I know the assignment is a traditional MLA format but this doesn't quite fit the class and I am breaking the rules, I know. But this is a narrative about my whole experience in this class, so this is a better way to explain it from my point of view...
I came into senior year as a nervous and anxious girl looking to just pass another class in order to check the boxes that were required to get out of this high school and onto where ever the road takes me. I didn't quite know how this class would end up whether it would live up to its reputation or if it would be a walk in the park. Regardless of the situation, I figured I would give it my best shot because I love learning for the sake of learning which seemed to be what I was getting myself into.
At first I didn't quite understand how I was to take charge of my own learning process. The year kind of went like this...
"Hey, you guys can take the reins and go."
... "K. Sure Dr. Preston."...
*waits for instruction and assignments and second semester to really do anything*
"Hey you guys can take the reins and go."... "Bring it on."
Never did I believe I could feel confident enough to argue my point of view but here I was on back to school night, arguing about MLK with my English teacher. Not one of my proudest arguments but I learned to be the devil's advocate really fast in this class... Whether against my teacher or even my peers. The art of hosting online conversations was learned on commenting on many blog posts too.
I learned a lot through literature that relates back to this world too. I learned that you shouldn't judge people for what you hear about them because they might turn out to be someone you want to get to know. After spending six plus hours in a car with a group of people I didn't quite talk to every day at school, I became the greatest of friends with them. (#yukoncrew). Much like Elizabeth's experience with rumors/ common misconceptions, I realized what an awesome group of people I was with and will never forget those memories. I mean, spending most of the drive rapping or singing disney songs really brings a group of people together. Without Melissa's Yosemite Science Expedition, this wouldn't have ever been possible.
Going on Melissa's trip was a giant leap for me. Never have I hiked or cared for hiking before but I pushed myself to do it and bond with my class. It was the greatest risk I have ever taken so far. I was contemplating backing out last minute but I realized that this was meant to be. Everything happens for a reason. (Everything is connected.... Connected, connected, everything is connected. Connected, connected, to everything else...)
Coming back from the trip I have a different mindset about life and living in general. I have come to realize that we measure our life in moments and memories, in lives touched, and in views that take our breathes away. In a way I learned my true passion. I learned that I want to show people how to express themselves through the arts whether it be emerging themselves in painting, or putting themselves in a story they have read. I want to encourage creativity and inspire people with the life I live.
"Passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it’s something you’re tremendously passionate about."-Steve Pavlina
Now that I realize my passion, I have realized my purpose... much like the rest of the people in my class. Rebecca's is dance. Jason's is wrestling. Myra's is caring for people. Samantha's is writing. Allyson's is science. Rudy's is music. Udi's is making a difference in peoples lives.
It is interesting that it took us all year to figure out our passions and purposes even though it was all trapped inside of us all along. Pip sought to be a gentleman his whole life. Sidhartha went through his whole life to find his passion. I don't think we are all as enlightened as he was but we are on the right path to it.
So I guess, in a way, open source learning gave me the confidence to be who I truly am and to follow my wildest dreams and passions to wherever they take me...
So thanks, Dr. Preston.. For the ups and downs and all the in-betweens of this class.