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How They Want to be Remembered – Part 2

Yesterday, I started a series of posts in which I’ll be providing snippets from a writing prompt I assigned my students.

Their responses were very revealing and deeply touching.

Today, I present Part 2 of this series.

T is a young man who is heavily involved in sports.  He plays football, runs track, and lifts weights.

How I first wanna be remember is for my kind heart and brains those are my two main things that I feel that every athlete is supposed to obtain.When you’re known as kind hearted you can get better support and more respect as a leader. When you’re a nice to your person and adults you will get a lot further in life. If you start now being kind to people will remember how you treated them , like a first impression. When you make a first impression you want people to have good thoughts about you.

G is another young man who definitely had some struggles this year.  I really, really appreciated his honesty in the following paragraph he wrote.  I also love his sense of humor in the last sentence.

I have ADHD but I can focus without it, it really is not a disorder but some teachers like to rub it in my face which really aggravates me. People that know like to joke but I don’t really take it in a serious way. The other day two girls told me that a guy they know has ADHD, they also said that he is mentally retarded and that people which have this is stupid because they can’t control their own body. I’m listening to all this, and I walk up to them and say not every one that has ADHD is retarded and stupid. I told them I have ADHD, I also told them I can control what I do. If I couldn’t then I would slap both of them up side the head for calling me idiotic and reckless.

L is a young lady who also had challenges to overcome this year.

I know the feeling when you need someone to talk to, and there’s no one there. It feels awful. I’ve had lots of struggles at home and outside of school, but some how they all affected me throughout the school year. I see the struggle in others when I look into their eyes. Observe their actions. Sometimes they even hide it. People always tell me I’m such a happy person. That I have the perfect outlook. That’s what I want them to see. Two and a half years ago, my siblings and I were removed from my mother. I had no clue what to think or who to tell. I was scared, I felt alone. That was the hardest time of my life. I started disrespecting everyone, only because I didn’t know how to deal with anything. My siblings and I got separated. I lived in a group home [original text removed right here] with thirteen other girls and boys. Older and younger. It was horrible. It all made me stronger. I won’t let that define who I am. “The girl who lived in the foster home?”

L went on to say…

I want to be remembered by the girl who overcame all her troubles. The girl who helped others when they wanted to overcome their troubles.

A quickly became a favorite of mine this year.  Hush your mouth.  I can hear you now tsking me for claiming to have a favorite, but we humans naturally gravitate toward kindred spirits, and this young lady certainly was one and earned my respect early on.

The way girls carry themselves, I want to show them that boys aren’t the only ones that can make them feel special, but to get where you want to be can make you feel special; being someone that can help make a difference in someone else’s life.

I see girls today carrying themselves in all kinds of way; to find a girl that has high expectation is very rare because most girls are too focused on getting attention from boys. I want to be that one girl that is known to show girls that they don’t need boys to keep their expectations up.

A went on to share information that helped explain her conservative nature.

I’m that one girl that struggled to fit in because of how I am. I speak a different language, I’m from somewhere poor, but we have money. Yes, we do have most of the things America has, but not all the things. I’m that one girl that gets picked on and I don’t want to be remembered by that. I don’t want to be a bully because of how I’m treated I want to help; I want to show that I care for all the kids that are different, like I am.

As she read her essay to the class, we started getting weepy-eyed when she shared the following…

I want to show that the appearance of the way I dress, my high pitch, loud voice, or even the way I look, where I’m from does not just complete me but also shapes me into who I am. My personality is much more than how I look and how I act because deep down is a hidden smile that will never be released. I  close all doors that show the real me because my hidden smile is more than it appears to be; it’s not just a smile but it’s a part of me that will never be shown. That’s what I don’t want to be remembered as the girl that hides her real personality.

And then the next part…oh my…she started crying, and I went to her, standing beside her until she finished with her presentation…

Besides me I’m the one that’s left out. I get less attention because i’m the middle child and the fact that i’m in America and he [her father] is in Jamaica makes everything even worse. I was really close to my dad but now I have no idea where I stand with him, I wish I had my dad.

I think I’ll end this post right here.  As when A presented, a hush fell over the room, and we had to collect ourselves.

I’ll write Part 3 tomorrow (or soon thereafter).

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One Response

  1. This assignment gave your students a voice: that should make you very proud of what happened in your classroom. Your room was a safe place for them to express their true feelings.

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