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Chuck's column: Students find many traits worthy of admiration

Huck Finn. I suspect many of you have read the book. The mighty Mississippi in all its glory, taking Huck and Jim on an adventure unlike most of us will ever know. Meeting all sorts of unsavory individuals along the way. And meeting a few who would be cool people to have in our lives.

We're reading Huck Finn in class right now. We were talking about admirable and not so admirable traits of people in respect to the novel one day. I asked kids what they look for in people they admire. One thing led to another, and I realized I had my topic for the week. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, I give you "From the Mouths of Babes."

"My coaches. They teach me about life and to have responsibility for my actions. They understand the stress and commitment this sport has."

"Marilyn Monroe because she was an independent woman, and I want to be like her. She is a role model of mine."

"I admire Franklin D. Roosevelt because he helped many Americans get out of trouble during the Depression. He tried to help out others and not just himself. He stood up also for what he believed in, not just what others wanted him to do. I admire him be-cause he was somewhat of a "servant" for the people.

" --- ---. He's the youth minister at my church and he's always positive, and he's wise and funny."

"I respect or admire my best friend. She is an amazing friend that is always there for me, gives me great advice and will go (out of) her way to make me happy. She has been my best friend for six years and will be forever."

"I respect --- because of his music. His music has a deeper meaning than just a song. I also respect all the groups he has been in. (This student added The Beatles as their second choice) I respect how they changed the sound of music. I also respect how talented they are and hope I could become as talented as them."

"I admire Ravi Zacharias. He has studied religion nearly his whole life and has even been allowed to speak at the Mormon Temple. His unyielding fight for what he believes in makes him a suitable candidate for admiration, but like many Christian theologians he acknowledges his wisdom is a gift from God. I admire his humility and wisdom concerning faith."

"I admire Torstein Horgmo because he lives his life to the fullest. He acts like every day is his last and makes the best of what he has. He also takes advantage of his abilities to entertain the world."

"I admire Demi Lovato. Yeah, she did appear numerous times on Disney channel, but that's not why I admire her. She is fighter, like me. Depression and self harm are something I battle every day, and so does she. She has overcome many things. Her strength and will to recover is inspiring. Some day I hope to be better too. She is not ashamed of her scars, and maybe one day, I won't be ashamed either."

And so on and so on. Some of these names I don't even recognize, but it's ok. I think the reasons the kids are finding them as role models has more than enough merit in most cases.

Whom do you admire and why? I want a five-page report on my desk by morning or expect a deficiency home to your parents. La Dee Da! See ya next week!