To get right to the point, life is hard… sometimes. We all encounter both positive and negative events throughout our lives, and each of these events, whether ongoing or not, have affected us, taught us, and shaped us into who we are today, and I’m no different. While writing this, I’ve been thinking about how I could tell my life story as a learner in just a few points. Well, here they are.
If you want to talk about hard, talk about golf. I’m not talking about just watching golf or talking about golf, I’m talking about actually playing golf. I was introduced to the game at a very early age, and I’ve been playing it ever since. I have, however, struggled tremendously at it -emphasis on tremendously. My best score is 77 (par is 72), I never played a varsity tournament in high school, and the only time I won a medal was in a JV tournament when I placed 2nd with an 87; but I still continue to play it. I can’t quit. As in life, you can’t quit either. You many struggle and struggle, but you keep on living because in the end, you know all that hard work will eventually pay off; key word: eventually. Golf has taught me to, in the words of Jack Nicklaus: “never to quit, never to give up, no matter what the situation.”
Aside from golf, another huge part of my life is music. This runs in the family, as almost every family member, literally every family member, either sings or plays an instrument. When it comes to me, however, I don’t sing; I play percussion. There’s a reason for this. When I was in elementary school, I had a music teacher who was old fashioned in style, and therefore relatively harsh. When singing in class, I thought I sounded great (as every person does) but she thought otherwise. I discovered this when I decided to try out for a choral group, Sing Around Nebraska. To make a long story short, my teacher was the judge and when I went into audition, I was told that I couldn’t sing, and that I shouldn’t even try to sing. Awesome, right? Needless to say, I did, however, find my niche when it comes to music, and I’ve poured everything I am into becoming the best I can possibly be. Which leads me into my next point…
Like I said, I play percussion. My favorite instrument is the Marimba (yes the really big xylophone), and I owe the majority of my success to my middle school band director, Mr. Koch. By the time I got to middle school, I had very little self-esteem, and was extremely insecure. He took my under his wing, however, and really helped me reach my full potential when it came to music. For example, I was able to make All-State my senior year of high school, much to the surprise of my high school band director. I say this because that specific year, those in charge were only going to choose three mallet players, and I was the only one west of North Platte to make it. The other two players were phenomenal players, far better than me, and were from both Lincoln and Omaha. Needless to say, it was an amazing experience. Back to Mr. Koch, however, he even helped me all throughout high school, and still today remains a strong supporter, which means a lot to me.
Like I said in my bio, I’m majoring in Elementary Education. I never, in the entire course of my lifetime, thought I would be majoring in a field that requires me to constantly be standing in front of a room full of people. You see, I’m terrified of public speaking, and there are numerous reasons/explanations as to why this is so, however, I can trace this fear back to one teacher, who practically humiliated me. This specific teacher was a math teacher, and it was in this class that he called me to the board to work a specific problem. This wouldn’t have been a big deal, however, if I had known how to work the problem in the first place. The problem was, however, was that I didn’t. I just stood at the board, halfway through this problem, trying to figure out what to do next, with those in my class whispering and giggling behind me. The worst part was that this teacher didn’t do anything to stop it, he just quietly sat there, staring at me. I was probably only up there for a couple minutes, but it seemed like eternity. It wasn’t until college, however, that I figured out how to overcome this fear (for the most part), and help me cope with another as well.
My freshman year of college I was a music major. Of course it was because of this that I had to take multiple music theory classes, and it was in these classes that I was required to sing (remember I don’t sing). I had to, however, and I had to do it in front of the entire class. At first I was terrified, but as time went on, I became more comfortable and it became easier. Here I was in front of the entire class singing. Talk about killing two birds with one stone, right? Doing this taught me two things: 1) singing in front of people isn’t so bad, and 2) public speaking isn’t so bad as well!
So there you have it, five learning experiences that have shaped me into becoming who I am as a learner today! All 5 pictures were taken by me!