One year can seem like ten years. One deep discussion in class can seem like an ice breaker for people to speak up. One journal to write a poem can be one journal to write out everything that’s killing you inside. One year of this class changes lives. One year of this class changed my life. There are two things that really stuck with me this year. First is that when challenging yourself you’re bettering yourself. Second is that everyone sees through their own lens.
We all react differently in certain situations. That’s depending on what side we’re standing on and what lens we’re looking through. If you see a man/woman begging for change on the street you quickly slide into a lens. You either give him/her change or shrug him/her off thinking he/she doesn’t need your money. If you are the man/woman begging for change you are wearing a lens. You either say thank you to everyone even if they give you the cold shoulder or you act mean to those who don’t give.
It is easy to judge someone else when you’re viewing a situation from a different lens. “I don’t listen. You don’t listen. We don’t understand each other.” (2nd Language Scene: English) When you hear of a woman letting her husband beat her up everyday you start judging. You think she’s stupid or weak or just downright incompetent of standing on her own two feet. But once you slide into her shoes and you yourself become the female getting bruises day in and day out you’ll think different. Once you see the hidden issues and insecurities the woman has you’ll think different. From a girl who grew up saying that would never happen to me I know; once you’re put in those shoes it makes you want to take back all those things you said before. But all we can do is move on and live life the best we can. “Accept your failures and move on.” (Creating Chapter 26 of TFA)
We need to take a step back. Lay out all the lenses in the world and put one on depending on our situations. If there’s a boy on his way to prison step back. Pick up a lens so you see what he sees and figure out what made a fine boy become a broken man. We have to use these lenses to help one another. “Don’t get involved and mind your own business!” - “But momma Humanity is my business.” (Philip Zimbardo: The Torturer’s Mind) Everyone has a problem and we need to help fix them. You can’t always see someones problems at first and we can’t judge everyone by their covers. People sometimes wear covers to hide the problems they have inside which relates a journal that we wrote in class.
To get through life and make ourselves better we need to challenge ourselves. That’s something I learned this year from my classes. I was constantly having to challenge myself so that I could give my best towards projects and discussions. To be able to express all that I could during our poetry unit I had to push my limits and go personal. I had to challenge myself with trying different types of poetry and then giving each one my all.
As the person I am I am always trying to change and better myself. Like back when I wrote a journal about what I wish I could do. Or back when I did a monologue project about the keystone pipelines. It’s hard sometimes to try new things and to put yourself out there for everyone to see you. It’s something that I’m getting better at doing every day that I’m in this class. I have to stop letting people hold me back and better myself. “Don’t let any man, woman, child, animal, or thing kill you inside.” (Letter Of Advice: English Post)