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Learning: One Person At A Time

941 words - 4 pages

Everyone has someone who impacts their life; my person happened to come to me in my 6th grade year when I met the teacher that had an influence on my life forever. Her name was Shonda Briggs, Mrs. Briggs was what I called her, and she was my English teacher. She was someone who taught me one of the most valuable lessons that I have learned so far in life: Never waste an opportunity to learn.

In sixth grade I chose to express my feelings by turning to reading and writing. Mrs. Briggs could see that I wanted something more than most people did in the small town of Rogers, Arkansas. I wanted more than what the town had to offer, and I wanted to let everyone know about it. I was stubborn and complacent though. I wanted plans to be carried out the way I said them too. She also noticed that I seldom ever acknowledged or took into consideration what anyone said to me. I felt that I was above their level of experience and knowledge.

One day in class, near the end of the first semester, I had fallen asleep in her class. I was bored with her teaching and apparently, I wasn't afraid to let her know it. She had walked over right beside my desk, tapped me on the shoulder and woke me. I looked up at her and smirked like I had fallen asleep in her class several times and it was no big deal. I looked up from my crossed arms on the desk to her and I simply said, "Sorry, you bored me." She smiled back at me and said, "Shalaela, do not ever waste an opportunity to learn." At first, I was puzzled. I thought that I was going to get in trouble because of my snide remark, but instead she took it as a chance to teach me a valuable lesson.

The first couple days after the incident, I was shy and hardly ever looked at her when I was in class with her. Then the weekend came, and I didn't have anything planned, so that weekend I stayed home. While I was enjoying my time alone from my friends, I thought about her words. Over and over they repeated themselves, enclosed in my mind. On Monday, I went to her and I said, "Why did you tell me not to waste a learning opportunity?" She replied, "I wanted you to take those words and run with them. I want you to take what I told you and use it. If you are simply going off your own intelligence, then you will never excel in life. You have to learn something from every person that you meet. You have to learn to accept people...

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