Another Letter To Mr. Kreinbring

Another Letter To Mr. Kreinbring

Don't post pictures of the eng wing if you don't want sappy letters in response.

Dear Rick,

(Am I allowed to call you Rick to your face yet? Sorry, sorry.)

Dear Mr. Kreinbring,

I think I've written you too many letters already, and I'm sure you're tired of reading them. But I saw the picture of you and the eng wing dressed up for Halloween (minus a few faces) and I just couldn't help getting nostalgic. Like Tanya said, the eng wing never fails to disappoint. Never.

God, I miss you guys. I miss your class. I miss our discussions and our design thinking. I miss talking about feminism and religion and language. I miss the way you would teach us and essentially blow up our minds and then send us on our way.

Mostly though, I miss the way you grounded us. Since being here on campus, I've somehow forgotten the most important lesson you ever taught me: to give up the race for grades and follow the pursuit of knowledge.

College is insane, needless to say. The competition here is fierce. Every kid is the brightest, smartest, most talented kid. Everyone looks like they have their shit together, even if they don't. And classes are tough. (By the way, thanks for teaching me how to research so I'm not entirely lost with these 12,912,839 research papers I have to write by the end of the week. Also, thanks for teaching me how to write; that's a skill I've capitalized on beyond reasonable measure.) But yeah, college is intense. And somehow, I managed to slip back into 11th grade mentality, back into the Cave. You know, with the insistent push for GOOD GRADES and DON'T MESS ANYTHING UP EVER!!!!!!!! I started looking, no, obsessing over my GPA again. Oops. I know, I know, I'm sorry.

Seeing your face in the Addam's Family costume reminded me to take a step back and gain some perspective. Today I realized that I am literally at a place where I am surrounded on all four sides by information. For the next few years, any question I have, ANY question at all, I can get an answer to if I just look hard enough. That's what amazing resources I have at my finger tips. I'm here to learn, not to race. I remember that now. You've reminded me of that.

Sure, GPA matters and all, but oh my god, no it doesn't! What matters is that I'm learning things, things I'm probably not going to have such easy access to ever again. I can learn anything I want to. I don't need to be scared.

I remember you once agreeing with Mrs. Allan that you hated the whole concept of open letters, because they're just irritating and not ever well-written and are just an excuse for people to sound self-important. Yikes. I'm sorry I chose to make this an open letter, but I think that more people need to hear the things that you're teaching at Avondale, especially a lot of my peers.

Ben Zaremba, just a few days ago, said something like, "We don't even realize the impact that Avondale had on us. We had diversity and Rick's class," and those two things taught us more than any number of AP or IB courses ever could have.

Damn, I wish I could bring you and Eng Wing with me wherever I go. I wish you could always be there to spread your wisdom (yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes). But I'll just keep your lessons in mind. I'll remember the things you've taught me. I'll be grateful for where I come from and the memories I'm taking with me.

Even so many miles away and so many months later, you still continue to inspire. That's powerful.

Thank you for everything, again, because I'll never stop saying thank you.

Riya

Cover Image Credit: Vipul Gupta

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Being A Leader Can Be A Double-Edged Sword

Leadership experience is key, however, with it, you have to be able to roll with the punches.

“What kind of leadership experience do you have? Do you plan on taking on leadership roles in the future?” I feel like leadership is a word you cannot avoid anymore and these are just some of the questions that students face on a regular basis.

In this day and age, college students have faced an extreme pressure to get involved on campus, gain leadership experience and then translate those things onto a resume. In the last year, I have held different leadership roles within a couple different organizations and it has really opened my eyes to the positive and negative sides to them.

Gaining leadership skills is imperative in order to be successful in the workforce, hopefully, in writing this I will be able to shed light on the positive aspects while preparing readers for the possible hardships that can come.

Being a leader can be so fun! Within any organization, there are so many different leadership roles you can take on, and I highly suggest you do. Take on whichever role really speaks to you and your character. The more you feel you relate to the requirements of the position the better you will understand and value it. That’s the exciting part! You learn so much, get to grow as a person, doing something you’re passionate about, while also leading others and giving yourself to something bigger.

Some other really great aspects are the tools that the role can offer you. You all of a sudden gain access to people, technology, and opportunities you would not otherwise have had. You learn how to communicate with people that you may not have otherwise crossed paths with, you learn how to feel compassion for those same people, these things learned on top of basic organizational skills and public speaking skills. When given the title you automatically become the go-to person for that thing and over time, given the effort you put in, master it, which is truly an accomplishment.

Leadership, in general, can and will test most if not every aspect of you as a person.

The knowledge you have of your position will be tested, but even further it will test the strength you have as a human. Being the leader means owning up to your mistakes. Every. Single. Time. It means that you get to fulfill all of the fun parts of the job, but also the not-so-fun parts. Your leadership position can and will make you question yourself as a person and what you stand for. This is something I had no idea would happen, and frankly, I was not ready to have to do that.

However, just like with most things, I did it and learned more about who I am.

Something else that is important to remember about these roles, is that when things go wrong, you and the other leaders, will be the fall guy. When something happens that those in your organization do not agree with, whether it be organizationally sanctioned or not, those members will look for someone to blame. That in and of itself is something we as people will always do, and it may not always be the right way to approach the situation, however, it does happen.

Just like any good leader, when things don’t happen the way they were supposed to, that person not only takes the emotional hit that comes with it, but they also have to take the heat from those in the group that do not agree with what happened.

Experiences such as those are the ones that will make any leader question if they are truly fit for doing so. In the end, that leader will learn, grow, and hopefully change, in order to keep the best interests of the whole group in mind.

Taking on leadership roles, will for most people be inevitable.

There is so much a person can learn about themselves and others when doing so. In the last year, I have held several different leadership roles within different organizations and it has really opened my eyes to what leaders face every day whether it be on a small or large scale. Gaining leadership skills is key to being successful in the workforce, and hopefully, in putting my experiences into writing I have taught readers that you should pursue every opportunity afforded you in the realm of leadership, but that it takes a strong person willing to adapt and grow.

Cover Image Credit: Ian Schneider

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30 Thoughts You Probably Had During The First Day Of Classes

It's all fun and games until you have to go back to class

One of the greatest joys in life is finally heading back to college after break. While it is accompanied with some sadness of leaving your family, pets and bed, it is made up for with college friends, independence and just the general greatness of college life. However, actually going to classes is another story. Here are 30 thoughts you probably had while getting adjusted to the first day of class.

1. *Alarm goes off* Is it really time to get up?

2. I forgot how much it sucked to have community bathrooms

3. Should I dress nicely?

4. What is everyone else wearing?

5. I don't even know where my classes are

6. Am I in the right room?

7. I sorta know that person. Should I sit next to them or is that weird?

8. How are we already on lesson one?!!??!

9. What happened to syllabus week???

10. I already have homework??

11. This is not what I signed up for

12. Okay, it is but still! I wasn't ready for this

13. I wonder if anyone else has lunch right now

14. Why are all my friends in class

15. I guess I'll eat lunch alone

16. Oh good, people I know!!!

17. Why am I already sick of the food here it has only been one day

18. Time for my class! Yay!

19. *repeat thoughts six through 12*

20. Finally done for the day!!!

21. Should I go to the gym or nap?

22. Maybe I'll be productive

23. Or just hang out with friends and do nothing because I don't have that much work yet

24. It was only the first day and I'm exhausted

25. At least I get to pick what time to eat dinner!

26. Why are there so many club meetings

27. Back to the communal showers!

28. I miss my big bed

29. I wonder if my pet misses me yet

30. Can't wait to do this all again tomorrow!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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