I was 13 years old and a bunch of relatives were over, the casual conversations of what’s new with everyone was going on. My grandparents were asking me about school. My eyes lit up because school was going great for me and I loved to talk about it. So I went on listing the marks I had in every subject, making sure to emphasise that I was above the class average in all of my subjects. I felt such a rush from being able to talk about how good I was doing in school. Somehow the conversation transitioned into how sports were going, another chance for me to casually brag. So, I went on talking about how I was succeeding in football, lacrosse, and basketball. I continued to soak in the attention for what seemed like forever, I made it seem as if I did not want the attention, but deep down I really did. Eventually the centre of the conversation found its way to my brother who had been quite up to this point. My brother was never an overly successful student and he did not love sports, but he loved art. So my family found a way to include his art into the conversation, they asked him what he was drawing and insisted on seeing his work. I hated this, I believed that my achievements should be at the forefront. Minute by minute I became more and more bitter towards the conversation, slowly letting it known through my body language that I did not care for the conversation anymore. After about 30 minutes I simply got up and went down stairs to watch T.V. I may have thought this went unnoticed. And then again maybe I wanted this to be noticed. Regardless I got the attention I was yearning for. My mother came downstairs and sat down beside me and caringly asked what was wrong. I let her know that the lack of attention was bothering me. This did not make her happy. She let me know right then and there that this selfish attitude was not going to stand. She explained that we can’t talk about me all night or how would my brother feel. That had never occurred to me, why was I to care if no one talked about him I thought he should do better so my family would talk about him. I felt betrayed by my mom not taking my side. But I put on a brave face went upstairs and apologized to everyone for leaving, all while containing the anger and jealousy that was whirling around in me.
When thinking towards the future I found it incredibly difficult to look too far ahead. Growing up I was always taught to be in the moment, this meant having your goals but living in the present to achieve these goals. Really throughout my life this is what I have tried to do. I had my goals of one day being a teacher and then moving into administration. For this I knew I needed to go to university, so my focus became achieving this. This went the same for football I put the work in, in the present to achieve my goals of going as far as I can in football. I find myself most comfortable in the present. The past gives me the emotions of anger (for past mistakes), and the yearning to go back to memories to relive them. Obviously, there can be lots to learn from the past, but I find spending too much time there leaves me unfocused. This is the same with looking to the future I would rather know my goals and do what I can in the present to achieve those goals. But I am completely off topic at the moment. Back to the objective of these assignment, after a while I was able to interpret the question and answer it. Well first of all the big question always when looking towards the future, what do I want to do? Luckily throughout my life this has been an easy question for me to answer, I have always wanted to be a teacher honestly since I was 12, I had zero confliction over this question. Lucky, I know. Lots of people often struggle with this question. As I have gotten older I have expanded that idea of what I want to do, it’s evolved into being in administration. My goal has always been to make the biggest positive impact on students and with me having two principals in my family circle I have seen how huge of an impact a principal has. So when looking to the future I see this for myself. But that is a far away goal, being a high school teacher that can have that positive impact is something I always get excited thinking about. Being able to interact with students every day, being able to form those relationships we always talk about in class, it’s an exciting thought. Along with this I always see myself coaching football, which has always been a huge reason for me being a teacher. I saw first hand how valuable sports are for kids. It gives a sense of family and friendship to everyone, physical activity every day is also huge, along with having great role models seeing you 2 hours every day and just knowing that they are there for you. That’s something I got from high school sports and the thought of being able to give that to a kid. Nothing makes me want to be a teacher more than that. When looking to the future of course I have visions of what my personal life looks like, married, kids, couple dogs, just the usual stuff. I also realize that a lot of that is hard to control, along with where I end up working and living so I try not to look to in depth with those goals. A lot of the time you need to roll with the punches that life gives out. 3 years ago I did envision myself living in Regina, that wasn’t in “my plan” but I am happy that I ended up here. Pulling from my religious background I have a belief that God has a plan for my life so I have always found it easier to entrust him with my future and continually work with what he’s giving me in the present and have faith that he has the rest planned out for me. This is the worldview I’ve grown into and it has had a calming effect on my life by teaching to control what I can control and let the rest play itself out. I doubt this is what you had planned out as a response but this is what I came out of my time of reflection.
If I was to take a picture of myself who would I see? A lot on the exterior differs from what is inside. On the exterior I try to portray confidence and a happiness that hopefully gives off an open feeling to those around me. Even on down days I try to keep this outward look, because I feel as if this is an expectation that I need to meet. Throughout my life I have been constantly called out if I look like I’m having a bad day or if I’m upset. Often friends and family will ask what’s wrong, I hate explaining my problems to people, it frustrates me to no end so to avoid this problem I constantly put on a happy face and get through the day. Now this isn’t to say I’m doing this every day, I’m generally a really happy guy I simply use this as an example to show that what this “picture” of who I am may not always show who I am. I continue though, this picture of how I appear in a snapshot. Playing on the university football team carries a lot with it, to some a lot of respect and admiration comes along with the title, to others negative stigmas are associated with being a football player. The jock stereotype has followed me since high school, I’ve learned to accept that people may view me in a negative light because of my athletics, I can only do my best to work towards showing people who I am and that who I am as a person is not dependent on the sport I play. Me as a person, there’s a lot to me that the umbrella of “athlete” doesn’t cover. For instance, I love the fine arts, drama was always a favourite of mine, in fact my grade 12 year I was part of a one act play that went to provincials. This is not something that would commonly be associated with a “jock”. Another part of me that a picture would not be able to capture is me being Christian. My religion is a huge part of my being and has had a dramatic impact on how I view life, so I cannot ignore this as being a part of my worldview. It is parts like these that are so often skipped when viewing people.
Now taking a step back to look at the past, future and present I definitely see connections between the three, things happening in the past that have had an effect on who I am as a person in the present and how I look at my future. In my regressive writing I talked about how I used to crave attention. When I looked back on that memory it kind of surprised me, because now in my present I never openly express wanting attention, most of the time when praise is brought on to me I hate it. I think this is because as a kid I was always taught to be humble and put the work in and good things will come, this idea was drilled into me to the point that I now clam up and blush when people praise me. One memory comes to mind, after I had signed with the Rams my dad was adamant about me agreeing to let the local media do a story about. I hated the idea of it, don’t get me wrong, I was very proud to have signed, but the idea of it being on TV and in the news didn’t sit right with me. I looked at it as, I still have work to do I haven’t done enough yet. The parallel of this mindset to as a kid me wanting everyone to sing my praises for the slightest accomplishments blows me away. My dad continually tells me to this day I need to be proud of what I have accomplished at this point in my life, but for some reason that’s hard for me to do. As I expressed in my progressive paper I’m always focused on what’s going on here and now I see the connection of how this limits me from taking moments to look back and relish achievements that I may have accomplished.
Looking at myself concretely as I’m asked to do I would have to say that I’m a lot of things, I’m a friend, a son, a teammate, a student, a future educator, and a man of God. I have many good qualities and many I look to work on, these all make up who I am. I’m not perfect and I continue to grow, and that’s one thing I take very seriously, growing. Life is trial and error, learning from where you went wrong. This mindset and the different parts of my life all affect me in diverse ways that to this day I’m still learning about. They affect the way I look at the world around me which will ultimately affect who I am as an educator. As I reread the previous three parts of this I definitely see the way I am in a different light, this was an incredibly reflective exercise, and I only choose to explore one memory and I learned all I did from that one memory is truly incredible to me. I’m excited to continue to learn about myself.