Earlier this week I had the joyFULL opportunity to chat with my young friend Rachel. She was preparing to start third grade the next day and wasn’t too psyched about it. She told me she’d loved ‘the passion’ of first grade, but that second grade felt ‘kinda flat’. So she was worried third grade would be even more disappointing.
In contrast, I saw a wonderFULL post on Facebook of a group of local high school seniors (or should I say Seniors? :)) literally parading toward their first day of school.
I’ve also talked with lots of people in between these two extremes of excitement/anxiety regarding returning to school.
During my official school years my feelings ran the gamut of all these emotions. Some of my years also felt more passionate than others.
- I distinctly remember LOVING fourth grade. That’s when I met and fell in love with dictionaries.
- Seventh grade was when I learned I had strengths OTHER THAN being a cheerleader.
- Ninth grade was when I realized that while I’d never be in the In Crowd, I was good at listening to the In Crowd’s problems.
- By the time I was a senior/Senior, I figured out that I got to listen to whom I chose; believe what I believed; and be who I was (as much as I could at 17/18).
At 53, I try hard to remember what I figured out that final year of high school.
Overall, when I think of what I learned in school/college/grad school, here’s what floats to the top of the list:
- I’m amazed that I use algebra almost every day of my life;
- there will always be someone who seems more cool and less cool than I feel;
- we all feel like #2 at times;
- every single one of my favorite Life Teachers have the same qualities (senses of wonder and humor, integrity and openness);
- I need to focus my attention on my strengths rather than beat myself up for my weaknesses;
- packing my own lunch always makes more sense than relying on what will be provided;
- ‘conduct scores’ are relative;
- trying to make anyone like or get – much less love me – is fruitless;
- how I make people feel is much more important than what I say to them; and
- everyone I meet has something to teach me.
What floats to the top of your list?