I came into this class unprepared for the choices I would have to make. I understood that it was different, but I was hesitant to manipulate to course to my whim. I couldn't comprehend that I teacher was actually telling me to ignore the rules and make my own. So I set out on my OSL journey, young and naive. Or perhaps the opposite, as learning on our own is inherent to us when we are young, then trained out of us by our senior year. Along the way I faced several monsters that included vocabulary and literary term exams and the dreaded AP Test. Through my journey I found friends and mentors. I witnesses beauty in the projects of others, giving rebirth to my confidence in others, or in internet speak, "faith in humanity restored." This entire senior I rose to a challenge. Whereas many of my friends were cruising through I took my hardest course load. I can confidently say that I beheaded senioritis. I will admit that some rose up to the challenge presented by OSL more than I. With a second go I would like to match their efforts. But at the very least I received some enlightenment from their altruistic passions.
We were given some serious liberties in order to pursue these passions. Looking at all the masterpieces, I would say we deserved it. It's funny I was going to say we took advantage of these liberties. But that would leave an ambiguity I didn't desire. We did not abuse these liberties, we took advantage pf the opportunities to pursue our own passions. The quality of our masterpieces can be seen a a reflection on how we honored our privileges, I was generally impressed.
As I prolong my marriage with learning, the key element is that there is passion, because who wants a passionless marriage? And I know that I have found a passion in nature. In my pursuit of adventure is where learning happens effortlessly for me. I learned and continue to learn about the ocean because I want to surf the best waves possible. I learning how to be eco-friendly because I don't want the Earth's beauty to go away. As long as I continue my adventures, I will continue to learn.
What really made me laugh in this course was the novel Catch-22. This book really was the lie that told the truth. This is a book I will revisit, and probably will not be alone as at one point "every student who went off to college at the time took along a copy of Catch-22." Some other texts that stuck with me were Brave New World and Poisonwood Bible. I don't want either of these books to match my journey to much as they do not turn out well for the protagonist. Still they can serve as a cautionary tale for me. If I am to be John Savage, I will be sure to surround myself with a better world than the New World State. And if I find myself in the jungles of African, I will be sure to not impose my ideas onto a preexisting culture's.
Lastly I would like to address I common thread I was in the masterpieces. And I am proud to say it was altruism. I hear Lisa talk about how to be an empathetic friend, and I see true goodness from her heart. I watch Miranda's video about seizing the day and enjoying high school and I know she desires happiness for others. I check out these blogs like UClassy and the Adventures of US and I see camaraderie and sharing of tips that demonstrate human kindness. Experiencing the emotions from Maira and Uri presnting was tough, but hearing the support that everyone offered afterwards was heartwarming. All these projects and more really as I said early "restored my faith in humanity" and I am proud to be a member of the class of 2014.