Tenth grade was one of the best, yet most difficult years of my life. It had a lot of great moments where I achieved a lot, and other moments where I really struggled. When I look back on this year, especially in Mr. Block's class, I find myself gaining more knowledge each time. I learned so much this year. Not just about wars or how to write a paper correctly, but about myself too. I learned that it really takes hard work to go far, and it takes you as an individual to make something out of that work. If I could describe this year in two broad ideas, it would be "Challenges are always there, waiting for you to overcome them" and "When you're struggling, you become a stronger person."
The first one I will talk about is "Challenges are always there, waiting for you to overcome them". The first day of school, I walked into Mr. Blocks english class frightened and not knowing what to expect. He was very friendly, and excited for the year to come. He gave us a poem, and we analyzed it. Then he told us to go home, and write an "English B" poem about ourselves. The assignment was very broad, but the next day we had to present what we had to the class. I was so worried that I did the assignment wrong. But when the presentations were over, I realized that there is no wrong. The assignment was made so you can interpret it however your mind works, and take the assignment and run with it.
Another example of this general understanding would be writing my play for the Philly Young Playwrights. We had several months to write a play. Mr. Block also had a playwright Kate come in and do exercises, help us elaborate on our ideas, and help us anyway she could. In the beginning, I had a hard time coming up with an idea for my play. Kate and Mr. Block really worked with me and helped me find something I really related to. I found a topic that combined multiple parts of my life and I created a crazy plot. Kate and I emailed each other constantly revising pieces, and giving constructive criticism on how I can make it even better. I submitted the play proud of the final product, and excited to see what they thought of it. I really don't think my play would be as good quality as it is now if I didn't challenge myself and revise my work.
The second general understanding of this year would be "When you're struggling, you become a stronger person." I struggled a lot this year, however I don't see it as a bad thing. Struggling is learning in my opinion. Throughout this year we had a poetry unit. I never thought that I was a great poet, or that I was even capable of writing the different poems we wrote. I struggled a bit, and "marked up" my poems a lot, but in the end they were awesome.
Another time I struggled was when we were working with Leah Stein and dancing in Art in the Open. I missed most of the workshops because of softball games, so I was confused about the concept from the beginning. Each day when we went out to think of new ideas, I just didn't know what to do. I contributed some ideas but they didn't make much sense. I was too overwhelmed that we had to perform and it took the fun out of the experience. Leah and her dancers then helped us and by the performances, I completely loved them. I was confident, and I had fun. I became a stronger and more outgoing person because of Art in the Open, and I thank Leah Stein, her crew and Mr. Block for that.
This year in Mr. Blocks class really made me take a step back and enjoy every assignment, project, and work that was given to us. Yes I struggled and there were many challenges, but it made me work to the best of my potential and I thank Mr. Block for his creative work tactics and positive attitude throughout this year. I learned so much from this class and now I can apply what I learned into everyday life.