Shades of White
Us people, we overthink, over calculate, and over complicate the simplest and most mundane tasks imaginable; after which we spend hours and even lifetimes pondering on the ‘what ifs’. However it is our blunders that make us unique our shortcomings that make us struggle and through 16 years of this struggle today I can say that if I had never made such blunders I would not be the person I am, seeing those red marks on my paper has somehow taught me how to optimistically handle my faults; I can say today that I am well aware of my several flaws but I am not ashamed of being different, not afraid of failure and not embarrassed of that bad grade as it constantly acts as a reminder that the feeling of disappointment is present however that overpowering emotion of joy when the past becomes forgotten as I overcome this partial failure is worth the struggle. It is our failures that make us who we are and in a world so caught up in their private success we as a society have forgotten how to help those who have suffered failure and partial defeat. Teachers are so involved in polishing the diamonds in their class that they forget about the coal that has the potential to be great if given some care and can be nurtured to greatness, as the saying goes ‘A diamond is but a stone that performed well under pressure ‘.
Today I met an individual that understood, just someone who could relate to me and all my struggles, this person that I had just met could read me like a book. She mouthed the words that I wanted to say and left me in amazement. Calling her a teacher seams so formal as I now feel like I share a much deeper connection, She gave me a second chance as I believe she saw through the superficial and looked deep within seeing that part of my character that my school had tried to contain and constrict to the four corners of a blank white meaningless page, a page with no words , no story ,no depth, nor weight. The teachers I met today are the physical embodiment of the very word, people that teach education and not the mundane contents of a black and white book. It is such teachers that I wish to learn under, who stretch the limitations of a certain subject unlike any book can, understanding students and guiding them to success, like wise dusty books, overflowing with experience who have lived life and are willing to exceed the limits of the course and the grey classroom inspiring the minds of the future.
I was asked how I felt when I was given back that piece of work that I had poured my emotions into dripping with the red ink of the teachers correction pen; initially I felt worthless as if the teacher simply did not care and that my thoughts and imagination was simply not good enough to reach the standards of the Cambridge examiners., hence I stopped putting effort into my assignments, it only seems logical, why make an effort when you know failure is all that you will receive. My mother recently told me that my eleventh grade English language teacher had been purposely giving me better grades as she believed that my moral which had been completely broken could somehow be salvaged. In my case the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ worked, I again started taking an interest in my work as I felt the teacher was behind me, cheering me on rather that constantly telling me I was not good enough. I chose sociology as a fourth subject as I had a general curiosity for why individuals did the things they do,. Seeing the cold mechanised world today where humanity and brotherhood have run their course I was forced to wonder why do people do such horrible things, and where do such immense feelings of pain and torture bubble up from, creating an interest in gods greatest creation, the human mind, or psychology.
As an average student I have come to realize perfection is a myth. For me at least, life has been; making the most of my imperfections, which have taught me that there always is a way and no matter what the struggle is worth the pain, like a butterfly struggling to leave its cocoon, it must undergo this struggle in order for its body to fully develop and its wings to spread allowing it to be free. If life’s ultimate goal is to be happy then why must we ignore the little things, for me the little achievements were what brought me real joy; playing football with my closest friends, being able to portray my view on matters that intrigued me through debating and being noticed in my class by my teacher for an unusual opinion on a topic; for a straight A student such accomplishments would seem insignificant and weightless, however I felt happy hence I had already found my true happiness a long time ago while they are discontent with all the As on their result sheet, still cribbing over that one B grade.
A life that can matter, that can bring meaning and clarity to the lives of others. Waking up and knowing that I have made an atom of difference to this world and those in it; that is a life I dream of.
By: A Student who is dear to us