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Medical books are in the near future for Abbott, Woodall

By David Talley | Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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Reading Into the Future

READING INTO THE FUTURE – Top Alvord students Lindsey Abbott and Karissa Woodall both plan to enter the medical field after college. Abbott plans to become a surgeon, while Woodall will pursue nursing. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Though it’s years before Alvord High School valedictorian Lindsey Abbott will pull on a doctor’s lab coat as a professional surgeon, she’s already working on becoming proficient with a needle.

“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Abbott said. “I love watching surgery videos when I’m bored. My great uncle used to be a surgeon. He taught me. So when I’m home I’ll practice on bananas and [pickled] pigs feet.

“I’m a huge nerd when it comes to medical stuff like that.”

Abbott said she’s also hoping to shadow surgeons this summer before attending Texas A&M University in the fall.

For salutatorian Karissa Woodall, plans for the future came more recently. She’ll study nursing at Weatherford College in Weatherford with plans to earn certification as a phlebotomy technician.

“It makes sense financially for me,” Woodall said. “I didn’t want to go off somewhere. My family, I love them. I can’t be away from them.”

While both plan to head in separate directions after walking across the stage, Abbott said their experiences throughout secondary school have been constantly intertwined. Both students have swapped the mantle of valedictorian before the final rankings were released.

“I think in middle school there was one time when you pulled ahead of me,” Abbott told Woodall. “I’m sure there were times when it switched and we didn’t know because we weren’t checking the grades regularly.”

That non-competitive attitude has also persisted throughout their school career.

“The grades are important but there was never an, ‘I hate you if you beat me kind of thing,'” Woodall said. “Like we were happy for each other when we found out.”

The two both said they’ve enjoyed reading in their off-time, though Woodall admitted she’s been busy with multiple extracurricular activities, including cheer, band and track.

Both students have also stayed involved in National Honor Society and student council. Despite the deep community ties to Alvord, both are ready to start college.

“I would be ready to start right now if I could,” Abbott said.

Both offered advice for next year’s seniors. Ultimately, Abbott said, seniors need to remember high school grades can only take you so far.

“The most important thing I’ve had to drill in this year is that your grades don’t define who you are. It’s not representative of your character or what you’re going to do in the real world. It’s just a test grade or a grade point average. It’s not going to make or break you.”

Woodall agreed.

“Don’t procrastinate, first of all,” she cautioned, “but don’t stress yourself out.”

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The Book Thief, The Notebook

Lindsey Abbott picked “The Book Thief” as one of her favorites. She’s an avid reader. “‘The Book Thief’ is one of my favorites and I really just try to read as much as I can,” she said. “I just got bookshelves for Christmas last year, and I finally got to put my books up. I have so many. That’s one of my favorite things to do.”

Karissa Woodall is also an avid reader, despite balancing numerous extracurricular activities. “I really enjoy reading and ‘The Notebook’ has always been one of my favorites.”

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