A High School Class That Changed My Perspective On Life
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Student Life

A High School Class That Changed My Perspective On Life

Teachers deserve so much more credit than we give them.

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A High School Class That Changed My Perspective On Life
Ashley Fisher

Going into my senior year in high school, I was given the opportunity to take a Humanities course as my senior English class. This class was supposed to teach me about art, music, religion, and philosophy from all around the world and throughout history. Then, at the end of the year the class was able to travel to different parts of Europe and see everything we learned about. Once I heard that I was sold. I didn't care how hard the class was, who could turn down a trip to Europe with all their friends? Little did I know, that class was so much more than just a trip to Europe.

We were assigned a summer reading project to have done before our first day of school. We were required to read a book called A Mans Search for Meaning written by Viktor E. Frankl. This book is written by a Psychiatrist who was a survivor of the Holocaust. He not only wrote about his experiences but the experiences of others he met throughout his time in a concentration camp. This isn't a normal book just about experiences, he explains the meaning of love, life, existence, and so much more throughout this book. After reading this we were supposed to answer a series of questions, one including describing our hardest life experience and how we cope with it. This assignment made me feel so close to my teacher before even stepping foot into the classroom. She already knew the hardest part of my life and I hadn't even met her yet.

I still remember one of the first things she told the entire class on our first day. She told all of us, "Everyone has a pair of glasses on while going through life. These glasses are how you see people, things, and experiences. I am going to take these glasses and try to see and understand the point of view of others." She wanted us to become open-minded and see things in ways we normally wouldn't, and this has stuck with me ever since. Now when I meet people, I am constantly looking to see why they act and react the way they do. Nobody does things without reason, and I am a strong believer in searching for those reasons to have a better understanding of people.

A few weeks into that class, she assigned us an assignment that we would present to the entire class then revisit at the end of the year. We were asked to answer a series of questions and give our perspectives on them. These weren't ordinary questions like whos my favorite musician or what my favorite color was. She wanted us to explain to the class our perspective on life after death, or if we believe in a higher power and explain what we think that higher power is, or if we believe in fate or if we think it's predetermined. Sitting in that classroom and hearing everyone's perspectives on life changes your perspective on every person in that classroom. You start to see those high school stereotypes or cliques start to fade. You start realizing everyone is not how they seem when they start answering deep questions like those.

Later in our first semester we were told to read a book called Ismael written by Daniel Quinn. I have never loved reading a book more than this book. This is a book describing the difference between givers and takers. It teaches you to be grateful for the world you live in and never take more than necessary. It is such a unique book that I recommend to all of my friends or family. It made me look at the world differently.

One of the last assignments I was given in this class was creating a playlist of my life. I was told to find songs that resonate with me from my childhood, youth, and present self. I had to write an essay explaining each song then present 5 songs to the class and explain the meanings behind them. This assignment really displayed everyone's true colors. Everyone shared their best and worst memories from their life. The people I assumed got everything, didn't. The people I thought were so happy, weren't. I grew close connections with people I never expected.

This class taught me to never judge a book by its cover and to take those 'glasses' off. To search for an understanding of people. To not assume. You never know what people go through unless you walk in their shoes. I learned to be grateful for what I have, and never take anything for granted. Thank you Mrs. Dempsey for teaching me how to be a better human being. What I learned throughout your class will stay with me forever.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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