West Point-Beemer High School Juniors Mitchell Lierman and Abby Kaup finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the recent West Point Optimist Club Essay Contest. Lierman says their essays dealt with respect. “Essays were about Can Society Function Without Respect? Was the prompt that the Optimist Club gave us. And I wrote a piece about why we can’t function without respect to be quite frank. And I supported my stance by looking at history and giving some examples in modern life such as like holding doors and just going out and being kind to your neighbors. But if we stopped doing that it would just ripple throughout our whole society, and eventually everyone would just like one bad egg spoils the bunch, and we’d all be sitting in a mess.”
Kaup took a different angle on the topic. “I talked about what I think respect is, and I talked about the 3 main types of respect, which I have were self respect and respect for your peers and then respect for your elders above you. And I pretty much just talked about examples of those kind of respects. And if we didn’t have respect for ourselves or for others or for the people above us what kind of a society we would have, and it wouldn’t be as good as it is today.”
The top 3 winners were announced at Wednesday, March 21st’s Optimist Club Meeting held at Pizza Ranch.
Lierman says he had a very short time frame to complete his essay. “About that actually our English Teachers, they asked us all to write one. But I was actually gone that entire week with the flu. So I came back, and my English Teacher said hey we need you to write an Optimist Essay, and I asked when it would be due, and she said how about by the end of the day?”
The essays were a class assignment.
Kaup says she took more time on her paper than Lierman. “It took me a few days to find what I was going to write about. I started writing a few papers, but none of them were really saying what I wanted to say, so I read some articles online, and I talked with my teacher, and tried to find a topic that was right for me.”
Kaup says she and Lierman’s essays were selected for the contest, and their teacher went over them with them, and they edited them before they were submitted.
Lierman says he received 25 dollars, an Optimist Club Pin, and a couple of coupons for placing 1st.
Kaup says she received the same things as Lierman except she won 15 dollars for placing 2nd. Both also received certificates.
Kaup attended the March 21st meeting and presented her essay at Pizza Ranch, where she ate free buffet. Lierman was unable to attend that day.
Kaup adds she plans to take part in the contest again next year as a senior.