Letter to the editor – J.B. Hinote

To the Editor,

I recently sat in a class where I was presented with a surprising fact. At most, people only remember about 15 percent of what you tell them. This came as a shock to me since I thought people really wanted to hear what I had to say. I was mistaken. We all are. The conversations we hold have gotten completely obnoxious and uninteresting. Nobody really hears and listens to anyone any more.

The other part of that statistic is this. That 15 percent that people remember is anecdotal commentary. That means if you want people to remember what you say they will remember it if it comes in the form of a story, joke, or quick anecdote.

Therefore, I would like to tell you a story. It is the story of a young man who worked very hard. He started out in the grocery business. While working at the grocery store he met a young woman that would one day become his wife. He continued to work at the grocery store while married to this woman. Slowly their family added another member, a son. The money being made at the grocery store did not go as far as it did before.

The young man decided to make a change and try his hand at a different job. As he did this his family was still growing. In an effort to provide for his family, this man went from one job to another until one day with a wife and two children, and one on the way, they looked in the cupboard and there was not even a loaf of bread or peanut butter to make a peanut butter sandwich. The young man looked at his wife with tears in his eyes and said, “what kind of a man can work this hard, and still not be able to feed his family?”

At that moment this young man, at the ripe old age of 30, made a choice. He decided to go to college. His first day of class he went to class all day, then rushed home so he could bring his wife home from the hospital with their 3rd child. College was the best decision he ever made. With his college degree he went on and had a satisfying career in his field and had another child and he and his wife are living happily ever after.

That young man was me. I did look at my wife and think of myself as a failure. But college provided way more for me than just an education. It provided way more for me than the skills needed to get a job that could support my family. College provided something so monumental it cannot be overstated. It provided me HOPE. It was a lifeline to a young man who was sinking into a pit of despair and depression. It gave me confidence, and pride in my work.

That is why I am going to vote yes on April 3rd. I believe I can show through many studies how improved facilities led to higher standardized test scores. I believe that better facilities in sports and the arts will lead to more positive attention to the city. I believe that current facilities are not adequate and have the stories to prove it. I truly believe that this is the best decision for our schools.

But more than that we have a chance to bring source of hope, closer to home. Where students don’t have to leave to get the higher education they need to succeed. Where students can financially afford to get core classes out of the way so that when it is time for undergrad work they have a strategic advantage. Where students possibly once again will be proud of the school they attend and hold their heads up high.

I encourage you, if you have a story like mine, vote yes on April 3rd. Provide the thread of hope that might make all the difference in our community, and our students.

J.B. Hinote, Jefferson

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