Today was one of those days when you feel as if you’re having one of those movie-screen classroom moments. It happens a lot with my Advanced Placement Literature teacher – who is currently in competition for Teacher of the Year. Today, we walked into class and she explained that we would be walking around the room reading and picking a quote we identified with. She claimed that that quote was going to be our quote for the rest of the school year – which happens to be exactly two months, in our school’s case for class of 2013. She also claimed that she thought of us with each quote she chose; they weren’t simply chosen at random, but she took time and effort to pick these quotes to help us along our final months of high school.
The quotes were divided by what they pertained to, ie. achieve, believe, dream, among other inspirational categories. They featured some famous names that I have quoted previously in past posts such as this one and this one.
I chose to write down three quotes that I felt were interesting enough, or at least pertained to me. I will quote them and link biographical information about the authors in question, while giving commentary on the subject and why it was chosen.
#1. “It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”
This quote is by Arnold J. Toynbee. To be honest, my teacher and I both didn’t know who this man is. I took the liberty of researching him after writing the quote down. Turns out, Toynbee was a British historian and economist who desired the conditions of the working class. More information on Arnold Toynbee can be found at this link, if need be.
The reason this quote appealed to me, as a student, is that it allows for both downfall and progression. One can ultimately acknowledge that they would both reach an intended goal, still feel happy, while realizing that there is room for improvement and giving them something to strive for. The quote is idealistic and realistic at the same time, which makes me intrigued because most of the quotes posted up around the room today were plain optimism that ultimately sounded cheesy.
#2. “Success comes from within, not from without.”
This quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson. This by far is my favorite quote because it empathizes that without intrinsic motivation, nothing will get done. I, myself, have a success complex, so I am able to identify with this quote. In the same way, this quote can also lead to downfall. Part of a “success” quota is to understand limitations. It is acceptable to ask for help sometimes. With that humility that is only found from within, one is able to become successful.
Have you ever had a “movie-screen classroom moment?” I can say, honestly, it is one of those things I will remember when I think back to my days of high school.