Thursday, April 24, 2008

my Sage

Parenting is hard. Parenting is so much fun. It's a blast to have 4 kids all so different and at different stages in their lives. I didn't see it all coming.

Sage, by virtue of being the oldest, is on the leading edge of everything new. For Christmas last year, she gave me a "Dad's Daily Calendar" where each day there's a quote for the day. I've got it on my bathroom counter. It's hard to know who likes to read it more. . . she or I? Anyway, yesterday she hands me this one. . .

She had "stolen" it off the calendar and had been saving it for just the right moment! She's obviously processing that dad is not just dad, but the guy up front on Sunday mornings.

Sage is also really getting into writing. Her assignments have included persuasive essays. Last week her essay was a letter to mom and I about why we should let her have a horse some day . . . soon. Yesterday, we were interacting over this essay to the Governor on why Montana de Oro should not be closed . . .

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

Have you ever been to Montana de Oro? This California state park, which is in San Luis Obispo County, has “rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak.” It is a great spot for families to spend an afternoon, or even a full day, shell hunting, swimming, exploring the caves and trails or other natural adventure spots. But this beautiful state park is in danger. You have threatened not only Montana de Oro, but 47 other California state parks in your latest budget proposal. I believe that Montana de Oro, along with the other state parks, should not be shut down because the budget still won’t be filled and because they are excellent family spots.

You are concerned about our financial situation; we all respect that. You have chosen to close down 20% of our state parks. But closing Montana de Oro will cost more than it will to keep it. The government might as well just walk away and leave the park as an area not maintained by the state. Besides, if the 48 state parks do close down, only 0.1% of California’s budget will be filled.

Montana de Oro is a perfect hang out place for families and individuals. I have a big family. When visitors come, the first place we take them is Montana de Oro. Along with my six family members (including me) we have a delightful time. My two brothers like to throw rocks and my mom, my sister and I collect shells. My dad Loves to mountain bike on the cool trails. The whole family loves to investigate the numerous caves and crevasses. If Montana de Oro closes, it will be a big loss to me and my family, as well as many other S.L.O. county residents.
We live in an uneconomic world. Our world is filled with billboards, computers and smoggy skies. Montana de Oro is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It is good for our souls.

I think that we should fight for Montana de Oro. You should restrain from closing it down because the budget won’t be satisfied and it is so exquisite, people should not be forbid to look at it. As Bruce Gibson puts it, “This is an unacceptable proposal, ill-conceived and poorly thought out.” Don’t let the California state parks close!

Sage Theule
Age 11

Note: A copy of this was also sent to Sam Blakslee and The Tribune Newspaper.

I'm persuaded . . . and whipped!


Brian Wong said...

Haha! That daily calendar entry is awesome!

I had no idea that they were thinking of closing Montana de Oro. How sad! I guess if it is closed, hopefully, one day it will be reopened. Or maybe someone (or a bunch of someones) could put up the cash to make it private. What a shame!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Sage! That's a great letter to the governor. You must have a wonderful teacher! (Or two, or three...) :)

Tim Weaver said...

Sage, YOU ROCK!!! Many of the Tribune's letters-to-the-editor writers could learn a thing or two about a well formed and compelling argument from your writing.

You've been earning my respect for a while. God created something pretty awesome with you. It is neat to see glimpses of it from time to time with stuff like this.

Kristen Borland said...

wow! written by an 11 year old?! i'm persuaded too, and i'm persuaded that a classical education is the way to go!

lindsey cheney said...

we are blessed to have been a part of this girl's life since the beginning. thanks for including us! she is a treat, for sure - amazing!

Hilary Severson said...

Wonderful job Sage! Boy do I miss being one of your teachers! This is a beautiful appeal to reason and emotion. I'm very impressed you wrote it, but not surprised, you have a gift for the written word. Keep up the good work and I miss you a lot!

Mrs. Severson (Hilary)