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Guidelines for Rolfe High School Alumni Writing Project

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Writers should choose their own format - anecdote, memory or memories, reflection, greeting, etc. Writers can also choose their style - serious, whimsical, or some place in between. Each piece could focus on Rolfe High School days and/or the bigger picture of life as it connects to developmental years in Rolfe.

There could be themes such as friendship, fads, foods, games, toys, recreation, role models, learning to deal with change and/or loss, definitions of success, dealing with failure, athleticism, sports, Rolfe then and now, schools then and now, the assets and liabilities of small town schools, standing up for the underdog, the role of the arts in life, watching parents get older, dealing with death, finding ourselves acting out parental or teacher behaviors that as young people we vowed we would never do, overcoming adversity, dealing with diversity, hands on learning contrasted with head learning, character-building, values that worked then and still work, values that were emphasized then that don't work now, how a small town person learns to live in a city, what it's like to have stayed home and lived in Rolfe for a lifetime, running into RHS grads in other parts of the world, siblings, classmates, competition, cooperation, cars, busses, trains, airplanes, after school and summer jobs, farming, extracurricular activities, parties, dancing, coping with being a wall-flower, shyness, being from the right or wrong side of the tracks, rules, people who broke the rules, people who never broke the rules, those who seemed to have the most fun, developing new standards for what it means to have a good time, opportunities and limitations determined by gender, how people and friendships change over time, how some people stay the same (for better or worse), how a hobby or interest in HS has become an occupation or passion in adult years, infatuation, old flames, love, and more.

The list is only to get minds going and to show there is a breadth of possible directions to go. Don't be bound by it. Aim for a length of at least 250- 500 words. That's about the length of a major editorial in a major newspaper. If you get in the mood to write a longer piece, that's OK. So far, we haven't needed to ask anyone to shorten his or her entry.

Let's see what the creative muse does with the project. We might use some excerpts to create a script to read at the banquet. Also, who knows, maybe we can put together a book, but there are no promises. We will assume that if you submit work that you thereby give permission to use your written piece on the website, in a script for the reunion, and/or in a book if one evolves. If you want to restrict our use of your work, please indicate your wishes.

These written pieces do not have to be all happy, pretty and nice. Well-rounded candor would be best. But please, don't get carried away with inside jokes or other items that only a few people would understand. Try to think of specific material that would transcend your own years in high school and speak to other people as well. Also, please don't write vengeful thoughts. This doesnít have to be a sweet discussion group, but we don't want it to be mean-spirited.

The easiest way to submit an entry would be to send it via this website or other E-mail avenues. If not by the Internet, then on a floppy disk. These formats work best:

  • Text pasted into your e-mail message
  • ASCII DOS text (extension .txt)
  • Rich Text Format (extension .rtf)
  • A Word Perfect for Windows file (version 8 or less)
  • Microsoft Word version 6.0 or less

If you donít have access to a computer or e-mail, please find someone to help you who does have a computer and e-mail connection. But if that is not possible, type your essay on unfolded, plain white paper with no smudges, and we will scan it. And if you canít do that, write legibly so we can transcribe your hand-writing. (We really don't like the last two options and are tempted to drop them, but currently are open to it if you have no possible way to type the material or to have some one nearby do it for you.)

There may be some minimal editing, but for the most part, all submitted pieces will be used in full. Thanks.

Helen D. Gunderson, editor
Rolfe High School Class of 1963

PS. We have prepared a book of the essays on this website. For information about ordering a copy of the book, click here.

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