Weekend Wisdom

Brooke Jacobsen Lessinger ’05

17
“Participate in life.”
Participation. I used to cringe thinking of the word. How much of my grade would depend on how vocal I was in the classroom? What if I didn’t have anything worthwhile to say? These questions would run through my head at the start of every trimester.
 
“But when I realized that Kent Place is a safe place and my teachers believed I had more to say, participation became a challenge I willingly accepted. For me, participation became the part of my grade I had full control over, and I wasn’t going to relinquish that.
 
“And I haven’t stopped participating. My eagerness to participate was made especially clear during my first semester of college in a psychology course called The Art and Science of Leadership. As we investigated the skills, traits, and motives associated with social dominance, I was shocked that more of my classmates weren’t participating and asking questions. Didn’t they have a different point of view to offer? Why were they sitting idly as the minutes ticked by? By comparison, it seemed like I had a lot to say!
 
“Now it’s my job to ask questions. As a television producer, I write a number of interviews a week. I approach the writing of each segment no differently from how I’d write a paper at Kent Place. What do I want to know from this person that I can’t read online? How can I solicit an answer so that those watching can benefit?
 
“No matter the circumstance, participate actively in your life, and always ask questions.” 
 

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.