2 June 2017
“I found all of that in the streets I just didn’t happen to find a gang. I found all of that within myself but it was still in the streets.” -ENEM graffiti artist
Throughout the course of this class I noticed my thoughts were being changed slowly but surely, they did. For the first time, I was building connections to characters that were in the stories. I would get into the stories so bad to the point where I wanted more. I would see the number of pages left to read get smaller and smaller every day and that would make me worry because it would barley be getting to the good part and then I find out it’s almost over. When we read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury I oddly saw myself in his character Montag. I saw how Montage wasn’t afraid to go up against the system and he was willing to do anything to get away from them taking his privilege of having a different view on society. He lived in a world very like mine in many ways especially the fact that going against the law is seen very bad. Doing illegal activities doesn’t make you a bad person just as praying a few times won’t guarantee you a spot in heaven. The worlds me and Montage live in hide the true powers that everyone has, that everyone was born with. Passion, love, perseverance, and things like that are all things that are within everyone but it’s up to you to bring it out and it’s up to you to find in what way you want to represent that. It’s also up to you how you take the challenges life throws at you because of your desires. Montage had his whole world against him but he still pushed through and in the end, it was worth it because he was united with people just like him. He went from a world of being lonely to now having people that understand him, but if he would of gave it up he would have never even known about their existence. It was crazy to see how many connections I made with this English and my life as a graffiti writer. For the first time, I wasn’t looking as books as just books but now I was looking them representations of the authors themselves just as I look at graffiti pieces not as just pieces but also as the person who painted it. Both people spend their time in perfecting what they write so that they can broadcast it to the world in a beautiful way and in way everyone can understand it.
At first, I didn’t feel connected to the class at all really. Most these people in this Ap class all do extra-curricular like sports and clubs like that after school, but me, I just like to go home. I know I don’t do that kind of stuff and that kind of put me down in way and made me feel like on paper I wasn’t going to be better than them. And then to top it off the man teaching the class is a Doctor which made me want to express myself to him less because I figured he has probably seen it all. I knew he was highly intelligent and I was nowhere near his level, but so wasn’t anyone else in the class. I would pay attention to everything that would be said in class and I would find myself always in deep thought about the certain topics but I was always afraid to speak up and say it. As time went on and as I stared to speak to Dr. Preston more he taught me that it’s not about the numbers and grades but more about what kind of a person you are and what you have to offer. I learned from him that everyone has something to bring no matter how big or how little. This was something I’ve had in mind for a long time but I never took in account for myself. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby the main character Nick says that he was taught to not judge people. I was raised the same and because of it I got the chance to meet some off the coolest dudes in this planet. I would have never expected that a 30-year-old would be the one doing all this amazing beautiful art but I knew something was up when I caught him sneaking into the train yard. Sometimes you really do have to see it to believe it and that’s the amazing thing about people you never know what they can do because everyone has untouched potential inside of them. I always had an understanding of these things but I never real thought about it in a deeper way until I got to Dr. Preston’s class.
So now my journey as a hero is complete. I overcame, I conquered, and I changed. These are generally the thing that a hero does in the story. In my eyes, I am a hero because I made it through so much without fucking up my life and I had the option several times, but thankfully I chose right. I embarked on my journey with few items but on the return, I came back with handfuls of knowledge and wisdom. A lot of ideas and thoughts have stuck to me and that was mainly because I’m a writer, not the type that writes novel or anything, but the type that writes his name and thoughts everywhere. I write my name on anything and everything and it’s all for the public to see and to challenge them to think. We are taught to conform and to settle for things and ideas that we are told on a daily day to day basis. We think of these things as normal only because we just don’t know any better or its either that people are afraid and they think they can’t do anything about the situation. Everyone in this world is human so that never makes anyone better than you. You might be different but no one can be better than you. You have the potential and tools all that is left is for you to go to work.
Out of all the authors we had a chance to know the one that appealed to me the most was Ralph Waldo Emerson. At first, he seemed boring to me but as I kept reading his essay on Self Reliance there were certain things that just stood out from his writing. These things were all things that a graffiti artist would say. It pretty much is a very sophisticated way of presenting what graffiti is if you ask me. An author tries to piece together his thoughts so that it can be presented in a way that makes sense to other people. This brings me back to the idea that everything is remix, because it is. Everything is art is a thought I developed on my own after realizing how much work is put into perfecting things. An English teacher will say there is an art to writing an essay just how a soccer coach could tell you there is an art in scoring a goal.
Throughout the year, the level of trust Dr. Preston bestowed upon us was very high and I see that it is for a reason. It really was to separate the people that really want to learn from the people just want to pass, I think. At times, I do believe that I earned, but for the most part I didn’t honor it as well as I should have. As far as my classmates go I believe that the majority of them did earn and honored the trust that was given to us. There were several memorable moments from this year, but the moment I remember the most was the first day of school when I heard Dr. Preston cuss in class. At that moment, I was still kind of in shock because you normally don’t hear stuff like that coming from your teachers but it was at that moment when I thought to myself, “Hey, this guy might actually be kinda cool”. I didn’t do as well as I wanted to this year but I was still able to deliver somewhat at the end of the year. I didn’t become the “information sponge” that I wanted to become at first. I’m still her thought and I luckily, I have one more year to prove how bad I really do want it. There are several things in life that you can’t learn in the classroom that you must learn by experience. Surprisingly I found myself learning about life in my English class.