For the past few weeks, I've spent a lot of time sorting through and organizing the accumulated clutter of the past twenty-seven years. For whatever reason, I kept every single college notebook. Heck, for the most part, I kept every single high school notebook. My spring cleaning endeavors were long overdue.
A lot of junk has been chucked. I condensed twelve boxes from my classroom into two, keeping only items that may yield some value in my new life as a non-teacher. Personally, I think I deserve a tax credit for the hundreds of dollars of school supplies I donated. I'm just throwing that out there....
Last weekend, I stumbled across the journal from my Senior English class. I had kept it in my classroom, and every so often, would randomly open to an entry and read it to the kids. They enjoyed it, especially since I was adamant about reading it as written. Apparently, seventh graders are very happy pointing out their teacher's writing errors.
Coincidentally, J.M. Tohline's latest post discusses journaling. I've always kept a journal of some sort, whether it be a course requirement for Senior English or personal rants stored in a computer folder. I enjoy writing pieces that let me hear myself thinking. I enjoy writing something that teaches me in the process. I enjoy that that feeling I get when I finish a piece and realize that, over the course of writing it, I learned something between that first and last sentence.
Jordan's post ignited some desire to dig out my old journal, one of the few artifacts that made the cut and avoided a field trip to the nearest landmine. This afternoon, I took a closer look at my thoughts during that time in my life. It had been at least two years since I actually read an entry, and interestingly enough, I discovered one was written on March 15, 2001 - exactly ten years ago today.
Reading over my thoughts - thoughts that scream they were written the last second before class - I decided my teacher must have really liked me to give this piece an A. And although ten years may not have brought me as far as I once hoped, at least I have tangible evidence of some growth.
So, just for kicks, I thought I'd share the words I handed in on March 15, 2001. After all, I've done much worse to embarrass myself before. I'm posting it the exact way it was written - mistakes and all. Remember, I was seventeen when I wrote this. And no, I have no idea what I was babbling about either. Most likely, I just needed to get it done.
Prompt: If you could teach the entire world one skill, what would it be and why? The skill may not be one of talent (i.e. singing, sports, dancing, etc.). It must be a skill linked to our personality and/or character development.
If I were given the ability to teach the world one beneficial skill, I would teach everyone to maintain a high level of self-confidence. Over the past several years, I have reached the conclusion that self-confidence is a trait that does not exist within the lives of many individuals. Since this is the case, my choice would be to teach everyone to believe in themselves and their abilities.
Self-confidence appears to be an esoteric concept that is only understood by a minimum number of people, especially when considering the teenage population. Lack of self-confidence causes people to become emotionally unstable. This feeling often turns people in the wrong direction, as many look for alternative ways to compensate for this lacking characteristic. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, but sadly, too many people require assistance to achieve this mental state.
Lack of self-confidence is often caused by feelings of inferiority. Verdant people make rude and negative comments to boost their own egos. Unfortunately, too many people choose to believe comments made by others rather than simply ignoring them. They allow others to make them feel worthless because they feel worthless themselves. It is so depressing that people are unable to believe in themselves. Because they are feckless, they allow their lives to go down hill.
Self-confidence is an area that I would definitely choose to teach everyone in the world. I believe it would offer a positive impact on society and people would become better individuals making better decisions. I have always believed that every person has a gift, and that gift correlates to their purpose on this earth. Therefore, I would like to see everyone have the confidence to unlock their potential, discover their purpose, and go out and make things happen. In order to do so, we must first believe in ourselves.
Interestingly enough, my piece focused on teaching the world a skill I have yet to master ten years later. I can't remember much about what you see above, but I can tell you I'm sure I picked that skill for a specific reason. And I'm sure, knowing me, it was some pathetic attempt to tell the teacher I thought I was a big dud.
Gees. Ten years later, and I still feel like a dud most days. I guess I better work on that, huh? I'm on it!