Appreciating the present moment I have learned to appreciate where I am currently at. I have always hated the lack of freedom that comes with being in the schooling system. Even if it’s a school as great as Animas I still felt stuck and incapable of doing the things I actually want to do in life. However, I recently realized you are only trapped if you believe you are trapped, and in order to appreciate the good things to come in the future I have to first appreciate where I am in the present moment. I noticed I was always the most miserable in school when I would start thinking too much about the future. This is because that was where I wanted to be at in life as opposed to where I am. However I noticed that if you are always thinking about where you are not you will never see the factors to appreciate about where you are. I came to this conclusion when I got caught for leaving school when I wasn’t supposed to, I saw the schedule for that day as unimportant so I made the poor decision to leave. When I was brought back I had a meeting with some of my teachers and what happened was nothing like I imagined it would be. They showed me how much they care about me and that they want to make my time at Animas more fulfilling. This made me remember how much the teachers really care. Before I was looking at the few bad factors of being in school but afterwards I learned to appreciate how kind and caring the community within Animas really is.
Caring about my work in studio art I feel very proud of the accomplishments I made in studio art. This class was my first period so it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Art is a very big passion of mine so being able to work on it every day in the morning before going into a full left brained day of work really helped prepare me for the rest of the day and calmed me down. This was one of the classes where I felt a lot of freedom because I was doing the things I want to do and would and it felt more like a relaxing break than school work. This class has also motivated me to continue working on my own art outside of school and has greatly benefitted my approach to art. I had never done much painting before and I now feel more comfortable with it so now I can expand my mediums and style when creating something new which is something I could not do before.
Finding motivation in school Last year I was incredibly unmotivated in school and ended the year with a terrible GPA. That changed this year when I decided I wanted to prove to my family that I can take care of myself and though I’m not ending the semester with a 4.0 I have seen an immense improvement in my grades and motivation. Another big motivation that has helped me care more about succeeding in school is the fact that I want to go on a foreign exchange next year and in order to do that I have to prove that I will be able to academically succeed while in a different environment. I want to use my grades as evidence to the people around me who have doubted me that I have grown as a person and I am responsible enough to take care of myself.
2 areas for growth
Feeling fulfilled in school I think the biggest area for growth is actually caring about what I’m doing in school. Though I’ve gotten a bit better at getting my work done it always feels like a chore and I feel like I could be spending my time doing something better. This is why if I fall behind in school it usually means I have been taking care of myself and focusing on having important growing experience instead of doing what I’m supposed to.I am working on finding a way to combine school with these outside experiences in order enjoy my time at school so it can start to feel a bit more fulfilling. I can solve this problem by advocating to a teacher about modifying my projects if I begin to lose interest to make them more exciting for me. I think this is a reasonable approach and it is possible to find more interest in my school work if I develop a more creative approach. An example of where I failed at doing this this semester is when we were reading the book Flight. I didn’t have a very strong interest but I sucked it up and did the work anyways. I could have instead advocated for myself to Matt and asked if there are any other books I could read instead and I would have probably enjoyed the projects next semester. I intend to change that next semester and focus on my advocacy skills. Paying attention Another area for growth is being able to pay attention, I usually have trouble being able to concentrate on the teacher for long enough to actually be able to grasp onto what they are trying to say, A good example of this weakness are my lack of journal entries in Matt's class, I usually have trouble at paying attention for long enough to accomplish the tasks we are given at the beginning of class. I’m a daydreamer but something I’m working on in school and in life is being more present. I've already begun to take action on this weakness by meditating every morning and I've noticed it is greatly benefiting my focus abilities. An example of how this has benefitted me is about a week into this practice I found it a lot easier to concentrate in class so when we were assigned artifact 7 I finished it in one class period and got an A on it. Strangely enough another example for this is my current POL prep, I am now almost two weeks into this practice and I noticed it was incredibly easy and stress free to prepare for my POL. Big Question
How can I succeed in school while also feeling fulfilled in what I am doing?