I just completed Form 7 (11th grade)! I enjoyed so many of the academic courses on this Form. Each course was like its own journey, with its own challenges, and I improved my abilities and knowledge with each.
For some reason, I thought that Delphian students always gained the ability to better face difficulty and adversity while still on Form 6 (10thgrade), and that I had been a little slow on the uptake. But I realized it's actually different for everyone. Previously I would try to avoid difficulty, but I now know that it must be confronted now as opposed to later. I gained greater strength through confronting difficulties, a strength I would describe as perseverance.
My idea of responsibility changed on Form 7 as well. Basically, if you think that you are being really responsible but at the same time declaring that what is happening to you is actually someone else's fault...well, let's just say you can always be more responsible. It’s a never-ending climb up that ladder.
And most importantly, I realized that I am smart. I was always somehow waiting for others to sort of realize this and tell me, but on Form 7 I saw that I was actually the only one in the dark.
Okay, I've got a lot to cover this time around, but not a lot of time so I gotta make it quick. Here we go:
First, today I finished my last course on my Form 7 (11th grade) program. It was INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA 2B. I am not a math-lover as you well know if you have read my earlier blog posts, and this course was no exception to that; however, it was an exception in other ways. It definitely challenged me, and this time I accepted the challenge rather than lying down in the mower's path (my usual course of action). I found an actual purpose for the subject and faced it standing up.
And on the other side of the academic spectrum: Poetry—my first Form 8 (12th grade) seminar. Oddly enough, in that seminar we learn about poetry. Since I love the arts and I like writing and this is a lovely combo of both, you might infer, and correctly too, that I am happy about this. I am doing well in the seminar and enjoy deciphering the code of past memories...
Looking in the reflecting glass now, recently I have been pondering over responsibility, personal production and communication. I'll explain as best I can. First of all, I have been thinking a lot about the subject of exchange. A product is exchangeable and the better the product, the more you are exchanging with others. As a practical example you could see this in a business. Delectable and singular pancakes would be a lot better of a product to exchange as opposed to ok-maybe-I'll-get-these-and-at-least-be-full pancakes. And in your own work: you know that you will feel better about that paper that you really gave your all than the one you spent 20 minutes on and completely improvised.
Next, I had a recent realization on responsibility. If you think you have reached your limit and have now come to the plateau where things are others' responsibility and not yours to create or change or do anything about, let me tell you my friend, you are severely erring. THERE IS NO LIMIT. You can always take more responsibility. In fact, that's probably why your life isn't perfect yet.
And finally there is communication--it really is the solution to man's problems. It's always better to talk about what's in your head than to leave in there to steep too long, or worse, fester and make you miserable.
Lately, it’s been a little crazy. I've had a lot of long days and short nights, but I’m learning a lot.
I studied world history recently, and that was a beautiful thing. I feel like my IQ raised about twenty points from what I learned—it made me much more aware of references to history around me. I realized what an interest I have in world cultures and religions.
I’m reading The Agony and the Ecstasy of Michaelangelo by Irving stone, a novel about Michelangelo’s life chronicling his art pieces, such as the David and the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He was truly a great artist. I have recently regained my love for reading, and that combined with the copious amount of information to be learned and new ideas to be garnered make this the best book I’ve read in a very long time.
And yoga, I realized, is a subject possible for me to conquer. A year ago I would have found a pose too difficult and known that I could not do it and given up. But now, with the same certainty, I know that even if I cannot get it right now, if I try hard I will get into Bird of Paradise or One-Leg King Pigeon soon enough.
And not necessarily because of all this, but maybe in part, and definitely because of the people around me and from some sudden awareness, I realized that I haven’t really cared about other people in my life. It’s strange to say that—it sounds bad, but I hadn’t realized that it was true. And now I am seeing more and more that the effect you create on other people is a really important thing to keep in mind. You are responsible for the effects you create and you can make a situation better or you can make it worse. Which one will help you most?
What are these numbers so twisting and turning upon the page, in relation to real life, yet resembling it naught? Call it a language, call it necessary, I call it a puzzle--sometimes causing its victims to fall suddenly over open textbooks in fits of despair due to unsolvable contradictions, or sometimes its champions to scratch away at equations unwaveringly on adventures to new knowledge.
There was never a reason to care for these things, but lately it's all to my benefit to be accomplished in the realm of numbers. Oddly enough, this is somehow empowering and almost fun. It's as if for a long time I didn't really know math, or look it in the face. It's different now. I can recognize the numbers and can twist and turn them to my will: I have regained the ability to be proficient with numbers.
Here are some quotes I have read recently and enjoyed:
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde and this one by him as well: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -Oscar Wilde
Speaking of quotes, I am also reading a frequently quoted author: Shakespeare. I am doing a literature seminar on Hamlet, which is difficult—there is insanity in his words as well as beauty. It is very challenging and also very enjoyable.
Let's see...what else? It was recently Alumni Weekend here on the big green hill, and we saw many once-upon-a-time Delphian students. Usually during Alumni Weekend, there is also the Alumni Weekend activity which is a large event that we hold in our gym, and when you have to do decorations for a gym you know that it is a LARGE place. Anyway, this is an activity for all ages, students and Alumni. It's kind of a big deal and a lot of work to put together, which I know from personal experience because this year I was in charge of putting it on!
My job was to make sure that the Food In-charge, the Decorations In-charge and the Games In-charge were all doing their jobs and doing them well. I had to make sure that they were going to meet their deadlines and that they were running their crews professionally. I also had to take care of several other details that come into play when putting on a large party for 300 people. Not to mention, the entire success of it all depended on me alone.
Of course I had my people and they would do their jobs, but ultimately the responsibility of it all depended on me. That is not a walk in the park. It was a lot of work! More and more work as the time got closer, during, as well as afterward. In case you haven't gotten the idea yet, it was really A LOT OF WORK. But I am happy I did it (and that it's over), but mostly that I did it.
I feel like I really helped and contributed to my group and school community and I really appreciate others who make this kind of effort to put on events on a regular basis.
Back at Delphian once again, soaking in the golden sun and the vibrant green of the soccer field, the neverending flurry of students and a pretty long to-do list. Welcome back. It's good to be back. It's even a relief to be busy again. This year is different than other years—I can already tell.
In the past, perseverance through difficulties and accomplishing my goals has not been a strong point of mine. It was always too easy for me to shirk difficult tasks or endeavors when I was at home, but now to achieve finishing Delphian, there's really no way around facing up to these things.
To gain, you have to go through. This lesson has taken a long time to learn. First, I had to learn that things are only difficult because you have to sift through yourself to get them done. "Difficult" is really just a way of looking at something. At the end of last year, even having learned that part of the lesson, I had not yet started putting it into practical use—that is, to put this idea of "things only being difficult if you think of them that way "into action.
There were still many things I didn't want to or didn't wish to do, and it took a long time to get through them. But this year, which should be my last year, doesn't allow for things to not get done or to not be done as rapidly as possible. I have to get through my academics and projects and Student Council post assignments fast, and that has given me a much higher sense of necessity--and out of that, a higher ability to face things I find unpleasant. It has been very rewarding!
That is how I know this year will be different. It's amazing to know that upon graduation I can say that here at Delphian I have gained the sure means to accomplishment.
Spring is beginning to peep out from behind her heavy winter clothes. The sun's rays are slowly warming up the air and dragging us out of our winter retreats. The trees are baby green and generally the sky is blue. People are very busy because it's getting close to the end of the year and they have a lot to do. Everyone is clamoring about the nice weather and taking any and all opportunities to study or sunbathe out of doors. Just like the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, Delphian is coming to life and thriving more than ever.
Recently I've done several science courses which were at first very formidable opponents but have proven to be very interesting and actually have improved my liking for the subject as well as my interest in things around me and how they work. I discovered that if you understand many basic scientific principles you will be ten times more clever at figuring out ingenious ways to do things.
Now I'm doing a course called Professional Basics for an Artist, which is a course I have long awaited doing. It's ironic that my academic courses are in this particular sequence, because I happen to be doing a science project in which I test art finishes and preservatives. My academics relate to my projects, my interests and even my general trains of thought.
It seems to be inherent in knowledge and learning to have this effect—to cause you to relate new things to other things you've already learned about. When knowledge is increased, you see connections between things that you hadn't noticed before. Subjects are related in unexpected ways, simply by raising your awareness of a subject through really understanding it (sometimes for the first time).
Hi everyone! After a not so "breakful" winter break, I have returned to school. I was actually ready and excited to come back, which is different than most other returnings to school that I've had. After other breaks, I never looked forward to coming back as much as I did this time. Personally, I think it has something to do with being on Form 7 (11th grade).
Although I'm only at the beginning of this Form, I love it. It's so different from Form 6 (10th grade) because, as is so often stated and I am already beginning to see, on Form 7 you learn more than academics. You learn about life, and all the subjects you study, projects you do, and books that you read have interrelating points which blend perfectly.
I've also started one of the literature seminars for Form 7. We're reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, which is...I don't have a copy with me now, but it's somewhere between 800-1000 pages of a literate person's writing. That's close to as many pages as you'll find in a Webster's Dictionary! I had gotten the impression that I wouldn't enjoy the book, that it would be dull and difficult, so naturally that caused me to dread it. But once again my fears turn out to be little fluffy clouds, because it's not that hard, and it's very good. Better in my opinion than Great Expectations. How can you not love the young Davy Copperfield? He's adorable!
This year finds me once again here at Delphian School, but this time on Form 7. That's approximately equivalent to 11th grade, except we don't have grades here—we have Forms, of which there are only eight (Form 6 through Form 8 are in the Upper School), because you do so much more in a Form than you could in a grade.
In my opinion a grade is just another step in building our academic requirements so that we can hurry up and get out of high school. A Form is much more challenging. You gain practical abilities, leadership and communication skills in addition to academic knowledge. I've said before that I've always felt I was mature, but I've matured the most and become much more intellectual in my three years at Delphian. Each Form (especially the Upper School Forms 6, 7 and 8) is in a sense its own journey.
For a long time I've held Form 7 in a very high regard, although I know that Form 8 is amazing, too. I've wanted to be on Form 7 for a while and now I am! I'm on the first course, which is actually a course called Education, and I actually think it's the most interesting thing I've ever studied—or at least it's pretty up there. The course tells you about the history and philosophy of education, how it came to be practiced the way it is today, and it helps you sort out how you should really treat children and teach them: as self-determined individuals.
Also, I'm studying guitar, yoga and art in the afternoons and those are all very fun. I feel I'm really improving in these areas. And of course, how could I forget? Art Seminar. By far my absolute favorite engagement in all of my Delphian history. Last week I actually woke up every morning thinking that day was Wednesday (which is when Art Seminar is held) and then I had to remind myself that it was only Monday or Tuesday. If you've read some other things I've written, you already know that I'm an art fanatic. But in Art Seminar we don't learn technique or talk history or study anything in particular actually. We talk about things like: "what is art really?" and we learn how much we really can create and do. Our abilities are endless. I don't just learn about art in Art Seminar; I learn about life.