English Composition Senior Valedictory Portfolio May 21, 2013
Jayne Henn These four years of high school have been life changing. My mentality has changed drastically from freshman to senior TABLE OF CONTENTS
year, but in a good way. Writing about my experiences have
Inside this issue:
Meaning of Life/Top Ten Reflections on Achieve-
been fun, I can take a trip down memory lane and remember all 3
the great things I have accomplished throughout my four years Reflections on Memories
Reflections on People
Reflections on World
Reflections on “Art”
of school, and up until then. Life can be hard, you just have to 5
live it.. Don’t take anything for granted; realize all of the
opportunities and chances you have in life. Make sure when
you have the chance, do whatever it is you need to do. Some
opportunities don’t come up often, and you never know when they can just go away at any moment.
the meaning of life: [th ee●mee-ning●uhv●lahyf ] –verb The meaning of life is hard to describe in words, but I think I can get pretty close. To start with, living your life is difficult when your brain is filled with thoughts of what other people may think of you. Life is making a fool of yourself in public, flaunting wacky new outfits, and dancing like nobody is looking. My favorite quote is, “Life is too short to be anything but happy”, so why not do exactly that. Next time you’re in a bad mood, just think there is no time to be like this. Why waste your time? No one else wants to hear you complain, no one really cares. Life isn’t about being perfect and too matchy. Wear whatever with whatever, embrace it. I believe that life is a party, so dress like it. Nothing needs to go together perfectly; it just needs to describe who you are. Life is all about being big picture. Don’t think of it being the end of the world when one little tiny thing goes wrong. Thorough plans are fun, but spontaneous, unplanned things are the best. Who cares if you’re a terrible singer? Belt the words out as loud as you can, the best place to do that is in the car. Life is having no regrets, doing whatever you want. Don’t think too much, just go for it. Don’t fret from over worrying, it’s not worth it to freak out. Just know that when you get all the difficult boring stuff done, you’re ready for the fun exciting stuff. Life is really what you make of it. If you get up in the morning saying you will be in a bad mood, then chances are, you probably will be in a bad mood. You just have to be positive and have a great outlook on life, and your life will be everything you dreamed it would be. Life is all about making adventures, go out and just live.
Top Ten Dream Vacations 10. Cape Cod, Massachusetts- I love the beach and I would love to visit one on the Atlantic Coast 9. Santa Monica, California- I have always wanted to travel to California, and there are so many great attractions here, including the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park 8. Huntington Beach, California- It is one of my dreams in life to learn how to surf, and what better place to visit than the surfing capital of the world 7. South Beach, Florida- The ritzy lifestyle of south Florida has always attracted me, celebrities travelling there constantly and my favorite designer’s flagship store located in the city 6. Turks and Caicos- This remote area is perfect to get rid of all your worries and be calm and peaceful 5. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico-This city in Mexico has great areas to deep sea dive and snorkel, another activity I’m trying to cross off my list 4. Bahamas- From what I’ve seen of it, the Bahamas would be a perfect place for me. Not to mention, this city holds Atlantis Resort, a place I would love to stay 3. Dubai-U.A.E- Dubai interests me because the city is very ahead of technology, their buildings are very futuristic and the city holds unique attractions, such as Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort 2. Greece- I’ve seen Greece in movies and magazines, and to me, it seems to be one of the most beautiful places in the world 1. Belize- I’ve been wanting to go to Belize ever since I subscribed to Coastal Living. I would read articles about Belize, them explaining how beautiful the waters are and how much serenity one can get out of a vacation from Belize. Belize is also one of the top places in the world to go scuba diving
Personal Reflections on Achievements My life has been great, but my biggest triumph to date was during tennis season of my junior year. We had been playing a week’s worth of tough matches, and it had come to the first round of sectionals against our conference rival, Hamilton Southeastern. Tough matches had been my strong suit, it took my partner and I a while, but we always seemed to pull it out. I had started to get nervous when I realized that the match I was playing decided if the team would win or not. Everyone from both sides was watching, but I never let that pressure affect my game. In fact, I enjoy having people watch me, it means I can’t let them down. The match had been sort of close the whole time, so I was feeling very tense. Soon, it became game point for us. My opponent set the ball up perfectly for me, this gave me a great opportunity to hit an untouchable volley to win the match. You could say I was proud of myself. As we were leaving everyone made a tunnel for my partner and I to walk out of. After all of the talking and hugging, a writer from the newspaper came up to interview me. I didn’t think anything of it, until the next morning. As I come down the stairs, feeling exhausted but happy at the same time, I see a huge colored picture of myself in the Indianapolis Star, with a heading “No. 2 Doubles Ready”. After seeing that, I couldn’t contain my excitement for the rest of the season. This was a learning experience. After what happened, I knew I had it in me to succeed. Long fights are hard but there is no reason to give up. Always push yourself.
As much fun as I’m having now, I cannot wait for the future. I have high hopes for the future, so it’s not an option to complete all the goals I have. After college, I plan on attending Ball State University, majoring in hospitality & tourism. After graduating college, I hope to move out of Indiana and find a good job, one that is exciting, but one I can support myself and my future family off of. I would hope to find a husband, but I wouldn’t want to have children and settle down just yet. Before all of that, I want to travel. The United States, out of the country, I want to travel all around the world with my husband or some friends of mine. Once you have children, none of that can get accomplished, so I think I’ll just wait. I would travel on my vacation times during my job, something along the lines of a human relations director at a resort in a warm place. It sounds like a long shot, but it can be attainable. I’m very good with people, and I have been called a people pleaser, so i really do think I’ll fit in perfectly in the hospitality industry. I work in a restaurant now, but I certainly don’t want to when I’m older. I’m thinking more along the lines of luxury resorts, casinos, spas or cruise ships.
Personal Reflections on Memories
Throughout high school, I have witnessed many changes. These changes are of the people around me, what has happened in the world, or simply physical or mental changes I noticed about myself. Freshman and sophomore year seemed so long ago. Those two years were a lot of fun, but were way different than now. My mentality during those two years was really disappointing. I had that typical high school mentality where I cared so much what others thought of me. Not only that, but I was really self-conscious about everything. I constantly wanted people to like me and I never felt complete. It wasn’t until the summer before my junior year where everything changed. Well I guess nothing else really changed, it was just me that did. That summer I got a job, and I was much happier. I became very mature and I was different than everyone else. No one else I knew had to pay for anything, no one knew how to the laundry, go grocery shopping or anything like that. I knew how to be an adult very fast, and it was such a good feeling. I would like to thank my mom for teaching me to be the way I am. My mentality is so much different now and I’m very confident.
I say this now, but I don’t think I’ll miss much from high school. Doing the same things for so long, moving on is something I’m really excited for. Even though I often became so tired from doing the same thing every day, having a routine is something I’ll miss. I had something I needed to do each day of the week, I loved keeping myself busy. What would I be doing if I didn’t have school, work, babysitting or tennis? I wouldn’t be making any money for myself, I wouldn’t know how to support myself, I wouldn’t know how to deal well with adults and other people. I wouldn’t learn the skill of hard work. I am thankful for everything I have done these past four years. Sure I am tired all the time, but it’s worth it. There’s always time for sleep later. My routine and the people that make it up are what I’m going to miss. Going to school with the same people since elementary school is getting old real fast, I’m kind of ready to just say goodbye to everyone, with the exception of a few people. I don’t feel bad for saying this, I’m sure I’m not the only one with these feelings.
Time Capsule iPod/headphonesiPod/headphones I have to be able to listen to my music whenever I want, I can’t live without my music Family Photo-Family is important to me, I always need them close Photo A blanket my mom made for meme Her blankets are always the best, and it would be nice to know that I would always be able to cuddle up with her
Personal Reflections on People
There are only a few certain people that have influenced my life in some way, because I am a very independent person. My brother has had quite the effect on me in my life. He is always there for me whenever I need him. We are always on the same page with everything going on, and we never really argue. He always makes sure I know that I can talk to him whenever I need him, and gives me the best advice. Our talks are fulfilling, and always leave me content. High school has been a breeze; talks with him have helped a lot. Although I don’t see him very often, we still keep in touch. I try to visit with him every once in a while, and it’s a lot of fun. We could sit and watch tv the whole time, and we would still be fine with it. I realize that my brother is proud of me for all that I do, and I really appreciate it. I’m so glad to have him as a sibling, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. Unlike most siblings, my siblings and I actually get along. In fact, we don’t just get along; we support each other and care about one another. If I were to describe myself, I would say I’m a great daughter. I always cooperate with my parents and only argue with them every so often. Sure, my mom sometimes doesn’t like what I like, but we’re pretty reasonable with each other. I am a hard worker, and I do what I’m told. Helping out with what needs to be done comes naturally to me, so I never have a problem with that. My parents always want me around more, but I’m usually out at school, and work and I always remind them that I should be able to have a social life. It’s important to me that I have a good relationship with my parents, unlike a lot of other teenagers I know. I can’t go a day without talking to my mom, unlike other teens who go weeks on end without talking to their parents. My siblings and I get along with each other, so it’s really easy on my parents. They never have to worry about us when we go on vacations, we are always good to each other and we cooperate. My parents raised me to be a hardworking, independent daughter.
Personal Reflections on World Events
This is an amazing story about two sisters finding each other after seventeen years. They were both girls who went to neighboring high schools but had no clue. Both track stars, they were preparing for the track meet, Woodrow Wilson High School vs. Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington D.C. It wasn’t until one of the sister’s fans started cheering for her that everything changed. It turns out who he was cheering for wasn’t her, but someone who looked exactly like her. Everyone grabbed both of the sisters and they were next to each other and it turns out they looked exactly like each other. They realized what happened, and recalled their birth names. It turns out they were sisters, separated longer than 17 years. This made me realized that you never know what’s in front of you. Don’t get so caught up in now, that you don’t see what is passing you by. Be thankful for what you have, because you don’t know how long you will have it, or how long you will go without it. Don’t take anything for granted, appreciate everything. From the famous film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/12/us/sandy-hook-timeline/index.html
The Sandyhook Elementary tragedy tugged on everybody ‘s heartstrings. This changed how we think about almost everything. I certainly remember where I was when this happened, I think everyone should. It definitely affected me, considering I am a student at a local public school. After this tragedy, I still don’t understand. I do not understand how anyone could go into an elementary school and shoot at innocent small children. It really makes me sick to my stomach. These children that were murdered did not have a chance to live. No chance to graduate, no chance to go to college, no chance to do nothing at all. They had their whole lives ahead of them, and a whole list of opportunities, but now that is all completely gone. How anyone could murder so many children in that way is beyond me. This tragedy has affected my life. I grasp that people have it more worse off than me, and I have no right to complain. I appreciate all of the opportunities I have, I take nothing for granted. I am appreciative of everything that is done for me, and I couldn’t ask for a better life. I live my life to the best of my ability, because I know not everyone can.
I have a love for the ocean. It is my happy place, it is where I get all of my thinking done. When I’m older I hope to live on a beach, preferably on the West or Southern coast. There is something about the ocean; the waves softly crashing, the crystal clear water, the faint breezes from the waves. To me, it is the most peaceful place on earth. Lifestyle on the beach just speaks to me. The ocean would make me such a relaxed person all the time, it would work out so well. Life would be so much easier, worry free all the time. My personality is already laid-back, so I feel as though I would belong here perfectly. If I did have to deal with stressful things, my remedy is close. All I would have to do is walk to the beach, then poof, all my worries are gone. The ocean is my mini vacation from the world. Zac Brown wrote, “My mind on a permanent vacation, the ocean is my only medication”, and I feel as though that was written directly for me. Many people take the ocean for granted, complaining about the loud noises and the sand getting in everything. You have to look at the calmness and the serenity of the ocean to really understand.
Living in the MomentMoment-Jason Mraz This song is called Living in the Moment by Jason Mraz. I absolutely love this song because I can relate to it, because it’s how I try to live my life. I believe it’s important to relax during your life, because then you won’t realize what you have in front of you because you’re worrying so much. These song lyrics are very relaxing and the song is nice to listen to every once in a while. It’s nice to put down everything for an hour and just be calm. Even when everything is going on around you, just do your best to ignore all of it, and just live your life. All of Jason Mraz’s songs have similar meanings, but I liked this one the best. It is nice to have something to fall back on, during hard and stressful times, and this song is a great example. In my opinion, since the meaning of life is to just relax and live life stress free, I think I’m on the same page as these lyrics.
Living in The Moment-Jason Mraz If this life is one act
I can't walk through life facing backwards
Why do we lay all these traps
I have tried We put them right in our path When we just wanna be free
I tried more than once to just make sure And I was denied the future I'd been searching for
I will not waste my days Making up all kinds of ways
But I spun around and searched no more By living in the moment
To worry about some things
Living my life That will not happen to me
Easy and breezy So I just let go of what I know I don't know
With peace in my mind
And I know I'll only do this by
I got peace in my heart
Living in the moment
Got peace in my soul
Living our life
Wherever I'm going, I'm already home Easy and breezy With peace in my mind With peace in my heart
I'm living in the moment I'm living my life
Peace in my soul
Just taking it easy Wherever I'm going, I'm already home Living in the moment
With peace in my mind I got peace in my heart
I'm letting myself off the hook for things I've done I let my past go past
I got peace in my soul Oh, wherever I'm going, I'm already home
And now I'm having more fun
I'm living in the moment I'm letting go of the thoughts That do not make me strong And I believe this way can be the same for everyone
I'm living my life