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During my years as a high school student, there was one teacher and one subject that greatly affected my view on the difference between a pass and a fail. English was her subject and she did everything in her power to drill that into our wandering, immature brains as freshman at my high school. After having been disciplined for my lack of attention on the first day, I immediately decided that this class would not be fun. Little did I know that this woman, Mrs. Briggs, would one day completely change the direction of my life. She would teach and I would drift off, until one day I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel pulling me to victory. I knew in that moment that it was my time to move forward toward adulthood. She pushed me harder than any other teacher I had been with before this time. She motivated me to change my ways of not working to my best ability and she taught me to navigate my map to success.

Mrs. Briggs energized me to be very successful in life. She would tell us stories of when she held a position as a lawyer and it amazed me to see that she had a past of such accomplishment and continues to thrive as a teacher. At fifteen years old, right out of her class, I motivated myself to apply for a summer job at Six Flags New England even though I was young and most of my friends were taking the summer off to enjoy themselves. I became a lifeguard, responsible for the lives of all of the people around me. Every day I would walk through the gates of Hurricane Harbor knowing that guests were relying on me to keep their families safe. Young children placed their own hopes and dreams into my hands as they came down the water slides laughing and screaming, with smiles on their faces, waiting for me to catch them in my arms and lead them to safety. This experience has changed my life knowing that I can bring joy and instant happiness to others.

The prominent methods of Mrs. Briggs’ teaching combined with her friendly yet determined attitude towards life also triggered something in me to go above and beyond and to never give up even during times of struggle. I saw this emerge in me in my sophomore year when I decided to join the school swim team, which I had wafted away from as a freshman, even though I had swum in past years. I swam to the best of my ability at each meet but something was wrong. Every time I placed myself in an event, I inevitably would cramp up while swimming. Instead of quitting, I searched for ways to remedy my problem, and by the end of the season, I set my own personal best time and made it into championships for freestyle. I could not help but smile as I realized that my own drive to keep going brought me success in the end.

Since Mrs. Briggs taught me how to pilot my own life, I found myself constantly looking for something more extravagant. During her English class, she proposed to each of us to choose between reading the abbreviated version of The Odyssey or the complete epic. I ultimately decided to take the test and complete the entire story, which brought forth in me, a want to exceed the limit. Eventually my longing to achieve greatness brought forth my first advanced placement class of U.S. History. I completed every assignment on time no matter how many cups of coffee it took to get though the long nights. Without my freshman English teacher, I would not have considered taking an A.P. class because I used to be afraid of the challenge, but now, I am searching for it.

English has become my favorite subject and I wish to further pursue it in college. I also now understand why motivation is the key to success. Mrs. Briggs was motivated, which was why she could take a child like me and remodel my attitude. I know how it feels to watch a child smile because I was there for him as this teacher was there for me. I refuse to give up because she has taught me to grasp the stars even when they seem completely out of reach. The young, adolescent girl is now left behind in the period four freshman English class, while the new sophisticated young woman can tell her story of how she matured into an adult with the help of one person.





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JMThe-one said...
Jan. 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm
Mrs. Briggs... 
 
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