It always makes our day hearing from the schools we work with about their amazing students. This particular story made our whole week, and so we wanted to share it with you. This essay is from an Excel Academy student named Bianca, and it is about “a moment that changed my life.” It is faithfully reproduced just as Bianca wrote it.
“I look at Cristian’s drawing and it looks like a da Vinci piece of work. I look back at my drawing, and it has the quality of a kindergartner’s self-portrait. I get so furious that hot slow tears start to run down my cheek, and my eyes get watery so that my drawing looked blurry. I think it looked better blurry. My hands start to grapple with my pencil and my fustration doesn’t let my mind process what to draw next. I hear a creak on the floor followed by soft footsteps, and before I knew it the owner of the footsteps is kneeling right in front of me. Through her glasses, I see my red, watery eyes in my reflection that is in her mirror-like eyes. Then she smiles, and I know what is coming next. She tells me to look at her. I force myself to slowly lift my head. I can hear my hot tear drop spalt on the paper and make a tiny little pond in the center of the paper, like the bullseye on a dart chart. She finally speaks and says, “You, my friend, are used to being excellent.” She doesn’t understand. I have to be excellent. I have to impress people. It’s what everyone expects from me. Then she says, “You are excellent, always will be excellent. But, that doesn’t mean you will always impress people.” I let this sink in. She continues and says “You won’t always be the best, you won’t always do great, you won’t always be out of the ordinary.” Wow thanks. “But you will always be Bianca. That, is excellent. Being Bianca is excellent.” At that moment, my fingers stopped grappling.
I have changed from this 10 minute conversation. 10 minutes of Ms. Gannon’s wise words has changed me and affects me today. I used to believe I always had to be excellent. My definition of excellence has changed. I used to think being excellent meant impressing people, now I know it means being myself. I don’t try to be excellent for the eyes around me, watching me, expecting for something great to come out of me. I try to be excellent for me. When I put my best effort into an essay, I will judge on if it is excellent, not the wide-eyed crowd around me. When my feet are racing each other across the bring green soccer field, my face bright red with sweat sliding down it trying to cool it off, I am being excellent. I’m being excellent for me. I’m being excellent because I’m me. Just like Ms. Gannon said, “Being Bianca is excellent.” These powerful words from my art teacher (Ms. Gannon) has really changed me and affects me today. Now I know that being me is excellent in anything I do. Being Bianca is excellent. Excellence is being the best Bianca I can possibly be.”