Walls Showcase A Confetti of Wisdom

An up-close look at the advice covering Mrs. Starman's classroom

Allison Heithoff, Editor-in-Chief of Quintessence

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The word “classroom” calls to mind the mundane image of a lifeless and boring learning environment, yet the room of theology teacher Mrs. Starman could not be further from this description. Nine years worth of students’ handwritten words of advice and goals colorfully hang from the walls, an accumulation that will only continue to augment.

Mrs. Starman’s idea for the tradition emerged during her first year of teaching, and the inspiration behind it came from Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture.” She explains, “I was really intrigued, and after watching his lecture, I felt like it was inspiring and relevant for seniors who are thinking about their future. It is natural for seniors to start thinking about the dreams and goals they have for their lives, and it is also a great time to give and receive advice.”

So, for nine years her students have written both their primary goal in life and the best piece of advice they’ve received on colorful slips of paper to hang up wherever they choose. All this time has passed and not a single one has been removed. There is also no intention of doing so moving forward, no matter how many build up on the walls. “If they get completely filled, there is always the ceiling as an option,” Mrs. Starman assures.

Aside from giving the classroom a distinct look, the tangible existence of these words of advice motivate and inspire those who are able to experience them on a daily basis. For those who do not have this same privilege, flip through the slideshow for an up-close glance at a mere sampling of the ones on display.