To say we had a few disagreements in our English class this year would be a quite an understatement. Whether it was Albert arguing over having to write a blog about a song or Connor generally saying something offensive (even to Mr. Williams’ face), it happened and I sure am glad that it did.
Obviously, throughout the year we really didn’t focus on learning to the AP test. Yes, we took timed writings here and there and did a few practice AP worksheets, but rather than focusing on having everybody make a 5 on the AP test, we focused on learning how to think. Of course, we obviously knew how to literally think (turns out you do have some brain capability as an underclassmen) prior to this year, but this year I learned how to think in a way that expanded my efficacy as a scholar and human.
I used to be a very stubborn but having all of these arguments about books, or social issues, or even the argument about Albert writing his blog post, allowed me to understand the world a little bit better. All of us in this class are smart, so I can’t just dismiss arguments I disagree with because the other person is not as smart as me. Instead, I focused on understanding why the dissonance exists. What it really comes down to is understanding other people’s backgrounds and trying to understand why people are the way they are. Albert probably never bought any music because he’d rather be focused on school (chemistry especially). Martin (or anybody for that matter) probably interprets parts of novels differently from me because he grew up in a very different culture and his schemas of the world will obviously differ because of this. The hard thing is admitting that maybe my views aren’t technically right–although it is nice when Williams backs me up–and incorporating these new opinions into my own view of the world. So when I say that I learned how to think, what I really mean to say is that I learned how to be a better person.
If becoming a better person isn’t a valuable experience, then I really don’t know what is. So thank you, class, for all the laughs and periods of hypertension. And thank you, Mr. Williams, for helping me become who I am now. I know that this experience will only continue to blossom as I enter into my senior year and the next phase of my life.