Learning From Others

Matt - Fort Ann, New York
Entered on August 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Learning From Others

I believe in people and learning from others as well as our experiences. I believe that someone will make that winning shot, win the lottery or just overcome great odds. I think it is necessary for people to think this way in order to live happily. One should learn from these experiences in order to stop histories mistakes from repeating.

I began thinking this way a few years ago. My Spanish class was assigned to teach Spanish to the 5th graders at our school. We would go down twice a week to interact with and teach the students the basics of the language. I immediately noticed a student that seemed to be having some difficulties with the new material. Consequently, many people view this child as not being as smart as the others.. I believe this to be very untrue. When I first approached the boy, he was a little timid and shy. This shyness was quickly overcome with talk of sports, and his sense of humor and other good qualities began to shine through. After a few weeks of this we began a friendship; a friendship that began to branch from the classroom, as we would go ice-skating, play throw and catch, or go out to breakfast. After a few times together it became obvious that this boy was quite bright. He still may not know the Spanish alphabet, but he can tell you any player from his favorite sports teams, stats, and records. He knows sports knowledge that many of the most avid sports fans do not.

As our friendship became closer I saw the real struggles he must go through on a daily basis, things I take for granted. When we first went ice skating, he probably fell 100 times, but no matter how hard he fell he got right back up and kept going, finally, to the point where he could skate all on his own. He also loves playing baseball and will play for hours even if he is doing this all alone, so much so that I have seen him greatly improve. He actually would like to play professionally, and any sport is fine. Although, this may be a very lofty goal I believe this dream of success will be achieved through sheer determination and perseverance.

I have found this kid to be one of my greatest friends. He does not care how much money I have, or the clothes I wear, or who I hang out with. He just wants someone to spend time with him and have fun. His perseverance and determination in everything he does has been inspiring to me to not give up. Then I had to ask myself, who is really teaching who here?