“With great power, comes great responsibility.” - Uncle Ben, Spiderman
Sitting across from a six-year old Colin Sharp, I shared this iconic line. As his first grade teacher at Saint Patrick Catholic School, I was trying to appeal to his superhero loving self and help him to understand his ability to influence.
Colin and I had just had a conversation about Pokemon cards and that they were only permitted during recess or after school. I issued my final warning. “If I see them again during reading groups, they will belong to me until June.”
Confident that this would be our last conversation about Pokemon cards, I recall asking him “What makes them so special and exciting to trade?”
Without hesitation, Colin brought me into the complex world of Pokemon. I sat attentively listening to a six year old explaining the intricacies of special powers and the ability to capture, train, and battle other players. His enthusiasm for the game was contagious and his ability to verbally weave together the intersecting powers of different characters to form a formidable team left me completely in awe and certain that he could build a super legion and have every other student in my class or perhaps the school buying into whatever plan he presented.
The next day, I took possession Colin’s Pokemon cards during reading groups and so began our nearly 12 year banter about that great power comes with great responsibility.
Gifted with natural academic, athletic, and leadership abilities, Colin has excelled on the field and in the classroom. A talented writer with the ability to unravel complicated themes in a poetic manner, Colin possess a mature introspective quality uncommon amongst many teenage boys. He has appreciated how his time in the athletic sphere gave him the opportunity to forge different and deeper relationships with teachers and coaches.
“Coaches like Mr. Effner, Mr. Facemire, Mr. Angilly, and Mr. Thompson really showed me how much they care beyond sports statistics. This past year, I realized just how much they were there to support me,” expressed Colin.
The appreciation for those relationships goes both ways. Coach Thompson shared, “Colin is arguably the greatest goal scorer to ever play lacrosse at Cape Henry. But when I reflect on coaching him, it's his journey I will remember the most. The way he carried himself his senior year on and off the field. I sure hope when Colin looks in the mirror he likes who he sees. He put a lot of work into the man staring back at him and he should be proud of the results. “
Colin sees himself as “someone who came in the middle” having entered Cape Henry Collegiate in the 5th grade. He laughs at how the eight years have somehow flown by and seemed like an eternity.
Colin has appreciated spending that time with his family. Both his Cape Henry Family and his mom and siblings all spend their days in the halls of CHC. After going through the college admissions process and collecting acceptances from Virginia Tech, Colorado, University of Vermont, and Hampden Sydney, Colin has decided to take a less traditional path. He has deferred acceptance to Virginia Tech to pursue a post graduate year in boarding school at The Pomfret School in Connecticut.
“I wasn’t ready to give up my dream of playing college lacrosse. I believe this year will allow me to strengthen my academic resume and improve my lacrosse game. I want to use lacrosse to get into the best school I can,” shared Colin.
Ultimately, Colin hopes to study Business and Economics with possibly a minor in philosophy. He sees himself settling down in a large city at some point but right now he is leaving his options open.
“I’ve learned some lessons the hard way. My advice to younger dolphins and to my siblings is to have perspective in the moment. Value the present as it goes by fast.”
That sage advice sounds like it might have just come from Uncle Ben. Best wishes Colin, we know you will use your great power to do wonderful things.