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The Wildezine

One Last Barely Merritt Column

Barely Merritt, Guest Author

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The Barely Merritt Advice Column is a feature of the Upper School Newspaper that has unfortunately been missing for a few years. The last column was aired in the March 2011 issue of the Upper School Student Newspaper, then called the Gnus. To honor the life and legacy of Barry Merritt in our school, the Wildezine wanted to give the column its final hurrah.

Dear Barely,
HELP!!
Since 9th grade I’ve gradually become louder and louder. I hate it. Sometimes I think that I’m talking at normal volume, but really I’m apparently screaming. On top of all that, when I laugh I laugh way too loudly. Suggestions?
Sincerely,
MC Yella

Dear MC Yella,
First things first, MC Yella. Get your hearing checked! Maybe there is a physical reason why you are you are turning up the volume. Once that reason is eliminated, think about what you are saying, and not how loud you are saying it. The quality of your thoughts is many times more important than the decibels used. I suggest you speak soft enough that your friends have to ask you to speak up, and keep it that level.
Your Audio Friend,
Barely

 

Dear Barely,
Can one have Christmas–or any holiday– without one’s tree?
Sincerely,
A. Who

Dear A. Who,
Not to worry! You and your whole Whoville family will still certainly have your holiday, and you will still have your tree–it just may not be the same tree. You might have a Douglas Fir instead of a Blue Spruce. It will still be the same, it is the spirit of the holiday that is important, not the trimmings and trappings!
Your Immobile Friend,
Barely

 

Dear Barely,
My favorite teacher who teaches math happens to be retiring. It makes me very sad and nervous and I don’t know what to do. How do I cope with the stress?
Sincerely,
Unhappy and Confused

Dear Unhappy and Confused,
The feelings you get when you are at a place that feels safe and nurturing are generated by many different factors, only one of which are the people. This particular math teacher, who is retiring from teaching, will still be around, but just not as much as before. The physical presence will lessen, but the spirit will continue to be the same.
Your Happy and Clear-Headed Friend,
Barely

 

Dear Barely,
What is the Key to Success and Happiness?
Sincerely,
Anonymous Friend

Dear Anonymous Friend,
This is a BIG question, with many different facets, but one that comes down to a few simple things. First, find something you are passionate about and become invested. Second, look outside yourself to see what others need and do what you can to help them. And third, just be your own person, don’t try to be something that you’re not.
Your Still-Searching Friend,
Barely

 

Dear Barely,
My just season ended. I need to take it to the next level. How do I get to the Olympics? Advice from a near-Olympic athlete?
Sincerely,
Buff Manz

Dear Buff Manz (or Womanz),
That is awesome that you have such aspirations. Set some goals, small short term goals for today, this week, this month, as well as long term goals, this year, the Olympics. Now, it must be said that many things can derail Olympic dreams, such as health, time, and ability. The more important idea here is that you are fully committed to whatever goal you might have, be it doing well on that test next week, getting in better shape for your next sports season, or making an Olympic team.
Your Once-Upon-A-Time-Athletic friend,
Barely

 

Dear Barely,
I’ve often watched you walk across campus and have been in awe of your steady walking speed and wide-brimmed hat. What is it like being a legend?
Sincerely,
Your #1 Fan

Dear #1 Fan,
I am not really comfortable with this type of attention, becoming a legend is not something one aspires to. I walk fast because I am probably late to a meeting and I wear the hat to keep the sun off my bald head (doesn’t sound very legendary does it). My philosophy has always consisted of a few simple ideas: Show up on time, try to give your best every day, do what you are supposed to do, be grateful for what you have. It isn’t that hard to do.
Your Forever Grateful SSFS Friend,
Barely

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “One Last Barely Merritt Column”

  1. Justin LaRoc on May 24th, 2017 10:52 am

    I love this column

    [Reply]

  2. Eduardo Polon on May 25th, 2017 4:24 pm

    Three cheers for our good friend: Hip-hip, hooray! Hip-hip, hooray! Hip-hip, hooray!

    [Reply]

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One Last Barely Merritt Column