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Hats Off††† |††† by
Column dedicated to sharing news about community activities, service projects, and other events that are important to the life of the residents of our "mountain."

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published on 09/18/2005

Hats Off. . . to ďThatís it!Ē

By staff writer

I read an article recently about a woman who was a teacher in a classroom of unruly students. Chaos abounded as she sat and watched the dynamics swirling around from student to student. She wanted their attention, their respect, and most importantly she wanted to teach them, to do her job. As the tension mounted, she became almost physically ill, wanting to scream at the students and at the same time wanting to run away from them. Suddenly she realized that just because she wasnít yelling at the students, it didnít mean she had NOT lost control. She was still filled with rage inside. And she thought, ďThatís it!Ē and an overwhelming sense of stillness came over her, and she changed. A smile crept across her face and in seeing this, the students gradually became focused on the appearance of the teacher. In her stillness, they too became still and eventually the atmosphere in the room made a complete change and all was well between the teacher and the students.

We all find ourselves at times in situations like the teacher. You think you are in control but youíre not. And finally we come to that in-between place ďThatís it!Ē where we can choose stillness and get on with our lives. Putting out a well-respected publication like the Signal Mountain Mirror can produce chaos whether itís meeting a deadline, covering a story, editing an article, or interviewing someone. I say this because each of these tasks is important to the final production of each paper. In order to meet a deadline, I spend time each month calling, emailing and reminding people and organizations to send in their information. Covering a story can come in the form of a request or be inspired from a conversation. Editing is a little more complicated in that it may be done as I get it from a writer and then it may be done again when proofed before going to press. Interviewing is sometimes the hardest thing for me. This is because it may be someone I know or it may be a stranger. But itís important that I do them justice.

In the chaos, story requests get lost, a deadline is missed, a picture is too dark to publish, and something edited and proofed still gets printed spelled wrong or a story that is time-sensitive gets bumped to the next month. Whatís a person to do? Scream or walk away? Of course neither. It just happens and my job is to listen to the stillness and focus on all the wonderful good things that happen each month at the Signal Mountain Mirror. Look at the beautiful ads, the care attention to layout, the dedication to proofing, and the quality of texture of the newsprint. In this issue you can read about great things happening all over the mountain top this summer as well as many organizations starting up again after a summer break, school news, and special events. Our regular contributors have some wonderful stories to tell.

And so there may be chaos behind the scenes as we work to produce a newspaper all residents of the mountain can be proud of. We may not be able to make the stillness happen but we can surrender to it and doing so we can smile and appreciate how lucky we are to have the Signal Mountain Mirror.

Pris and her husband, Mark Shartle, residents of the Signal Mountain Historic District, are the owners of the GRAPEViNE. She is a staff writer for the Signal Mountain Community Web site: