It is our warrior code. It is the theme to this relentless pursuit. It is an unwavering passion to maximize our potential, to be the best version of ourselves. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
Patriot Period is an explicit and deliberate cultural focus on who we are as people. Time constructed for relationship building and character development. While core education emphasises how something works, what it is, or when it happened, we are focusing on WHO WE ARE now and who we want to be in the future. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
Look, say what you want about millennials “free food and bean bags…thanks google”, but generations today seek connection and a purpose more than any generation before them. Our grandparents were content with simply doing their job and going home. But that is not a reality for younger generations. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
Sure our worlds revolve around a 3X6 inch screen and we ask each other on dates by swiping right or sending a snap. Some argue this has devalued face-to-face interaction. I DISAGREE. RELATIONSHIPS MATTER NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE! While our interactions happen through text messages and pictures, the need for relationships is ever prominent. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
Let me get back on track. School teaches us facts and dates, time periods and powerful people. But anybody can take an honors or AP course in 2017. And a lot of students can graduate with a GPA over 4.0 (check the stats if you aren’t buying it). So how do we differentiate ourselves? How do we separate from the masses? BY BEING GREAT PEOPLE. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
Character is WHO we are, not what we do. Character must be acknowledged, recognized, and practiced. Character is what builds relationships. The world is filled with brilliant thinkers, elite athletes, and talented artists. Character is what creates separation. The objective of life is to maximize our potential. Our physical skills have a “ceiling”, some higher than others. And they will deteriorate or worsen at some point. But WHO we are has no ceiling and no peak in sight. Your character is what defines you. It is your legacy. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
As an educator, I will only know you by who you are. I am sorry if the following is not a P.C. statement for a teacher but..I could not possibly care less about your grades. Sure, I want every student to enjoy success in the classroom. But I want to see you struggle. I want you to battle. To fight. And to overcome. I want you to succeed as a person, doing extraordinary things for the world BECAUSE OF WHO YOU ARE, NOT WHAT YOU DO. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
- What do I do? I teach economics, coach basketball and baseball, and play golf.
- Who am I? A weird, goofy, fun-loving, positive person who cares about the people in my life.
I am passionate about this. It matters. I will always remember my students. I will not remember a grade, a project, or a speech. But you better believe I will remember if you said hi or bye or said thank you on your way out of the room, or in the hallways. I will remember if you can shake my hand and look me in the eyes. If you can be yourself with confidence. If you make good choices whether the bright lights are on or off. If you fight like hell to overcome struggles and failures. If you are a humble champion (in any aspect of your life). That, I will remember. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
This is what the Patriot Period is about at Olentangy Liberty High School. It is about maximizing your potential. It is about growing, developing, practicing and striving to be your best self. Your legacy is staked in WHO you are and WHO you are is defined through your character. People do not want you for what you provide them. They want you for who you are and the person you represent. “It is not what you do but who you are.”
All the Best,
Mr. Tom Waterwash