There comes a time in the life of each individual's life where they make a revelation. It strikes them like a bolt of lightning when they reach this defining moment in their life. A spark that lights a fire of motivation but also of realization of the personal definition of life's meaning. Through Psych 2, I have truly come to appreciate this realization. To love one another, bring joy to the lives of others, and to touch the world through personal skill and thus change the world for the better. To give without any thought of reward except for personal gratification is the most wonderful experience in the world.
At first, I thought this essay was going to be on how much of an influence my teachers have been in my life, and how Psych 2 has helped me open up to their love of me, work harder, and realize that I was truly worth it. But then an experience came in Psych 2 class that was very defining. It opened my eyes to the world. It made me realize that there are things beyond my control. Yet it made me realize again, what I believe I was put on earth to do, make peace. It made me realize that peacemaking starts now. Without the effort put forth now, the example of peace cannot be made.
The following, is an account of this event in my eyes. It was originally part of a journal I keep, and has not been altered in anyway. It is how I saw the event and how my feelings toward it changed and evolved as the event unfolded. It taught me the true meaning of Psych 2, in a very impersonal way, but evolved into being a very personal one indeed.
Today Psych was very interesting. Or just drama. Or just I don't know... A very weird conflict between me and this one sophomore girl Justine.
See in Psych 2 we do this thing called the hot seat. Where one person goes up to the front of the room after they give a public statement and we are supposed to say nice things about them. You see, Justine was against this last week because she thought people wouldn't be sincere about it and she didn't enjoy the experience herself. But I thought to myself, hey what the hell; I may as well ask Pettek again to see if we can do it again. Sure enough I get the same response from Justine and the response spread again so that other senioritis people were moaning and groaning along with her. We were supposed to have a public statement yesterday but the guy didn't show up so after we got through with that unfinished business, Pettek asked if there was anymore and he's like what are we going to do without the hot seat. People were shooting down every suggestion he had, then he looked at me and knew I was upset over this. He then asked again if there was any other unfinished business. I responded there is but I know I'll just be shot down again. Pettek made the class stop right there.
He's said, I cannot continue this class where people feel uncomfortable or no growth will be made. I agreed with him in my mind. Then Justine goes off on a little rant on how she feels she is being attacked. Then some silly people in class go off about this being a waste of time. Pettek said; this is a perfect time we can use interpersonal skills especially checking out. I at first was somewhat reserved by the idea. I said, can we just please drop it to the point where I just put my head down on my desk. I didn't want to deal with people being silly anymore. But Pettek wouldn't let it go. He at first talked with Justine and she goes off about it for a while. Then he moves the stool to over in front of my desk.
He sits down and stares me in the eyes. I said hi then sheepishly put my head down. I was in tears at this point mind you. I just wanted it to be over. I was embarrassed he was making a spectacle out of a remark I made just because I was a little upset over her wanting to do nothing as was some other people as well. I want to make the most out of the time Pettek has left and I am not going to let anyone take that opportunity away from me. As Pettek was about to walk away and drop the subject because I wasn't responding to his pleas to answer, I spoke.
I firstly told him how I was annoyed that no one wanted to do hot seat everyday and that I felt like everyone had the right to have it if they gave a public statement. I then went into how I wished they would drop it because everyone was mad at me. Pettek said that certainly wasn't the case. Then he took a poll of the class to see who was angry at me. Only Justine raised her hand. Then I said to Pettek they are only saying that to be nice. Pettek again took the poll. Still the same response. Pettek went on and on between me and Justine trying to solve the problem. At one point, Rachel got up in front of the class and said her two cents. She just wanted this all to stop. I don't blame her, but if you have a problem, and Pettek dug into the hole, you need to finish it. Finalization is needed. Pettek then suggested that we needed to talk straight to each other. Rachel got up from her seat, since she sat next to Justine and I sat there and talked to her.
The funny part was she didn't even look at me. She was angry at me and didn't like me because she said our personalities clashed. I thought to myself, what a lame excuse. What did I ever do to you to get you not to like me? I mean Jesus. She in turn said she didn't like me because I was too much of a happy, joyous, and optimistic person. I'm like hold it right there, I am not always happy. Anyone who knows me well knows this including Pettek. I tried to explain to her, I like all people no matter what. I try to look for the good in each person which I do. I admire her spirit and her will to stand behind her opinion. She still wouldn't look at me. But what she said next really blew my mind.
She told me to stop right there. It wasn't about the hot seat anymore. She told me that if I really knew her, I wouldn't be saying all these nice things about her. She then told me that the things that she thinks in class wouldn't be appropriate to say out loud because they were so negative. She also went on saying that Pettek should have never invited her to the class to begin with since 10th graders can only take Psych 2 if they are invited to do so. She then went on and on about how she isn't worth it and all the things I was saying wasn't true and that she didn't want to hear it. All I could really do is sit there with my jaw down. Its like okay, Pettek wants us to use are interpersonal skills here. I'm checking out, but your certainly not discounting complements I thought in my mind. The next thing Pettek had us do was truly amazing, yet odd at first I thought in my mind.
He then directed me to stand at one side of the room and Justine at the other. I'm like this is odd in my mind as I move slowly towards the other side of the room. I looked into Justine's eyes, but still she refused to look at me. I felt cold and yet warm at the same time. I wanted this to be over, yet the experience itself was interesting and amazing at the same time. I could feel the energy rush through my body like a bolt of lightning, yet I knew half of the class was mad at me, well, at least Kristen. She wouldn't even talk to me later that night, but that's another story.
Pettek then asked us how we thought this should be resolved. He then asked us if we were given a choice, how close would we like to sit to each other. I thought it a little odd request, but I knew where he was going with it. I then walked all the way across the classroom to her feet. As I walked, with every step, I felt a sense of liberty, and at that moment, I knew why Pettek pressed the issue. He wanted not me to learn anything from it, but to help Justine really. He knew that my perspective would be able to help her somehow, or so he thought.
I stopped in front of her, but she didn't move and inch. I then rephrased what I said earlier. That I admired her spirit and opinion and that even though we may not always agree, that's the beauty of humanity. I admire difference because that shaped the person I am. I admire opinion because that is what I want to do with my life; is to express my opinion in the most valuable way I see, through politics. After I talked, I extended my hand to her, hoping it would be a sense of closure. She refused my hand and didn't shake it in return.
As I turned around and went back to my desk, I shook my head. I felt very empty. I had just given of myself and tried to be honest with someone, and they shoot me down. They refused my hand. It made me angry yes, but it also made me try to look at something from someone else's perspective. I guess I do sometimes see the world from within my own version of a utopian dream. Yes, I know I am probably the biggest idealist north of the Mason-Dixon line. Yet, I somehow wish I would have gotten through to her. She's really a better person than she thinks and it kills me inside to see anyone put themselves down like that. I know I am probably being a hypocrite there with that statement, but I at least see that I am being that way, discount compliments, and realize in the end, that, yeah, I am deep down inside a worthwhile and good person. Oh well, I suppose, you cannot win all your battles. But this wasn't a battle per say. More like a revelation on how I can affect people. I know people sometimes have issues with me and my idealism, my joy for learning and my spirit. But sometimes maybe people look upon it with contempt because they wish they could be more like that. Maybe I am totally off base in saying that. Maybe I am not. I'm just throwing out ideas because when I see the sorrow in others, it just makes me want to help. If only because the sorrow spreads and I want to stop it from affecting other people, but also because I want to help the person herself. But sometimes, you cannot help everyone. But maybe through not helping someone, your helping yourself by learning more about how you handle situations. But also, you help others by letting them observe your struggle and the results of it.
After I extended my hand, Dana said something on the line of what I said to Justine. Just about 2 minutes after Dana spoke, the bell rang. Pettek pulled me into House 2, made me sit down at Stup's desk, and he pulled up a chair. Then what he said after that, the words still vividly ring in my mind like bells.
He then told me that what I did in there, made me shine like I was 10 feet tall. I thought to myself, wow, I'm only being honest. Then I expressed this to him. He then went on to go about how I was like the scripture in that "He who is humble is high and he who is high, is humble." (Psalm 113:5-6, Psalm 138:6, Isaiah 66:1-2 & Isaiah 57:15). I thought to myself, wow, he really does hold me in that high of a regard. It made me feel honored, but yet, not so honored. Why should I be praised for initiating a conflict? Just because I offered peace isn't anything. I guess I am just so used to being the peacemaker that I don't expect to be praised for it. I then made a statement to him, that I feel as though really dominates my purpose and journey for self-actualization. That I believe God put me on earth to make peace. Gandhi is my hero. I'll admit that. The dream he set forth is truly amazing and my only hope is that someday I can emulate all his accomplishments. That man was truly amazing. Pettek then nodded his head in approval. He knew in his heart that what he witnessed, was great. It only makes me think in my mind again, what a truly wonderful teacher he is and how I am trying to value each and every moment he has here, because he's not going to be there next year for me to talk to. Which is why the conflict probably began to begin with. I wanted to make the most productive use of the time I have left with Pettek, and other people didn't want to. It disheartens me immensely. I then walked to Mr. Stup's class afterwards with a sense of gratification. I may have not gotten through to Justine, but I found peace within myself for being the better person. That's all I could really do in the situation I was in.
I then return 8th period to Pettek's class on my self direct after talking with Mrs. Scheer for a bit, and proceed to tell Mallory about what happened. She agreed with me that it was a very uplifting experience to say the least.
Then I talked with Pettek again in his office. He went on again telling me how great he thought I did in there today. But he also saw that what the class thought of what happen really affected me. He said that he used to be the same way I was. But that I need to learn who's opinion really matters and just know that I cannot please everyone no matter how hard I try. He knows, in his mind I can tell, how hard it is for me to accept that fact. I really just don't know why I try so hard to please. Maybe its just that desire to be love and accepted. Maybe its because my parents brought me up and expected nothing less than perfection from me. It's the perfectionist in me. It has its good and its bad qualities. It's like a ghost yet like and angel. Geist und Engel. Its bittersweet really. It made me think. He explained to me how he saw the levels of growth in the class. He saw the responsive and high ones, the middle levels, and the people who really didn't get the spirit of Psych 2. Those people didn't matter, because I was on the top level. I understood, and he said I was quality. I must hear that everyday from him. The more I hear it, the more I begin to truly believe in it. That's what an amazing man he is. He takes humble, meek little me, and makes me, just almost like the affect Nazelli has on me, believe in myself. It's truly amazing the power of the human spirit.
The power of the human spirit,
Lights a fire in the darkest night.
The warmth it radiates
Is a comfort
To all mankind
Like a gentle hug
It is an inspiration to all
Time changes the world
Seasons transform the earth
Yet its beauty is a reassurance
Like the morning dew after a gentle spring rain.
Yet love is constant.
Its mysticism is beyond the reach of the eye.
It sustains us as water gives life.
Its power is beyond words.
It's the command of the belief in the potential of others
Which makes them finally believe in themselves.
Psych 2 has truly helped me to grow a lot as a person. I have learned to overcome a lot of my fears. My fear of rejection was overcome by my willingness to tell Nazelli, the person I respect most in life about my past even before my public statement. It helped me open my life up to a lot more people rather then keep everything inside of me and green stamp it. Most of all, it has opened my eyes more to the differences we all have. It has shown me that, even though we all maybe different, we are all unique. We are all worthwhile people, if we just look within our souls for that little good which is within us all. Personal growth comes at different paces. Some grow more quickly then others. Psych 2 has helped me realize this. I think I have really grown so much in a year as a person. I've taken on so many things this year, and accomplished it because I have started to believe in myself and to believe that I was worthwhile. All due to the support, all my teachers have had on me, especially the history department. So many of them have been the first people to believe in my potential and I have truly grown to appreciate that. But also the support of the friends I have, has truly been a blessing to me. All because I let them be a support to me. I made the active choice. I control my life and the direction it heads in.
"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself." - Abraham Maslow.
I must make peace, to find peace with myself. Peace I have found. Nirvana has come at last.