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This I Believe...

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My art teacher always says, “ There is no such thing as a mistake, only a chance for a new opportunity.” When I first heard her say this, I couldn’t have disagreed more. My sketch was a mess. My effort at shading looked more like grey aliens than shadows and like my project, I was covered in black, messy pencil smudges. However, I’ve learned new techniques, improved my shading skills, and worked through my mistakes and frustration. I have also changed my mind and have come to believe that my art teacher is correct. Mistakes can lead to new opportunities in art, that’s true. But the statement also applies to everyday life.
Take my seventh grade English honors class as an example. The previous school I attended never stressed the use of proper grammar. Simple predicates, sentence fragments, and verb phrases went in one ear and out the other. I made a lot of mistakes. After my third test I knew I needed help. I met my teacher after school and he pulled out a huge, dusty, old grammar book. We sat there together and I learned grammar. I learned a lot of grammar. Not only did my grades improve, but I also got to know my teacher better and enjoyed those sessions.
I believe that as students go through high school, they lose their imagination and creativity. They are afraid to make a mistake or try something new because they only want to do what is “safe.” Many of us have to do History Day projects. Some kids are hesitant to go all out and be creative on their boards or web sites. They might be afraid to make a mistake, or be concerned with what others think. The reality is that adding creativity to their project could really make it stand out and give it impact.
The minute I pick up a paintbrush, pencil, or even a greasy oil pastel, all the stress I feel from school, sports, and the unending swirl of locker room drama just seem to drop from my mind. My time in the studio has taught me how to think creatively, use my imagination, and share ideas with other people. Although I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, I’ve also learned a lot from my work and the people in my class.
The safe route is not always the best route. It is all about how you deal with your mistakes and what you learn from them. New opportunities, ideas, and sometimes even new friends come when we make mistakes. I believe you just have to keep the door open to new possibilities.





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