This year has also taught me to be more confident in myself. I've always been quiet (not to be mistaken with shy), so finding my own voice is quite a challenge. Every year I speak up a bit more! Being an analytical person, I also analyzed absolutely everything I said and worried about if it made the right impression or if perhaps it could have been misunderstood and on and on. Okay, I still analyze most everything, but I don't worry about it so much. I own what I say.
Tandem with my own opinion of myself is others'. Yes, I still care what people think (That's not a bad thing - you should care) but not enough to change myself. That's where people go wrong, when they try to change who they are to please other people. You should know what people think, and you should care about and respect their opinions, but don't let them affect you. Strangely, my personal advancements in this area came from a haircut. Earlier in the school year, I decided to chop off quite a bit of my hair and dye it orange. Bright orange. So I did. Well, the hairdresser did. It was a fairly drastic change, and having to deal with reactions to my hair forced me to own myself.
I guess it's been a big year for personal growth. What with Prozdor (Hebrew school continued) and all the above, and my ILP (explained in greater detail in another post perhaps), and my sudden addiction to Twitter and various other online tools, it's been a pretty good year. For the more schooly things, hmmm. I learned a couple new tenses in Spanish (whoo hoo!), I made some cute Othello puppets in English, World War 1 was actually discussed in History class, and the teachers at SLA are amazing, as always.
Clay Burell wrote how "teachers need positive feedback more than you realize," so here's a shout-out to all of my wonderful teachers:
- Chase: You know I love you, and you can get all of us involved and caring like no other. The Change the World project really helped me improve my research and writing skills, so even when I complained that I was repeating myself and didn't know what else to write about, I found something.
- VK: My mother says that we're too alike. Anyway, thank you for letting me help with the schedule, and I really do love alphabetizing. And thanks for putting up with me. I know I wasn't the best student....
- Baird: Your patience is much appreciated, though sometimes I really do just think that you should whack some people over the head. I am constantly amazed at all of the primary source resources you find and share with us. They're fascinating.
- Ms. Kelley: Bueno..... :D I think I understand the subjunctive! Somehow you managed to get us back on topic most of the time. We applaud.
- Best: The chemical benchmark was a good one. It was interesting to see all the ways that we're killing ourselves. Anyways, your sarcasm and music is appreciated.
- Kay: You know our drama class is the best (What fer they kill our baby?). Your presence is noticeable, even to students, and we really do appreciate that. We like a sense of order. I can say confidently that I have improved in drama this year, and that is because you are a good teacher, and you push us. Thank you.
- Mr. Scaer: I look forward to seeing you again next year. You are really passionate about music, and it shows (Are there any more Songlines cds? They're really good.).
- Lehmann: Lehmann, Lehmann, Lehmann. What to say? You're all-around amazing. So is your couch. We love you and it.
- Ms. Tioanda: Ballroom... we'll miss you! And we'll continue to dance. I got a tango record.
It's been a long year. And I can't wait until September.
In other news, 33 days until my 16th birthday, and 51 days until the Folk Festival.