them for the better.