The most important thing I learned in high school biology was about apologies. A couple of boys were horsing around in the science lab at South Salem High School when they knocked a microscope off the table. Miss Barquist examined it, listened to them saying how sorry they were and then replied that the time to be sorry is BEFORE you do something stupid, thoughtless, unkind or just plain mean.

I have grown extremely tired of reading about powerful men apologizing for sexually abusing their subordinates, colleagues and/or friends.

And today I read about two men who drove their trucks onto a protected meadow. Naturally, they apologized! I'm sure all the valuable species residing in that meadow were grateful for the apology and will find it helpful in recovering.

I'm no longer able to identify all the life forms in a drop of water but I do remember the most important lesson Miss Barquist taught and every once in a while I actually apply it to my daily activities.

Kathy Vohland

Corvallis (Dec. 30)

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