Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where I'm Coming From (Part 1)

I've always wanted to do something big. Make a difference.

Erin Gruwell. A teacher at a high school in Long Beach, California.

I saw her speak at a TEDx conference and my life was changed. I was so sure I wanted to be a high school teacher. And since I planned on majoring in English, I figured I could be JUST LIKE ERIN GRUWELL.

So I went a few days, a few months, a few years, thinking that I wanted to teach; making myself believe that I'd be a teacher and that I'd make every bit of difference, just as Erin Gruwell had.

I went through my college applications, tick-marking English when it asked for my major. People would ask me, "What are your future plans?" and I'd answer, almost monotonously, almost robotically, "I want to teach high school English."

In comes Ms. Blakeney- my senior year English class's student teacher turned long term sub.

She was this bubbly and happy 23 year old, freshly graduated and newly credentialed, child, that had come to tame a class of twenty-some wild and unruly 18 year olds.

There was no way she would last.

Fast forward 2 months. Ms. Blakeney had successfully gotten even the most disruptive of students to read AND understand Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Again, I was in awe. Inspired by this angel who had come and subdued my senior class. I placed Ms. Blakeney on the same pedestal as Erin Gruwell.

I wanted nothing more than to become an English teacher, and make a difference like these 2 influential and impassioned young women. Sure, one managed to tame a group of city raised kids who had lived a harsh and cold life while the other just took of a bunch of suburb raised, spoiled children, who had it easy their entire lives, and made them read a book; but for some reason these 2 women helped me set a goal.

That goal was to make a difference, change the world for better, do something great.

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