Throughout the year in English/History I have learned and experienced through many different and disputable topics. On the very first day as I entered through Mr. Block’s classroom and as several weeks gone by, I was still uncertain about the expectations in his classroom. Later in the year, at some point there were times when things had came to mind on many controversial lessons that was taught in class, and I have always questioned myself because of these classes. How are these units that we are covering in class going to have an impact on me? In many substantial ways, it did had an impact on me and I was struck by it, especially through written essays, the poem studies unit, as well as The Art in the Open Festival, and all of these controversial topics has lead me to the general understandings of struggles, challenges, and hard work.
One of the greatest understandings that I have experienced and learned from was Struggles, and all of the struggles that I had gone through was told through written essays that were assigned in class. In English class, we are often given a writing assignment on a topic that addresses to our ability of understandings in the storyline of a book, which can also correlate to our own life, or a written essay of a reflection from our past experiences that we struggled through in which can be learned from when is expressed through writing. At the beginning of this year, the very first day of school, Mr. Block assigned us a “One page” paper that night where can just write about anything; your intentional thoughts, current situations, life, anything that you want to put down in that one page, and the next day in class, we would have to gather around in a circle to share out a part of out one page story. The start of this assignment started out as, “The instructor said Go home and write A page tonight. And let that page come out of you --- Then, it will be true.” Before Mr. Block gave us the writing time in class to get a head start on this one page assignment, I thought it was going to be easy since it was only a page of a writing. I though I could write this paper and get it done in less than twenty-minutes, but as writing time as come, I struggled through the writing time we had in class and several hours at home as I tried to think of what I wanted to write down for this one page. I came to an idea after several hours later thinking in mind, “This is my sophomore year, I am in a new stream, I will be in a same classroom with different faces that I have not met nor worked with last year, I am in a new learning environment, and with a different teacher who will be instructing me for the year.” This gave me an idea of wanting people to know a little more about me. I started this paper off as a basic intro, then worked my way through the life in crisis which was such a hassle for me to go through. Sharing was one of my biggest struggles in the beginning of the year. I can confidently say that the struggles had impacted on me from wanting to share my stories, but one of the greatest release from those struggles were having some feedbacks from people in the classroom, and feeling good about expressing what I wrote, which made me had more confidence to have my voice be heard. The only reason that held me back from speaking up was the thought of judging from people’s opinions, but those were the main reasons from how I managed to break out from my own little bubble and had more confidence to share out some my own thoughts.
Another general understandings that I experienced and learned from was challenges and hard work. As I already said before, the topics that was taught in Mr. Blocks class are controversial, which made some of the assignments difficult and challenging for me. There was one project that I had a very hard time with was the project to The Revolution Guidebook. For the Revolution Guidebook, we had to design and create a guidebook that presents unique perspectives about revolutions in the world, it was more of a project as a creation of “Revolutions For Dummies,” in a slides/presentation format, and in a way to show our project, we would have to present it front of class along with a voting on the best project presenter to present again at a final round. It was one of the most challenging projects I did this year for History class. It took me several days to adjust the point of this project. Although it took me rigorous time to figure out the point and what to do for this project, I managed to put in all my efforts complete this project the way it’s supposed to be done.
Another example of a challenging process in English/History class was the dancing performance that was coordinated by Leah Stein group. From the very first day ( when we started our first steps by introducing ourselves using our own movement that matches the syllables of our names, first workshop at the Amorine, and working our way towards to put together this dance performances, there were many expectations that I had in thought, that changed my mind into thinking that there are many other ways where you can possibly expressed yourself through dancing (freestyle) than just dancing in general. Working with many different objects to make sounds, using different techniques to express yourself in a way you want others to see, and many of things which makes your movements seems unique in other people perspectives. Before we started this whole process, I thought dancing was more like a technique where people would danced to or follow by the rhythm of a certain song; more like free-styling in some sort of ways, but it has changed my perspectives in many ways. The most challenging part of our Art in the Open performance was coming up with various techniques that we want to show the audience. I thought I couldn’t do the dance that my group came up with for the performance, but all it takes was practice. During the performance, I gave in and pour out all of the energetic power inside of me to my dances as the audience glides their eyes towards the performance, and it was the greatest success that I was very proud of al wished to go back to the beginning and start over at the very first step.
This year has been one of the most struggles and challenging for me, but all of these determination to hard work has been the greatest success for me. I would also like to thank Mr. Block for teaching and showing me an open door to my comfort zone in sharing, as well as speaking up, and the experienced from classroom in which I have learned more from. this one one of the greatest learning experiences and I will never doubt any of the works I have done, hard work pays off.