On Tuesday, March 6th, shortly after lunch, a code red was announced. After hearing this announcement, a jolt of fear ran through the students. Not knowing if there was an active shooter on campus or not, we all reacted quickly and, for the most part, calmly. We went to safe locations in the room and barricaded ourselves in. In the darkness and silence, one could not resist the urge to think of the worst. Thinking about all the possible outcomes of an attack and wondering if this was even a drill or not, we all sat on the floor worrying.

While I sat on the floor huddled next to my class mates, I was reassured by the attitude of my teacher. At the time of the code red, I happened to be in Mr. Herndon’s room. When the announcement was made, Mr. Herndon was in the middle of a sentence. Everyone stopped and listened. After the announcement was over, everyone in the room stopped what they were doing, got up, and followed the safety procedure. After securing the door, Mr. Herndon grabbed a hammer and trenching shovel he had. He gave one of the young men in the class the hammer as a backup. Mr. Herndon purposefully sat nearest to the door. He positioned himself so the he could defend the students if an attacker came. Everyone stayed calm in my room. I think that a major reason for this is due to Mr. Herndon’s attitude. He was serious, but he did not seem worried. He made the rest of us in the room feel reassured.

Mr. Herndon’s actions demonstrated Ridgeview teachers’ willingness to put the students first. Not only is it the teacher’s duty to act this way for the students, but it is noticeable that our teachers do it because they care about the students. Mr. Herndon did not have to say anything for me to understand he truly cared about us. Just through his actions and attitude, I knew everything would be alright.

While watching Mr. Herndon during the drill, I knew that if this was a real attack he would do anything to ensure the safety of the students. I respect Mr. Herndon and the other Ridgeview teachers who act this way. These situations show me that Ridgeview teachers care about our lives and the future of humanity. Our teachers want us to succeed. They want us to grow and better ourselves. Our teachers are willing to risk themselves in order for our survival.

Every day, Ridgeview teachers arrive demonstrating their willingness to make our generation succeed. Every day, they do best for the students to have a better future. Every day, they do their duty out of care for the students.

It is hard to appreciate what our teachers do for us. After spending thirteen years at Ridgeview, I expect my teachers to protect us, and sometimes I take it for granted. After talking to friends from other schools, I realize that we are special in the sense that we have so many of these caring teachers. The best way to honor our teachers is to be the best we can be, follow their example, and not let their efforts go to waste.


Ender’s Game is a novel about a young tactical prodigy in a world under the threat of attack by aliens. Ender is young when he is sent to a training school in space to train to be humanity’s last hope against the aliens, called the bugger race, which nearly destroys him. This near destruction of body, mind, and spirit raises questions about the validity of sacrificing one life for the good of all and the true value of human life when this concept of sacrifice is used often enough.

Ender is put through more than any human being should endure. By the time he is twelve, Ender has killed two people in self-defense because the commanders watching him refuse to defend him, teaching him to rely on himself in conflict. These commanders isolate Ender from every person he is close to in order to teach him how to be a leader (inspiring and respectable, but not a friend to his soldiers). Finally, the novel ends when Ender unknowingly commits mass genocide of the bugger race, believing his actions to be training exercises.

It is a difficult book to read with frighteningly reasonable implications. The implication is that if one, or a hundred, or a thousand lives must be sacrificed to preserve a greater number of casualties, then that is for the best. This mentality is a utilitarian one and a reasonable default in difficult political decisions. However, this harsh answer raises an accompanying question: if one life is worth so little in comparison to the lives of multiple lives, how much are the lives of the majority truly worth?

Many other children are put through similar experiences to Ender in hopes that they will accomplish what Ender does. One by one, each of them fails and one by one, they are all replaced by another prospective, but eventual, failure. The more boys sacrificed to this furnace in order to forge a strong enough sword, the farther commanders are willing to go. Now, one could argue that these commanders are sacrificing relatively few lives in exchange for the entire population of Earth. The difficulty, however, lies in their desensitization to life and death: the more lives these men sacrifice, the less life as a concept is worth to them. Each sacrifice they make destroys their original belief that life has meaning and deserves to be protected. Though these men save lives in the end, they do so at the cost of valuing their existence, which is their humanity.

Ridgeview’s Mock Trial teams recently competed at the regional competition held here in Fort Collins. While both teams performed phenomenally, only the A Team will proceed to the state competition this year.

Mock Trial has been a great opportunity for students to learn the rules of evidence and put together a case as real lawyers would. Lawyers prepare opening statements, direct questions, cross examination questions, and a closing argument. Lawyers also study the rules of evidence so that they are able to make objections at the right time, as well as respond to objections made by the opposing team. Witnesses become their character and learn their character’s witness affidavit, and also try to anticipate what questions they will be asked on cross. At the competition, the case that is presented is treated as if it were a real court proceeding. Not only is Mock Trial a great learning opportunity, it provides much appreciated time to bond with classmates.

Ridgeview’s ability to have so many extra-curriculars, such as Mock Trial, Science Bowl, and a chess team that all compete at high levels, even in competitions without school size divisions, is amazing.  These activities make Ridgeview so special.

Mock Trial 2018 Team



Hey, everybody, I can hardly believe that we’re in third quarter already!

It was quite a bit warmer today than it has been and the afternoon Algebra II class was held outside. Sadly, as everyone who’s lived long in Colorado knows, the warm weather won’t stay long, but it’s nice while it lasts.

This small break from below freezing temperatures and frost covering the windshield in the morning means that Winter is getting closer to its end and Spring will be coming soon. Enjoy the long weekend, remember that we’re already in the last semester of the 2017-18 school year, and finish the year strong!

Here’s a little poem I wrote to celebrate the slightly warmer weather. Hope you all enjoy it:

The barren coldness of the Winter

Is not yet gone completely

But for the moment Spring has come

And it’s rain, not snow,

That hangs in the clouds above.

The nights are no longer

Quite so gray

And stars are shining softer

In the warmer, sweeter air.

Throw open your doors and windows

To catch this fleeting breath of stirring life

And treasure it,


As the days grow dark and cold once more,

That Winter cannot last forever

And Spring will come again.

It is widely known that Ridgeview offers many trips for its students; in fact, some even say that it is one of Ridgeview’s defining characteristics. Most prominent among these are the annual class trips, which take place in the summer. From camping to caving, and even paintball, the Ridgeview staff makes sure that their students stay occupied over the summer. Not only are these trips always a blast, but they also provide the ideal environments for new relationships to be forged. Through these trips, students really get a chance to bond with each other and with their teachers too.

Ridgeview also has a slew of trips during the school year as well, including those for the Student Ambassadors and members of Student Council. This month, Ridgeview’s Student Council went snowshoeing in the Gould area. We stayed in yurts, and we went on two snowshoeing hikes (including one up Montgomery Pass). Personally, it was one of the best Ridgeview trips I have ever been on! Next week, I get to have yet another Ridgeview adventure on the Student Ambassador ice-climbing trip, during which we will climb up a frozen waterfall! The staff at Ridgeview sure knows how to keep us active, and not just with homework.

These trips, of course, are fairly adventurous, but they are also educational. For example, over the summer, the Student Ambassadors went on a wilderness first-aid trip where we learned the basics of wilderness survival and trauma care. The Sophomore class went caving last summer, where they not only got a spectacular first-hand experience of cave exploration, but also learned about the cave’s history and geology. All-in-all, these trips are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. What will your next adventure be?

My breaths were deep and silent as I went to the front of the stage. It was our last chance to produce something incredible, and we all knew it. So, we all slid into our positions and looked to each other for support. The first note was soft and firm, uniting us in the prayer we were to offer to our guests. And so, we sang. We swelled as one to waves of music and down to the tiniest ripples of sound. Our notes aligned like the stars in fairy tales, allowing something unbelievable to occur. Our sound bloomed like a rose we had cultivated for so long, finally bearing the fruits of beauty. And we concluded with a note that faded into blissful oblivion.

Now, what I describe is the prayer of the Madrigal Feast that some of you may have attended. But, as you can see, it was slightly more than a piece to all of us. It was a frustration to say the least. It was beautiful, but it was a cruel piece. We all knew just how beautiful it could sound and each time, it fell lamentably short. It was precise; we could never find its possible perfection, and with one foul pitch, the harmonies dissipated like a fine mist interrupting a rainbow.

But this performance was a new experience. Together, we locked in and found the sound we were searching for. In that moment, the prayer was what it was meant to be. Pure, beautiful, and shared with everyone in the hall. It was a highlight of the performances.

This year of Madrigal practices was filled with uncertainty, bitterness, and likely even a bit of anger. However, surmounting this prayer was an accomplishment that represented each obstacle the choir had conquered to get to our final performances. This year was full of challenges and we were all forced to rise to them. Yet, we transcended each trial placed before us, and we did so together. Something new rose from the ashes, and it was truly beautiful.

The Post Solstice Solace was at High Peak Camp in Estes Park this year. The weather was beautiful for sledding, ice skating, ice fishing, snow shoeing, and talking with friends. Many started off the morning by sledding down the snow hill or ice skating on the pond. Later, we ate some delicious Nordic food including meatballs, soup, and dessert. After lunch, one group went on an enjoyable snowshoe trip around the camp. We enjoyed hot chocolate and other hot drinks together to warm up from the cold.

Ridgeview’s ability to put on events such as the Post Solstice Solace is just one reason why Ridgeview is so special. A school taking a day off to spend together in the Rocky Mountains cannot be found elsewhere. Overall, the Post Solstice Solace was an exciting day spent together with friends in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

We have now arrived at a new semester in the current school year. It is not uncommon for students to grow discouraged around this time, for though they have come far, they still have a seemingly endless road ahead of them. In my last post titled “Hard Work: The Cultivation of Self,” I went into detail about how all this work is not for nothing. While the things I touched on are valuable ideas, I often find that rhetorical flourishes do not always get to the point. With this in mind, I present you the following poem by George Eliot, so that you may find the meaning in it for yourselves.

Making Life Worth While

Every soul that touches yours –
Be it the slightest contact –
Get there from some good;
Some little grace; one kindly thought;
One aspiration yet unfelt;
One bit of courage
For the darkening sky;
One gleam of faith
To brave the thickening ills of life;
One glimpse of brighter skies –
To make this life worthwhile
And heaven a surer heritage.

Alas, finals week has arrived. Yes, the time that every Ridgeview student dreads has come. It is not uncommon for students to grow discouraged at such times, bogged down in the thick and steamy mud of existential essays and painstakingly rigorous exams. But fear not! There is a purpose to this yet.

We, as students of Ridgeview, have often heard tell of the importance that hard work and difficult tasks have in cultivating our minds. This unpleasant muck of academic rigor is not without reward–and the highest reward at that! This reward cannot be measured on any earthly scale, but indeed is above all things temporal. It lies not in one’s GPA, nor in the scores of dreaded standardized tests. No. Such a reward is found in the improvement of one’s self. Therefore, be not discouraged at the sight of the tasks set before you; I assure you, they aren’t all for naught.

Yet, the simple completion of these tasks is not enough. One must strive for something above all this. If one should desire to achieve the kind of reward about which I talk, they must find purpose in what they do. Strive for good grades, and that will be the extent of your accomplishments. Strive for self-cultivation, and you will receive the key to endless possibilities. This key is achieved only through that which is difficult, and is therefore a prize that few can claim the possession of. It thus appears that Emerson has it right when he says,

Though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self Reliance”

The hammer and iron have been set before you my friends; only you can forge your destiny–make it a good one.

Once, there was a man named Dayton. He was a bright young man, brighter than most, and he lived his life quickly as he raced through each task to get to the next one. And in the same way, he raced through his entire life this way as well. He graduated, began working, got married, and by most accounts, lived a good life.

But Dayton did not agree with most accounts. He found his life oddly unsatisfying. It felt empty, as if he was cheated out of some greater joy in life than the physical comfort he had grown to expect from the world. And it was in this mood that Dayton went out for a walk to wake himself up one morning. His walk took him to a park bench, where he sat and began to think on the emptiness again.

However, this brooding did not go on for long before he was interrupted by an older woman who asked if she could share the bench with him. He obliged her, and so she took a seat, smiling widely.

“A man as young as you should not appear to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. Is it marriage trouble? If so, go apologize. It does not matter whose fault it was, apologize.”

Dayton chuckled at this peculiar old woman and her advice, but he was intrigued. With that in mind, he humored her curiosity.

“Thankfully, no problems within my marriage. It is fine, just like everything else in my life. But that is exactly what is bothering me. Everything is fine in my life. I have a fine job, a fine spouse, a fine house. I have every fine comfort anyone could want. And yet, I don’t feel fine. Every day I feel like I’m waiting for some great miracle to turn these fine comforts to joy.”

“That is exactly your problem.” She said “You are waiting for a miracle.”

Dayton was confused. He was no expert, but what could one do for a miracle except wait. There was no such thing as making one for yourself. His consternation made itself apparent to the old woman after he thought for a minute or so.

“When you look around this park this morning, what do you see?” the old lady asked simply.

“I see a child and a mother walking. I see a sun rise. I see a few animals, trees, and flowers. What is so special about that?”

“What you see are everyday miracles that you fail to understand. You only see a sun rise, but I see a miracle of beauty. It’s a symphony of beautiful colors that are never the same way twice, so you can enjoy it anew every day. You only see a mother and a child walking together. I see a miracle of love. A bond between two people, unbreakable and incredible, that produces joy and happiness found nowhere else. You see a cluster of trees and plants. I see a miracle of life. These flowers have struggled against every hardship and bloom just to spite the hail. These trees have grown over decades and still live to grant children and their mothers shade.”

Dayton was at a loss for words. He had never seen anyone look at the world this way before. After all, he thought, who saw miracles every day?

“You have spent your whole life languishing for a miracle and waiting for one to hit you right over the head when it came. But miracles aren’t like that. They happen every day in a thousand ways.” The woman tried to explain it another way “If you could live your life as simply, a timeline of all the biggest moments of your life, would you?”

“No, that would rob me of a good many things.”

“Exactly. Just as life is not simply a timeline of noteworthy events, miracles are not just one or two things a person sees in their life. Just like how life is the thousand smiles, tears, and reliefs in between events, it is the thousand miracles happening every day that make a life worth living. All you have to do is realize everything is a miracle and appreciate them all for it.”

Few people live the way this woman lived, and most people may not see the point of living this way. But everything is at least a small miracle. A flower is not guaranteed to bloom in the spring. A tree is not guaranteed to leaf or produce fruit. People are not even guaranteed their next breath or heartbeat. But by some miracle, all those things continue to happen. Everyday miracles are commonplace, but when people understand the concept, a person can embrace life and appreciate that each small part of it is a miracle without having to wait for one.

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