Last week's "Fresh Voices" commentary by New Hanover High School student Eleni Stoycos impressed Wellington Souza. He left this comment on our website:
Dear Eleni, You are a brilliant and clear communicator. Every school and school system in America needs to listen to your commentary and we should take it seriously.
[As of today you have earned the respect of many who, like me, will stop considering you a young student and start considering you an equal in the very relevant conversation about the future of education. I have great news for you! The world around you is a collective and cumulative version of the fire you, as well as some of us, have in our hearts to make our nation better.]
As you progress in your quest for change you will find many who will criticize you for daring to stand up and invest your live in something truly significant. Listen to divergent opinions and take from them that which is relevant and necessary to strengthen and balance your message but never, ever, ever listen to the critics. They may be articulate but they are empty of purpose. They may use words but they do not have a message. You, on the other hand, have a clear and powerful voice and there are many of us who will cheer you on every step of the way, who will quote you, and who will be proud to walk alongside you, even if you don’t know who we are.
And Linda Smith Gurganus wrote:
Eleni, I listened to your commentary and thought back on my own high school experience as well as that of the students I currently teach at UNCW. There was plenty of stress when I was a high school student, but I know there is more for you, with added expectations that were not forced upon me. I worked hard but didn't worry about getting into a top school, because although my family wanted me to get a good education, the priority was not getting into the best schools and getting the highest paying jobs. There was much more to life. Serving others. Enjoying the sunrise in the morning, wild flowers, birds, and the sunset at the end of the day. I believe our society's priorities are all wrong if we tell our children they have to jump through all these hoops an d get in to the top schools and don't allow them to enjoy life. I hate the fact that we have to cram so much into each semester that it makes it difficult for our students to enjoy learning for its own sake. It is a problem on the college level, too.
Wednesday morning we thought for a while we were experiencing technical difficulties at the station that made it impossible to receive Morning Edition. As it turns out, the problem seems to have been at NPR's end. Listener Steve wrote:
Hi, So, this morning I found the soothing sounds of classical music coming from radio where I normally hear the chatter of bad news. It was amazingly refreshing and relaxing to listen to music as the sun was glinting through the trees in the early morning. Why not do this all the time? Where else can you find such music on the radio? You can find news and political commentary everywhere else -- be different and give us some solitude instead of doom and gloom. I seriously recommend that you change to music in the morning.
For Steve and other listeners, now that WHQR is once again the only radio station in the region to play classical music, we encourage you to sample our 24-hour all-classical web stream, which you can find at whqr-dot-org. And of course we continue to play classical music each day, about 40 hours of it per week. However, switching from Morning Edition to classical would not sit well with the thousands of listeners who depend on NPR and our local news. The real solution for everyone is for WHQR to start a second, all-classical FM station. That is part of our planning process, but we're not able to provide more details at this time. So, keep listening.
Sections of this post have been edited for length.