My summer homework this year for English was to write about my experience in the Humanities program including my influence to apply to the program, what skills and experiences I hoped to gain, to what degree those hopes have been satisfied, and what I hope or worry about for the upcoming year. So, here is what I wrote.
Over these last two years the Humanities program has become a second family to me. I was influenced to join the program by all the neat projects and challenges that my home school did not offer. The teachers were another part of why I wanted to come to the program, I knew that they put so much effort into their work and really cared about their students. Coming from a magnet program for fourth and fifth grade I also knew about the opportunities and the family feeling that only came with a magnet program. I wanted the humanities program over the math and science program because I love to write and use my creativity that I knew would be needed for this program.
As I was entering sixth grade as a somewhat nervous, but excited, humanities student I was really hoping to get a lot out of the program. The one thing that I really wanted to walk away with at the end of the three years is a lot of unique memories and stories along with a humanities family that will last a lifetime. In addition, I wanted to meet a bunch of people who came from different backgrounds and stories, and hopefully learn to be less judgmental. It would also be great if some of those people became lifetime friends that understood me fully. Coming out of the program, I really wanted to have a chance to better my formal writing and have more chances to expand my horizon in writing creatively. Lastly, I wanted to be able to communicate better in all areas; this includes as a leader, presenter, and just in daily conversation.
At the end of the two years, I have already met most of my goals, though I do hope to continue to expand them. My biggest goal had been to walk away with unique experiences only available to the humanities students. These last two years have had so many memories that there are so many to choose from. However, all the major projects have given me such special memories while also teaching me so much. For example, in the gameshow I learned the importance of knowing how to do your job and to do it well while also experiencing how to do many jobs in media production. The Greek plays and utopian unit in sixth grade also opened my eyes to new ways of thinking while also providing fun activities like the Festival of Dionysus and the utopian units. In seventh grade, the African project helped me with time management in preparation for IDRP. The whole process of IDRP really enforced time management and organization, while symposium taught me the importance of rehearsal and gave me confidence in my presentation. Furthermore, I have definitely met many amazing people and made many new friends that will last a long time if not lifetime. It has been great to get to know all of them. Between the naming ceremony and paper plates I learned a lot about everyone based on what they received and the quality of what they gave away. I could still be better about not judging people right away, but I am getting a lot better. Another goal of mine had been to make new friends. Not only have I made some great friends, but also it is also great to have such a group of people who feel like family. Even though I would not say that I am a friend with everyone, I can still talk to pretty much everyone and we all encourage one another. This past year in particular during the Shakespeare night and IDRP symposium we were congratulating each other and cheering one another on when we got nervous. My writing has also improved, as it should, especially with al the critiques that I got with IDRP. Not only has the technicality benefitted, though that could still improve, but the style and maturity has also improved. I do wish that we had more chances to write creatively, though. Communication skills are also something that I wanted to get out of this program, not only in a group, but also during presentations and in daily conversations. I have started to do better, but I still want to be able to be more confident when sharing my ideas.
In my last year as a Clemente’s Humanities student, I hope to push myself and to extend my creative thinking. I am a little nervous about choosing what high school I will go to, especially if it means leaving friends. However, I plan to have lots of fun this year especially with the New York field trip. It is a chance to really show what I have learned these past two years. I am also looking forward to the New York City showcase and Retrospective as a chance to reflect on the program and relax with my friends. Coming to the humanities program has been a very fulfilling decision and I am looking forward to a great eighth grade year.