Guest Blogger Monica Todd is an 8th grader at Hilliard Weaver School in Hilliard, OH. She is your typical middle school student. Or is she? What is shared below are her words, her takeaways, from her 7th and 8th grade middle school journey. Her English teacher, Meghan Schultz, introduced blogging to her students this year as a way to communicate and receive feedback for their leaning. With Monica's permission, I share her post with you.
Eighth grade was a tremendous year for me. I learned so much, did so much and changed so much. I just have to make one last blog post all about it. Just for closure.
I've had so many great experiences over the course of the year, but Washington DC wins by a landslide. I truly believe that Washington DC changed me as a person. I got so much closer to my friends, I saw so many beautiful things and I learned so much about our country. But the most important thing I learned wasn't about history- it was about life. I had a revelation standing atop the Lincoln Memorial. In that moment, I realized I needed to be an optimist, that I needed to think positively in order to have good memories. To savor every moment. That had to be from God. I've been trying to live like that ever since, and it has made me so much happier. If I've learned anything this year, it's how to live in the moment and that good thoughts are what make good memories.
Another huge win for this year was that I have made some truly amazing friends. Making good friendships is something I've always struggled with. I've always been shy, so the beginning of 6th grade was a nightmare. I was going to Tharp, away from all my friends in elementary school. I prayed and prayed for God to send me good friends. I thought I found them, but at the end of 6th grade, I realized that they were not good friends at all. Again, in seventh grade, I thought I had found the perfect group of friends. It also didn't work out. Finally, in eighth grade, I think I've found my group of friends. I finally have friends that know me well, that support me and I can hang out with for hours. Sure, we're not perfect, but at last I have found friends that I'm comfortable being myself with.
Finally, I have done so much this year, I can't write about it all in detail. I'll just do this highlights, then a long list. First, I made first chair in orchestra. I still do not get tired of the thrill of seeing your name on the top of the list. All the hard work paying off. Your tired fingers and rosin-coated strings were worth it. Your passion paid off. I know I won't be feeling that kind of joy for a long time. I may never be first chair again in high school, so I'd better savor it. I've also become a much better artist this year, and not just in skill, though I have improved. I am so much more passionate about art than I was at the start of the year. I'm much more relaxed and I've learned how to have fun with art. I'm also learning to become proud of my art. I used to get so embarrassed about how people would just go on and on about how good it was. Now I know that you shouldn't be ashamed about how you inspire people. Yes, I'm still working on dealing with the embarrassment, but it doesn't stop me.
This year, I've been so involved in drama. I thought it was a minor passion, but now I think it's a real one, specifically directing. I loved it. Even all the stress was worth it. I wish I could do it all over again, just to feel the joy of seeing your vision come to life. It's a feeling like no other. I've done so much else this year, but I think I'm going to have to draw this to a close. I'm running out of good words.
All I have left to say is that I have done so much this year. I have changed so much, from becoming an optimist atop the Lincoln Memorial, to growing in all my passions, and becoming truly happy. That's right, I became truly happy this year. And finally, I came to love blogging. This is not my last blog post ever, I have plenty more passions to write about.