Photo © 2011 by Bunn [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
This is it, huh? The journey may have been long and grueling at times, but it was fun. Now we have come to that journey’s end. But just because one journey is ending, doesn’t mean another cannot begin. In fact, this marks the beginning of the transition to a larger path. One that will absolutely change who I am, and that path is senior year going into college. Though there were times when I second guessed myself, now that I look back, I can truly see how much I’ve learned and grown, not only as a scholar, but as a person in this one year of AP Language and Composition.
Going in, I didn’t know what to expect at all. However the one thing that I did expect was to write a full length essay on Nickel and Dimed the first day at school, but even that didn’t end up happening! Signing up for five AP classes was a monumental step, and a huge risk because the most I’ve taken consecutively up until that point was two. However, it was such a relief to have a teacher like Mr. Ziebarth who actually took into account his students’ opinions (you’d have thought all teachers should do that) on the levels how homework to assign.
While Mr. Z might’ve assigned less homework than other classes, he still gave enough so that we were still pushing ourselves and we couldn’t just slack off with an easy A. Focusing more generally on this year as a whole, I really did grow in many ways. Instead of being a learner or a writer, I was able to become both, learning as a wrote. All of the essays that we explored and wrote were extremely helpful in allowing me to understand my own thought process and thus improve my meta-cognition. Normally it’d only be a rough draft then the final, but Mr. Z took it up to another level by making several drafts due, each one assessed by my own peers. Not only did this promote self reflection, but it also strengthened my abilities to re-mix, re-frame my works, to a degree that I wouldn’t have thought possible. Every time I write something for the first time, it always seems so perfect and complete. However I guess that is why we all need second opinions, as it is only through these bless/press sessions that I am able to identify the flaws which slipped under my radar the first, second, even third time around. Only once I identify these flaws can I proceed to modify each and every iteration.
If there is anything at all I would have done differently it is participate in the class discussions more. To be honest, I’ve always been sort of shy and never really wanted to risk sounding foolish in front of my friends. The times I did participate, it felt amazing to be able to add to the conversation and discuss ideas with my classmates. I guess in that sense I’ve also grown as a risk taker. The requirement of participation has forced me out into the spotlight, forced me to become much more outspoken than I ever would have been if it was not required.