"For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes." - Dag Hammarskjold

Saturday, December 28, 2013

the gratitude project assignment :: elly...

This is the last in a series of essays from Grade 8 students from Broadview Public School here in Ottawa.  I had the pleasure of meeting with Ms. Viner and Ms. Krochmalnek's classes just before our Canadian Thanksgiving, to talk to them about *the gratitude project: dare to be grateful*. (Read more about that here.) Students were then given an assignment to interview a friend or family member about what they were grateful for, and to submit a short essay based on that interview.   If you have not been following along, you will want to read these.  Seriously. These kids rock.

(Read Julia's essay here, Minseong and Judy's essays here, O'Dane and Evan's essays here,Dylan's essay here, Selina's essay here, Lily & Noah's essays here, Hannah's essay here and  Carson's essay here.)

Elly's essay below just blew me away.  Knowing there are young people like her and her friend Ashley gives me great hope for the future...

For my interview, I have chosen someone who I feel has a lot to say and will not be afraid to tell me what they are truly grateful for. I have known my interviewee for more than 6 years, and through that time they have been nothing but meaningful and honest to me and their other friends and family. Ashley is expressive verbally, physically and artistically and has much to be thankful for. When I asked her what personal quality she was most grateful for, she answered with sight because she loved all the beauty that the world had to offer.

To start off the interview, I asked my Ashley the question ‘what personal quality are you most grateful for?’ She thought about it for a few seconds and the first thing she said was “although I have so much in my life to be grateful for, I would have to say my sight”. The interviewee told me about why she chose this and I thought her examples were absolutely fascinating.

The first one she gave me was about the world always changing. She talked about the leaves and the sky and how crazy it was that everyday is different from the others. Each day has something special about it. The weather is always changing. With global warming, were not getting the same amount of snow and coldness as we used to. When I was little, the snow banks used to be up to the stop signs, though recently, the snow hardly passes a couple of feet. Ashley made a very interesting connection when she gave this example. She related the uniqueness and always changing weather, to people. Everyone changes as they get older. They have new friends, a new personality and they branch off in different directions.

Ashley also loves to preserve the memories she sees everyday. She told me about some of her hobbies that are truly has a passion for her. “I love to take pictures because it is showing someone else how I see the world”. Since everyone sees the world differently, a photo with a lot of voice really opens a window and lets people see into your head. What you take pictures of is completely up to you, and what you choose to capture really shows your personality. Ashley stated that she loves being able to share her experiences with other people who haven’t been able to experience it for them be themselves. Painting, it’s a way of expressing yourself through colour, pattern and shape. This is another thing that Ashley finds herself drawn to. While I was interviewing her, she told me something that really got me thinking, “I like to paint the world, not how it is, but how I see it”. This could be interpreted in so many different ways by different people. When I read this, I think of a forest. If most people were to paint a forest, they would do a couple of brown lines and some green spots, but Ashley would have all the animals and the patterns on the bark, the way the morning sun glimmers and shines off the leaves, and all the gorgeous flowers in full bloom.

One of the last things Ashley talked about towards the end of the interview, was being able to see things the way she sees them. "If they stop and really look at something, just a little closer, they can find beauty in everything”. This reminds me of an expression, ‘stop and smell the roses’. It means that if you take a second out of your day and stop what you’re doing, you can find beauty in nature and in the world. Anyone can, but not everyone will.

Thinking back to the interview, I can really relate to everything that Ashley talked about when she said everyone has a different way of seeing things. Personally, I absolutely love photography and take my camera everywhere with me. I take thousands of pictures when I go on vacation because it is a totally new experience. What also speaks to me are upclose shots of plants and animals, because you cannot see things like that without a special lense.
When I share my work with others, some really love it and want to see more, where as some don’t find it that interesting. That is because everyone is unique and sees things in different ways. Reflecting on other things that were said in the interview, I can see that Ashley is truly grateful for her quality of sight and does not take it for granted. She loves being able to see the world and all the people in it from her own perspective, which is unlike anyone else's. By having sight, she is able to look into other peoples interests and differences which is very special. If it were me being interviewed, I may have said something very similar to Ashley, because sight is a personal quality we should all be grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

No comments:

Post a Comment