Enjoy a Time of Peace

Celebrate a Three Day Bliss

Sit back, relax, and breath because finals week has finally come to an end. No more drinking icy lattes at night, memorizing twenty formulas for math, re-reading notes front and back, or cramming down for projects. As we enjoy a three day weekend we can sleep in and contemplate on new adventures with family and friends…

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Despite me knowing the routine of finals; sleeping at eleven and waking up at five to refresh my mind before the big exam, I still get anxiety before any of my classes. I know I am not alone in this because I have witnessed right before my eyes how after studying for over eight hours, when given the test, many students including myself “blank” out. This is primarily influenced by the stress of finishing up all our projects while making room to study for our finals. This year especially I was placed in this situation because I had to juggle finals and projects at the same time. In particular I had to make room to meet with my english group to write a research paper on Frankenstein and creatively think of a presentation that would be memorable and elicit a pleasant message for our audience.

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In the beginning, when my english teacher explained to us that our final was not going to be a test based on the novel, I was relived yet nervous on what he would assign as our final. When he told us about the project and the research paper, I was stressed out because I didn’t understand how I would make room to finish the project and study for the rest of my finals. However, after knowing that we could work in groups, I felt a burden escape my head because I considered that as a group we would finish early and think of a quick and creative way to mesmerize our audience.

In the mist of finishing up the novel, I recognized how stressful it was to work in a group; some people agreed with certain critieras while others kept their ideas fixed. When my group and I met up on Saturday morning our goal was for all of us to have our section on the research paper finished so that together we could edit the paragraphs together to make them flow perfectly and concatenate them with our lens, which was feminism. Unfortunately, this was not the case because when we met up, our minds were tired and drained from ideas as we all sat thinking of ways to make our paragraphs flow with our fragmented question. As the clock tick toked we realized that after five hours we were still not finished with our research paper and still needed to start on our presentation. Thus, we each made a promise that we would either work on the research paper alone at home, and stay up until nine p.m. to begin and finish our presentation or meet up again on Monday and finish up our project. This for me was a risk that I didn’t want to make a reality because it meant that I would have less time to study for the rest of my finals. We even told ourselves that our reward would be dinner; which meant that the longer we took to finish the longer it would take to eat dinner. By seven thirty, however we decided to take a break and go munch and crunch on food at Free Birds. We lost track of time and found ourselves coming back to my friend’s house at nine. After we finished eating my friend realized that she had to go feed her neighbors dogs who were out of town and didn’t want to go alone. Thus we accompanied her and soon found out that going to her neighbors house made us less stress because our minds were refreshed as we tagged on a mini adventure. However, when Sunday came I was ravished with stress because I knew I would only be able to study for one final on that day; leaving me a week full of cramming and late night studying.

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When we met up Monday, we realized that we didn’t want to have to work on the project as we saturated our brains with information on other classes during the week. This was our motivation that got us moving and thinking at a faster pace than when we had on Saturday. We all worked on the our script and practiced our presentation and became excited with our final idea on our presentation. It included our audience to return back to 1818 when the novel was written by placing them in the main characters’ position as he made his monster. We even planned to have fog because it would add to the effect of spookiness the book had.

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However, when it came time to our presentation, we encountered several bumps in the road. First as we played our audio the second portion of it was not fully downloaded to my teachers computer, which meant that we had no sound. This made our classmates get gibberish and talkative and took away from the scenery of our project. Secondly, our fog prediction was a total fail because it didn’t spread far enough throughout the room. On the contrary, it just bubbled lightly on the top on the bucket, but never spread far enough. I was devastated and heart broken because we had worked very hard in the project, and it had turned into a nightmare in such little time. After class we spoke to our teacher to ask him how we had done and ways we could have improved our project. As he spoke, weights were lifted off my shoulders because he taught us a very important lesson. He said that despite our mistakes, we had been the group that had thoroughly explained our lens the best. Above all he emphasized to us that it didn’t matter what the outcome was, what mattered was the lessons we learned as we brainstormed together.

After this project I learned to value the importance of staying focused and using our communication skills to get ideas flowing as a team. I acknowledged that working within a group can cause a more stressful experience than working alone, but in the long run it yields the most lessons learned as a group. We learned how to program a sound track on a powerpoint, cite actual research sources, and learn where to place a fog bucket so that it can spread more efficiently in a room.  In fact, this project not only showed me how to work with a group in high school, but it will help me when I have major group projects in college.

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Although finals week is over, and I can breath, as a Senior it’s a bitter-sweet feeling. ON one hand I am overjoyed to be done with my exams because I feel like weights have been lifted off my shoulders, but I also think about how my first semester of senior years has zoomed by as fast as lightning. I realize that I only have five months left until I walk down the aisle with my cap and gown and receive my certificate. When I think about this, I feel the need to reverse time and simply begin high school all over. My mind deviates to the first day of my freshmen year at Los Amigos High School; I was so innocent and afraid of what to expect of high school. I remember thinking that the teachers would be more strict, the courses much harder than in middle school, and the pressure to stand out would be difficult among a school full various cliques. Till this day, I still carry my good luck charms in my bag, which are paper stars that my best friend Judy gave me for my fourteenth birthday. I only hope that as I continue the rest of my senior year I may continue learning new lessons that will help me in the next chapters of my life ! (:

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Quote: “I’ve come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way. The challenges we face in life are always lessons that serve our soul’s growth.” -Marianne Williamson

“Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.” -Unknown

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