High school has been a very interesting experience for me. It has definitely had its highs and lows and many confusing experiences in between. Overall, I feel like I have been equipped for not only college, but also life as a whole. High school has taught me many things, both academically and emotionally. It has revealed and exposed my true colors, both good and bad, and as a result, has built many aspects of my character. My experiences at Alameda High school and Alameda Community Learning Center have shaped me into the person that I am today.
From both of these schools, I have learned a lot about my personal qualities, such as my strengths and weaknesses, and my work habits and attitudes. One of the first things that I had to learn at Alameda High school, which consisted of my freshman and sophomore years, was responsibility. I realized that after middle school, my teachers only had so much accountability for my grades and even actions. Whether or not I turned in my homework or received a good grade in the overall class all depended upon me. My teachers were no longer held responsible for whether or not I understood the lessons or even showed up for their class. I learned to take initiative if I did not understand something and I consistently talked with my teachers about a plan that would help me to succeed in their class. Fortunately, my working habits were never a problem for me. I was always very disciplined and completed all of my homework, class work, and projects on time. Yet, when it came to working with others, problems arose. I had to learn how to be humble myself and become receptive to the ideas and opinions of those around me. I could no longer continue to talk over others and disregard their thoughts. In order to work in a group successfully, I realized that I had to be patient, flexible, and respectful. Obtaining a positive self-esteem and self-worth was always a challenge for me. It was hard for me to confront difficult challenges with the mindset of “I can do it,” because all that I could see was whatever was right in front of me. When I grasped the meaning of faith and being certain of what I could not see or understand, I had so much more confidence and security in myself and in my future.
Throughout all of my years in high school, as I took all of the required A-G classes, I learned many things. I learned about communication, not only in English, but Spanish as well. I learned how to hold a conversation with a Spanish-speaking person and I also learned how to write and read in the language. In both English and Spanish, I learned how to communicate my thoughts, ideas and information in a formal and eloquent form. I learned much of my writing skills from the novels, books, and short stories that I read. My level of reading comprehension improved as I learned how to understand interpret, and appreciate the written information in literature, prose, and various other documents. Overall, I learned how to construct meaning from a variety of different materials. Listening and speaking were also very important things that I had to learn. Through listening, I learned how to receive, interpret, and process verbal messages and other forms of communication. In terms of speaking, I learned how to organize my thoughts and communicate my ideas, knowledge and information through fluent speech. Almost all of these skills I was able to learn within my classrooms and other academic settings. As far as the other subjects in school such as, history, social sciences, geography, physical health, the arts, and science, I learned from the various courses that I took at both Alameda High School and Alameda Community Learning Center.
Thinking and reasoning skills were also something that had to be developed over the course of my years within high school. Even though this is circular language, I had to learn how to learn. I had to learn how to use efficient learning techniques that worked best for me. I realized that the way that I learned was not always the way that my teachers expected or even wanted me to learn. I had to find new ways of applying my knowledge and skills. Although I have always been a fairly creative person, in coming to Alameda Community Learning Center, I definitely learned how to think outside the box. Instead of the formal writing, projects, and methods of teaching and learning, I was granted the freedom to express myself and my ideas in an entirely new way. My creative-thinking has expanded in its origins and is no longer enslaved by the conventional barriers. Decision-making, problem-solving, systems-thinking, and reasoning all run hand in hand. I have learned these through both inner and outer classroom experiences throughout high school. I have learned how to recognize problems, understand the variation in environment/society, use logic, and ultimately drawing conclusions that lead to effective and responsible decisions.
Since I’ve been at Alameda Community Learning Center, I have learned a lot about technology and have gained a much greater awareness of it. I now apply technology to many different aspects of my life including academics, personal, and recreational. I am now able to choose wisely between different types of technology and am able to distinguish between the different options that I have. I also have a much better understanding of the wide variety of programs that are accessible to me and I am able to use them with a basic understanding of how they work.
My high school experience has been a very challenging and exciting 4 years. I have learned many things that will help me in life and I feel confident that I am ready for whatever obstacle I may face. High school has defined, shaped my character, and helped me to mature into the young woman that I am today.