English class is an interesting class period for me. My English teacher is excellent at connecting with his students, and manages to teach us life lessons in his class that I’ve never thought possible. Today in class, we started our speech unit. We had to give a one minute long speech about an inspirational person. Being the A student I am, I picked a person who had done incredible things (Emma Watson), did research on her, and memorized facts supporting why I chose her as a role model. I was prepared. When I gave my speech, though, it didn’t have much impact. People were bored to death, laying like corpses in their chairs, mouths gaping open.
The speeches that did catch everyone’s attention were really unprepared. The students mumbled, swayed side to side, and cast their eyes to the ground. None of that mattered. Everyone listened attentively to the students who talked this way. Why? They talked about their parents. It was something the kids in my class could relate to. Raw human emotion, tears, were shown as they revealed their stories. It was puzzling to me, because half of the kids really never explained why their chosen people were their inspiration. I didn’t think they did a very good job at first, but then I realized what I wasn’t seeing.
Those kids were creating a window into their souls. That’s a hard thing to do. The way they felt comfortable letting their guard down is something so advanced. The ability to express feeling is especially important today, as human communication is dwindling. I thought back to all of my peers’ speeches, and saw them in my newly enlightened point of view. They were impressive. One girl talked about how her mom was a single mother having to raise three kids on her own, just like my mom. I related to her. A boy shared the story of his friend, who died at only 15 years old. Their bravery blew me away.
What I can take from this is that I need to stop being so closed off. I’ve had a lot happen in proportion to the 15 years I’ve lived. I need to stop looking at that as a curse and just see it as a blessing somehow. I overcame whatever obstacle was put in front of me. And, any good story has antagonists, conflict, and not-so-perfect decisions. Opening up to people may not be something I can rehearse, but I sure can practice it. I’ve been inspired to become a better person by my sophomore English class. Move aside, Emma Watson.