Our Voice: We're thankful for summer and other chances to learn

Graduates (and others)

Congratulations to the Class of 2013. For those just graduating, we have two conflicting pieces of advice. One is to get a plan. The other is to be spontaneous.

For all of us -- freshly graduated or not -- today is the perfect day to take stock of your life, improve the good things and let the bad things go. Actually, every day is good for that.

At the same time, don't you love the idea of serendipity?

Many excellent discoveries are "happened upon" on the road of life. Notice and appreciate them.

Several of the graduates highlighted in the Tri-City Herald this week have overcome great challenges to get where they are.

We are certain more great stories remain untold.

Hats off to those who keep trying and to those who cheer for, support and even nag them.

Kitties in the clink

Many programs from hospitals to senior centers to libraries have animal therapy programs. Usually these involve bringing a dog or some other pettable animal to some population of people.

Not usually prisoners.

We're intrigued by the Washington State Penitentiary program that allows prisoners to raise abandoned kittens.

And, apparently, they did a good job. Adoption day was last week.

We suspect the interaction is good for the humans and the cats.

Summer fun

This week is the end of school for most Mid-Columbia students.

There is no shortage of ways to stay busy for the next couple of months. Two full pages of the Tri-City Herald were devoted to summer camps this week.

It's a good time to learn something new. There are games to play and books to read.

In an interview with the national spelling bee champion after the winning round, Arvind Mahankali said he expects to relax over the summer by doing physics.

To each his own.

But he makes a good point.

For 180 days of the year, someone else gets to decide what a student will learn. For the months of summer, we hope students will learn, work and share things that are of interest to them.

Also, we offer seasonal safety precautions. Now that kids are out of school, we urge drivers to be especially vigilant.

And ... at the risk of repeating ourselves ... again ... we plead with everyone who goes in, on or near the water to do so in a safe and sober manner.

We prefer to see pictures of people water-skiing on the river or diving into a pool than to see the dive rescue team recovering a body.