As you all saw, I am not a good artist. And like I mentioned in my previous post, the next few tasks in the F#ck I’m in My Twenties journal are drawing activities. Instead, I’m going to do my best to draw you a picture with words. This is more challenging for me and hopefully more interesting to read for you.
Meaningful Place from your Past: Classroom Edition
I tried to think of a specific classroom that had the most meaning for me. I love school; I always have. So every classroom has a memory and most of them all had meaning in some way. I learned more about myself in classrooms than the subjects they were teaching. I finally decided on Mr. Poole’s classroom during my junior year of high school. Mr. Poole was my AP Government and Constitutional Law teacher. Now I grew up in a very politic environment. My grandparents and parents all had strong interest in politics and current events so I am always comfortable talking about them also. I’m sure this was one of the reasons why this class was so interesting to me, but other reason was undoubtedly Mr. Poole. He taught the class with such passion that I couldn’t help but become enthralled with the subject. There were times when I would raise my hand and he would say, “Does someone other than Marina have anything to say?”
Here is the “picture” of the classroom. The setting is a Denver Public School, by no means was this school filled with privileged students or students that would all end up in Ivy League schools, or even Community College, for that matter. But those walls held students with potential and strength and wisdom beyond their years in many cases. The traditional schoolhouse tiles were cemented on the concrete, and would probably uncover Asbestos if they were ever taken up. Walking into the classroom the first thing you see is the teacher’s desk with the computer and stack of papers on it. This was in front of the wall of windows that students so longingly gazed out of while sitting in class. The tabletops on the desk/chair combination were a decent size and were attached to the maroon (or blue?) plastic chairs that would grab your hair if you leaned back and your hair was long enough. The desks were lined in three rows along the windows and along the opposite wall, leaving an aisle for Poole to walk up and down whilst teaching. The white boards are on the right and left of you if you are sitting in the chair and always had an agenda for the day. This classroom is a typical, public school classroom. So why then, does it hold so much meaning for me?
There are the obvious reasons: my friends were in that class with me and we went through plenty of fights, gossip and other drama while sitting in that classroom. But beyond that, that classroom was when I made a plan that I would follow for the next five years of my life. When I really needed to escape the dramas that seem to consume you in high school, I found that I would read my ConLaw textbook. That was something very new to me. In high school, I very rarely read the textbooks. I found that most times the teacher just repeated and simplified the book in their notes anyways. So when I willingly read the textbook, that’s when I thought: Maybe I’m on to something here.
It was in that classroom that I asked Mr. Poole if he thought I had a future in law. He said absolutely, and he encouraged me to look into it. He told me what undergrad degrees were best for law school and he told me something that I can still hear in my head to this day. “Law school will always be there.” Meaning if I want to try my hand at something else first, like say, writing, that I can always go to law school later in life. And from then on, that was the plan. Of course, life doesn’t always work out as we plan and we have to accept that things happen that thwart our plans sometimes. But at the end of the day, that classroom meant more to me than all the others I sat in. A teacher took time to get to know me and my strengths and weaknesses and help me believe in myself. Considering how underpaid and underappreciated teachers are I think that is pretty amazing.
For more information on my plans for law school, click here! (And I would skip over the “Undergrad Prep” section, unless that applies to you!)
Tomorrow: Meaningful Place from your Past: Their Place (you know who)