The Story of a Tree House

The Story of a Tree House

Op-Ed: Why the media are still failing Americans as we lurch toward Nov. 8

When I was a child, I lived in a little white-painted house on a tiny, quiet country road. We lived just across the road from the village of Toms Falls, and in the front yard stood my childhood friend’s tree house. If you were very, very quiet, you could hear the birds sing, and sometimes you could catch a glimpse of some of the family moving about in the yard. I loved the tree house, which had a little sitting area, a table and chairs, which I would take off and lay about on with my friends. I would go to my desk at school and hide it on the floor in the back of my closet.

I lived in that house until the day I moved upstate to attend a new high school in nearby Watertown. Our new principal told me that my tree house was too large and too expensive, so I was no longer allowed to live there. I went to our new high school with a small, plastic bag filled with my belongings, as if I were moving out of a house where I couldn’t even reach my desk. I was sure that the principal saw right through me, and so I stopped hiding my tree house and I started hanging all my books, with a lot of my clothes, on the clothesline out back. I was worried that the principal would see through this ruse and that he would make good on his threat, but he didn’t.

I was upset, but I was glad to be rid of my tree house. The point of my story is to show that we are all free to make our own choices, and that those choices don’t necessarily have to reflect the way others see us as we grow up. In fact, if we really want to make a difference in society, we need to take our own choices seriously, and

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