By GERALDINE WIJESUNDERA
For thirty-one years, Oceanside High School has opened its doors to members of the surrounding communities to share their stories with students. Every year for Human Relations Day the student body is given the opportunity to meet with people and learn from these experiences that are outside the normal domain of the classroom.
Teachers can choose from a broad variety of speakers who they would like to speak to their class, in hopes to put forth and convey a certain message or lesson they learned from their experience. While many students enjoy this day because they would generally have less classwork, Human Relations Day has a much deeper meaning than just a day in which students can relax and take a break from normal lessons once in awhile. Speakers range in variety from dentists to recovering drug addicts. Immigrants may share their stories as well as Holocaust survivors; any student has the opportunity to come into contact with a unique individual which may help to open their eyes. The hope is that in the sharing of these experiences students are inspired in their own lives, or might become more interested in a specific cause. Below, a war Veteran talks about his experiences fighting in the Korean War.
There is a lot that goes into making Human Relations Day a reality each year. It takes a lot of coordination and behind the scenes work. Oceanside Spanish teacher and Human Relations Day organizers Mrs. Lang and Ms. Zambrano handled the reins again this year. Mrs. Lang hopes the students to gained a “sense of empathy, and awareness” on the day. The goal is that the students will take what they’ve learned throughout the day and use the lessons and apply it to their daily lives.
The presentations that were made were interesting and insightful. Many students agreed that they really did evoke different perceptions of the world around us them that ordinarily they would never have the opportunity to get. The speakers gave the students a new found sense of reality which is what makes Human Relation’s Day so special at Oceanside every year.