Trial and Error

For my first blog post I am writing about my life as a learner. I want to focus on the past and how I have grown into the learner that I have become because it is through experiences outside of the classroom that really have molded and shaped me to be the piece of art that I am today, and that goes for all of you reading this- we are all pieces of art.

The picture above shows the four youngest brothers of the family, which include, from left to right, myself, Jeremy, Ryan and Evan. I chose this picture of my brothers to talk about my learning experiences because these three siblings of mine taught me a lot before I had even started schooling.

Being the second youngest in the family I would sometimes find myself in situations where I would be picked on by the two older brothers. I found ways to avoid being the center of attention when it came to this. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I do not enjoy being thrown around by people who are bigger and stronger than myself. As we continued to grown older the two brothers older than me grew a rivalry between each other.

I was fine with this because I was no longer in no-man’s-land, but I couldn’t just accept that and let them do their thing. I had watched them bully each other for years and it was hard to watch, but, little did I know, I was watching and learning from their mistakes. I saw how not to treat someone to get their respect, and how not to treat a family member or someone you love. I was kind of like Thomas Edison- he found hundreds of ways how not to create a lightbulb. Now that, ladies and gentleman, is something that cannot be found in a textbook.

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This next image above is myself about the same age as the cover photo. Now, I want you to take a look at my shirt. Do you see anything that may stick out to you about my shirt? Yes, okay, it is bright yellow and doesn’t match my plaid shorts, and it definitely does not compliment my cowboy hat, but do you see the question mark on the useless chest pocket? This little squiggly line with a dot sums up my thoughts at this point in my life. “What am I doing?” “What is the point of my life right now?” “Where am I going in life?” These are some questions that a normal little boy does not ask himself, but that is what I could see asking myself.

I chose this because it is my younger self alone. I am alone, but happy. I am eager and ready to take on the world. I have to go through experiences by myself to know what I can do and what I have yet to learn. I need to feel the consequences of my actions all by myself so that I do not rely on others for constant guidance and support. I need to go through some trial and error experiences and learn from the mistakes that I make. Being at a young age, like the boy in this picture, it is important to let children be free to make their own decisions experiences.

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Above is my family on Christmas just a few years ago. Also included are my two nephews and my grandmother. As you can see I am alive and well here, as are my brothers. We stuck together through thick and thin, and we also learned from our experiences. We learned what is good and what is bad. We learned how to make a family work and what keeps the engine running. Granted we are not perfect, and nobody is, but through experiences we can realize that we will never be perfect; however, we can teach each other, through teamwork and trust, how to get as close as possible to perfect.

The experiences my grandmother learned were passed to my father, and those were passed to my brothers and I, and now are being passed on to my nephews. However, like my younger self, my nephews must learn somethings on their own, because, as we know, not everything can be taught through a book or word of mouth.

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This here is my beautiful mother. I have learned a lot from her. Again, I learned things that cannot be taught or learned inside of a confined classroom area. I learned that the warm tender care and love from a mother is a love that is unique in every way. Not only from a mother, but both parents. In my opinion though, everyone needs to feel the love only a mother can give. Now, if you have two dads and do not have a mother please do not take offense to this because that is not my goal here. My goal is to tell you, the reader, that we need to watch the way our parents love us. Whether it be a great thing for you, or a horrible experience, we can all learn either how to be a great parent to a child, or we can learn how to be a terrible parent to a child. For me, I have learned how to care for a child in a way that only I can care for him or her when my time comes for this.

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For my final photograph I would like to share an experience that I had when I was a senior in high school. In April a few applicants from my high school were taken to Jamaica for a mission trip. We spent a full week living with foster children who had physical and mental disabilities. We were helping the staff of the organization take care of people who could not take care of themselves. These children and adults were abandoned by their families and left to struggle through life without the love and care of parents, which most of us have always had.

This experience taught me to take care of others who cant help themselves. I learned how to cope with people of all ages who did not know how to speak, walk or even eat without assistance. This experience here was the greatest experience of my life. It was humbling for me because I was able to see how great my life is and how difficult it is for others.

Again, readers, this is someone that cannot be learned through a lecture.

Live life and experience things for yourself. Don’t rely on a folded piece of paper wrapped in a bow to tell you everything you need to know.

Jacob Henderson

 

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6 thoughts on “Trial and Error

  1. Jacob,
    First of all, I love all of the pictures you chose for your blog as well as the stories behind them. I really liked the way you compared everyone to a work of art, and I think this is great to bring into your future classroom. I think many students of all ages struggle with confidence, and we as teachers need to show them that they truly are “pieces of art.” Like you, I also have siblings (a younger sister and a younger step-sister), so I was on the other end of the sibling bullying, but I still learned a lot from my sisters and my family in general. Being heavily involved in athletics in high school, I was also shaped by extracurricular activities. I also enjoyed others like FBLA, student council, marching band, etc., and my favorite memories from high school have been through these activities. How do you think that we as teachers should make schooling more memorable (in a good way) for our students? So when our students look back on their days in school, they will remember the good times they had in class as well as outside of class.

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    1. Timmi,
      Thank you for the response! I thought it was very interesting that we have the same sibling problems- you have all sisters and I have all brothers. I also like how you were heavily involved with extra-curricular activities like me, and I too found that those were the greatest memories I have had of high school. I think teachers can make school more memorable by giving the students enough time outside of the class to enjoy their lives and make memories. To me, teachers spend too much time outside of the classroom by giving students homework almost every day of the week. Not just one teacher, but five, six or seven teachers. This can be many hours of homework and can leave the students stressed; therefore, they will have a negative memory of going to school. Students may be scared to join extra curricular activities because they may have the fear of being too far behind in school or not having ample time for homework. Thank you for your comment!

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  2. Jacob, I really enjoyed reading your blog post. Sometimes life can get hard with siblings, but at the end of the day everyone still cares for each other. I think sometimes siblings don’t realize how they are treating each other until the actions are done. I am happy to hear that you were able to take your childhood experiences and learn from them. It was also interesting to read about your mission trip and what you helped with. You have been given several different experiences and it sounds like you have identified what is important learned from all of them.

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    1. I have had many experiences and have tried my best to learn from them all. It is tough to let the negativity of some of them go, but it must be done in order to grasp on to the positives and the mistakes so that we are able to learn from them!

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  3. Jacob, sorry for the very late comment on this blog post. Just wanted to come back here and tell you I enjoyed reading about your key moments. Family really impacts us so very much over the years. I try to tell my five children that they’ll have one another far longer than they’ll be with me or their daddy. We talk about becoming adults together, being aunts/uncles to each other’s children, etc. But t’s so hard to have that “big picture” perspective when you’re little. It’s great that you can look back over the years and see what you learned as you handled those moments. I find it interesting that you talk about watching the way our parents treats/love us, followed by the experience of working with children who were abandoned. There are so many things to learn from both ends of the spectrum. And yes, many things simply cannot be learned through a lecture. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for the comment! Family has always been an impactful part of my life and is a very important aspect for me. Maybe that is why I pay so much attention to it and naturally learn from seeing good and bad aspects. I had a blast writing this blog because it brought back so many memories that I hadn’t thought about in years. It was like I was typing while in a time machine! Who knew writing could have such an impact on people. Thank you for the comment!

      Jacob Henderson

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