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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

the gratitude project assignment :: selina...

Our ongoing 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.   I will be publishing a selection of these essays here on the blog over the next couple of weeks.  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 and Dylan's essay here.)

Allow me to now introduce this inspiring essay from Selina!

Name: Jake M.

photo provided by Selina
Biography: I have known Jake for about 4 years now, and he is one of the kindest person I know. He is very inspiring and I look up to him as a role model. I met Jake through dance and that's how I continue to see him everyday. I chose to interview him because he is never negative about anything and always appreciative of everyone and everything. Since he has a very positive attitude towards life, I thought he was the perfect person to interview. Some fun facts about Jake is that he can do a headstand for more than 3 minutes, he has red hair, and he is a male dancer.
Question: What life experience are you most grateful for?

The first experience he was grateful for was a national competition in Hollywood, Florida 2012. This inspiring experience made him truly realize he wanted to be a dancer. During the competition he realized that when you love what you do, you can, and will do anything to achieve what you want to achieve. He thought that maybe if he were devote everything he had into one thing, and maybe if he were to be as dedicated as all the amazing dancers he had seen, that possibly something amazing would come out of it. And thats exactly what happened.
Another experience Jake was grateful for was winning the title of Hamilton’s 2013 teen male dancer of the year. He had his mind set of doing the best that he could, not thinking about winning, but thinking of the experience he was going to have. All Jake wanted was to have the best run of his solo and make his teachers, family, and friends proud. When they called his name saying that he won, the emotion and shock he felt was so special no words could describe it. It showed him that all the hard work he had been doing had payed off and proved to everyone that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

The last experience is he is very grateful for, is my favourite. He figured out that if he wanted to take dance seriously, being 185 pounds wasn’t going to get him anywhere. Jake used to not think before he ate which caused him the problem. He first started with an intense dieting of absolutely no exceptions of unhealthy junk. Then made up a routine where he would do 300 crunches, 40 push ups, and run 2k every day. Within only 2 months, he lost an astonishing total of 40 pounds, and eventually gained 5 pounds of muscle. Jake is especially grateful for this experience because it has made him truly appreciate the taste of fruits and vegetables and what they are doing for your body. Now he can live a healthy lifestyle of 150 pounds for a 15 year old boy. : )

Conclusion: Upon reflection I think that Jake is someone who many people are grateful for and who has an very inspiring aspect on life. He has been able to choose dance over football already knowing how tough it is to be a male dancer with all the bullying and has been the one that wins in the end. He is very grateful and appreciative for what he has and I hope you can see that too. ; )

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