Linda Inverso Inverso 1
Dr. David Preston
English Language and Composition
1 June 2017
Masterpiece Academy Question: How I have grown because of this course?
“So your teacher is Preston? You’re doing what now!? Your homework is to post on a blog? No textbooks?! You decide on what to learn? Freedom? What the ..”, is how a normal conversation goes when people ask about the English course I’m taking. I tell them about open source learning, I know a bit about it because my dad’s a fan of that style of teaching, and how we have control over our own education. People just look at me with an odd expression on their face. There’s this stigma surrounding teenagers and how they can’t be trusted because they aren’t adults and therefore lack responsibility. So when people look at our class, they think we’re crazy because, to them, teenagers don’t deserve freedom or know what’s best for themselves. Our class isn’t crazy. I was very invested in this course. Every time I had an opinion of something we were doing in class, I looked forward to blogging about it and using the Internet as my resource to find out more about the topics.
I felt that a lot of trust was placed upon my colleagues and I. I remember the first day of school when Dr. Preston left the classroom to leave us to get together to make a
choice: should we totally abandon the rules and the traditional ways of education for this course or go old school and use a textbook? Using the Internet as our source for
information, teaching ourselves, and not being scolded for not turning in work on time sounded intriguing. We have never got that kind of freedom nor were we used to breaking away from the traditional ways of school. We’re so used to being talked at and getting bored to death. Then we stress about trying to get good grades, pass classes,
and doing loads of homework. I have done every assignment in this course and have posted for pleasure. I don’t believe in prioritizing because I aim to be successful in all my classes. As a class, we could have honored this trust even more because we were extremely quiet and put off work way too often. Emerson would frown upon us.
I read Fahrenheit 451 for the first time because of this course. I can really relate to Montag feeling like an outcast. I sometimes feel like everybody’s doing the same things in life and I just want something different. Society will kick you out if you think differently so it’s easier to conform. I have something called Social Anxiety. When I read Self Reliance, I couldn’t help but call Emerson’s bluff and think, “How am I supposed to be self reliant when I have this disorder about fear? Even if I just look at someone my body reacts in a weird way”. Then I thought about it more and I concluded with, I am only stopping myself from getting better by blaming other things. This inspired me to take steps to becoming more self reliant by looking for help and try not to let this fear get
in the way of things I want to accomplish in life. Another thing from this course that I ponder almost every day is about the idea of remixing. Essentially, everything is a remix?! I have no idea why, but that idea blows my mind. As I’m typing, I’m remixing the alphabet. This concept makes me wonder, is anything truly original?
During this school year, I have reconnected with my passion for playing an instrument. I haven’t done so in five years! I’ve always loved playing an instrument but something has always gotten in the way. I stopped playing the clarinet because I switched schools. Then I stopped playing piano because the teacher moved away. I didn’t know how to teach myself. This passion has kept growing stronger and stronger. One thing this course has taught me is that you can teach yourself and the Internet is a huge resource! So I’m willing to continue taking guitar and even teach myself because I truly want to be better. In fact, all this Emerson talk inspired me to join choir next school year with my best friend. This course also had rekindled my love for reading. All throughout my life, if I ever had one second of free time, you would catch me with a book in my hand. And then I got to High School. I never had time, I always had to read books teachers made me, people convinced me that it “wasn’t cool”, and I would spend my free time watching hours of videos online. Reading just transports you into another world and I’m so happy I can return to it.
When my colleagues and I took over the classroom, the current theme I found was that we all seemed to question the world and the things around us. Most people go about their lives with these questions but never bothered looking into them. As humans, we fear the unknown and it’s our nature to question things surrounding us. Kayleen questioned the school system and tried to find out why it is not as successful as it should be. Turns out we have been doing the same thing for 100 years! The video she showed mentioned that technology, society, and the ways of living life get renovated yet the school system has stayed the same. Jackie questioned human behavior. She asked the class to answer some riddles. Half of the class tried even when they knew the answer was wrong because they wanted to at least see if they got it right. The other half didn’t answer because the feared if they got it wrong, it would cause embarrassment. Why are we so fearful? Why do we let these fears hold us back instead of trying to see what the outcome is? Liliy questioned something that everyone experiences and see others experience. Death. She started off by telling the class a personal experience, which lead her to question about the real causes of death. Gabriel questioned our brain’s ability to memorize. How could we improve our own memories? Is it possible to do so? He gave us some tips and even made the whole class get up to stretch and close our eyes to meditate. Eldrin questioned something we all do, laugh. It’s part of the human experience, every one does it but why does this action exist? What I’m trying to say is, we all tried to decipher common things that go on in our daily lives and find out why they happen and if we can do anything else to improve ourselves.
There were many pleasant memories of this course. Looking back, the first thing comes to mind when it comes to laughter was the first day of school. We were just finished making our decision about how we were going to run this course and we started to get to know Dr. Preston better. It was the first time he cussed in front of us. His diction surprised us all and resulted in laughter from everyone, including me. It brought us closer as a class and made us feel more comfortable. Kind of like a non-related family. Another funny thing I remember was the apple that believed in itself. That is truly inspiring.
I’m still in the process of completing the hero’s journey, however, I can confirm that I have taken big leaps this year to start it. I’ve been bettering myself by watching what I eat, exercise, learn more about things I like, be with family, and read. I’ve been taking more risks like signing up for choir next school year knowing that I may have to perform. I have also been getting help for personal problems that hold me back from at least trying to chase my dreams. A challenge has been battling against my own mind. Another challenge this year was an extremely important family member passed away but I feel that made me a stronger person. I have just come to a realization that I’m never going to get what I want in life if I don’t take risks. It all ties into self-reliance. I’m still on this journey but I’m not giving up just yet.
I didn’t think this school year would go by fast but it did. This is so cliché but, I can remember the first day of this course like it was just yesterday. I want to Thank Dr.
Preston and my colleagues for helping me learn new things and inspire me to make some changes to my life. I am truly going to miss this course and posting to the blog. Who knows, maybe I’ll start another blog someday. The learning will never stop.