There’s no present like time

The Covington News - - Local News - Terri Kim­ble Colum­nist Terri Kim­ble is the 4H Ed­u­ca­tor for Newton County 4-H. She can be reached at 770-784-2010 or tkim­

“There’s no time like the present, and there’s no present like time,” sings David LaMotte in his song, Dead­line.

There’s a lot of truth to that, whether we’re talk­ing about pre­par­ing ap­pli­ca­tions or con­sid­er­ing the busy hol­i­day sea­son.

The Newton Youth Lead­er­ship In­sti­tute se­lec­tion com­mit­tee is hard at work this week scor­ing ap­pli­ca­tions.

With 56 ap­pli­ca­tions to nar­row down to just 21 emerg­ing young lead­ers, it will be no easy task.

Each ap­pli­ca­tion has its strengths—some have nearly per­fect GPAs, oth­ers have a long list of lead­er­ship and awards.

A few stu­dents, and par­ents, seem to for­get that it’s the bal­ance that re­ally mat­ters—not only for ap­pli­ca­tions, but also for life. Tak­ing time off from study­ing to spend time on other in­ter­ests can ac­tu­ally boost your ré­sumé.

Ex­tremely high grades and scores can guar­an­tee ac­cep­tance into cer­tain schools and pro­grams.

But when it comes to schol­ar­ships, in­tern­ships, and pro­grams like YLI, there’s more con­sid­ered than GPA.

A job—paid or vol­un­teer—shows a stu­dent main­tained a po­si­tion of re­spon­si­bil­ity over time. A job paired with a good GPA means a stu­dent can strike a bal­ance be­tween study­ing and other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Par­tic­i­pa­tion in aca­demic, sports, spe­cial in­ter­est groups and com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions il- lus­trates a stu­dent’s in­ter­est in learn­ing even when a grade isn’t at stake.

On the other hand, you can’t get too caught up in the rush to spend time on aca­demics.

A mid­dle school stu­dent told me one of her tough­est chal­lenges is home­work.

It wasn’t the con­tent she couldn’t han­dle, though—she said the tough­est part was try­ing to do her home­work in the car as her mom rushed from one obli­ga­tion to the next.

Dur­ing this sea­son, I find my­self sim­i­larly dis­tracted by the rush from work obli­ga­tion to fam­ily ac­tiv­ity to church event and back again.

Last week, as our 4-H lamb show team mem­bers lined up 10 en­er­getic lambs by BB&T for the light­ing of the square, it was easy to get caught up in the rush.

So much to do, so lit­tle time, and please don’t let one of these lambs with antlers take off across the Square af­ter see­ing that crowd.

We were draw­ing a crowd as cu­ri­ous spec­ta­tors pet­ted the lambs and praised the 4-H’ers.

Af­ter an hour, the kids and lambs were get­ting jit­tery with the jingly antlers, though.

Then Santa and Mrs. Claus walked up.

I was con­cen­trat­ing on get­ting a good photo, mak­ing sure that there were no cars in the street, and find­ing a path through that huge crowd in front of the courthouse.

I was watch­ing the time, and keep­ing an eye out for a cue so we’d know when to en­ter the event.

Then I saw the looks Santa was get­ting from each of the young 4H’ers. Amaze­ment. For a few mo­ments, the crowd cleared a large area around the group.

Ten young 4-H’ers and 10 pranc­ing rein­deer— oops, lambs—gath­ered around Mr. and Mrs. Claus, with the noise of the crowd seem­ingly fad­ing away in the back­ground.

The moment passed, and the flashes started again as ev­ery­one in Cov­ing­ton seemed to snap a photo.

For that one moment, though, I was re­minded of how im­por­tant the right now can be.

In 20 years, what mo­ments will those ele­men­tary kids re­mem­ber from 2010?

Will it be rush­ing from one ac­tiv­ity to the next with stressed par­ents, or stand­ing with their lambs and Santa one chilly night on the square?

I was about their age when my aunt folded her­self into the Pink Pig with me atop the Rich’s build­ing, and that’s a me­mory as fresh as yes- ter­day.

I don’t re­mem­ber many spe­cific gifts over the years, and I don’t re­mem­ber any spe­cific grades at school.

But I do re­mem­ber time spent work­ing with my par­ents on school projects, like the Apollo as­tro­naut my mom and I sewed from shiny sil­ver ma­te­rial, and the 3-way switch I built with my dad for 4-H.

We’re all pre­par­ing for some­thing, whether it’s pre­par­ing a teen for the big ap­pli­ca­tions or a younger child for Christ­mas.

As you make that check­list for col­lege or Christ­mas, don’t for­get LaMotte’s ad­vice:

“There’s no time like the present, and there’s no present like time.”

Sub­mit­ted pho­tos by Terri and Elaine Kim­ble

(Top) The Newton County 4-H Lamb show team lines up in prepa­ra­tion for Santa and Mrs. Claus’s ar­rival on the square. (Above) 4-H’er Luke Wal­lace, a 2nd grader at Mans­field Ele­men­tary, pre­pares to lead Santa onto the Square. (Be­low) 5th grade 4-H’er Rachel Dab­ney, a stu­dent at Prov­i­dence Chris­tian Academy, and her lamb are ready to es­cort Santa and Mrs. Claus onto the square. (Bot­tom) El­iz­a­beth Teasley, a 1st grader at Heard-Mixon Ele­men­tary, pre­pares her lamb to es­cort Santa and Mrs. Claus onto the square.

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