‘A Simple Giggle Can Unlock Your Brain’

The value of wrestling. An appropriate dress code. The benefits of laughter. The importance of student leaders.

These were the topics tackled by three Rim High juniors and one freshman at the Crestline-Lake Gregory Rotary Club 4-Way Test speech contest.

Using Dan Gable as an example of what can be accomplished by a wrestler, junior Eric Nava—who wrestles for Rim High—said Gable had been told he would never make his high school varsity team because of his small stature. Not only did he accomplish that, but he went on to win the gold medal at the 1974 Olympics.

“There are no barriers to this sport,” Nava said. “It is open to each and every individual.”

He and the other three speakers applied the Rotary 4-Way Test to their topics.

• Is it the truth?

• Is it fair to all concerned?

• Will it build good will and better friendships?

• Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Junior Julia Huff evoked the image of a boy walking down the school hall wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of a woman covering her body parts with the hand.

“Does the wearer have the right to wear this at school?” Huff asked.

Her conclusion was that people should dress appropriate to the occasion. “People judge us by the way we look,” she said. They are more inclined to listen to us, Huff added, if we are dressed appropriately.

Laughter, it was once said, is the best medicine. And that was the conclusion drawn by freshman Luke Scorziell. Quoting statistics on the number of people who suffer from depression, Scorziell said “a good laugh could be their ticket to better health.

“When having a good time, you keep things in perspective,” he noted. In addition, he said, “Laughter prolongs memory. It helps grow new brain cells.

“A simple giggle can unlock your brain.”

Keys to better health include smiling more, learning to laugh at yourself, thinking positively. Laughter, Scorziell added, “strengthens relationships and helps diffuse tension.

“If you’re feeling stressed out, just go out and laugh.”

The final speaker was Tristan Moss-Vasquez, the junior class president. Inside every student leader, he said, is a commitment to the school and to students who feel like outcasts, who feel as though they don’t fit in, who wake up and don’t want to go to school.

Student leaders, Moss-Vasquez said, “feel they can make a difference.” By walking up to these students on the fringe and asking them how they are, “we show that we care about them, that they matter.”

As the judges deliberated, President Mick Hill said that as a Rim grad of about 47 years ago, “I am extremely proud to have this kind of participation.”

First place was awarded to Moss-Vasquez, second to Scorziell, third to Huff and fourth to Nava.