Gonzalez: Finishing a Chapter Not a Book

The yearbook might be closed in just a few days, but the novel titled My Life remains open.

Wow that was cheesy.

ADM High School was a fever dream. I never could have predicted the many emotions I would feel inside the fading, crimson colored, brick walls. I can’t be mad though, because with every horrible feeling, came 100 great ones.

The people inside this building appear very surface level. But doesn’t everyone appear that way? Because getting to know my classmates, and now my best friends, is something I could never express my gratitude for. And I guess that is my message. Please, please, take the time to get to know people.

You know the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” You probably do. Well, as over-used as the phrase is, there is some truth to it. I mean, that’s what I’ve learned. That is what I learned here at ADM. But most importantly, that is what I learned from ADM News Journalism.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty of it then, shall we? How in the world did I learn this? And who taught me?

Three people taught me the greatest lesson of disregarding a first impression. Mrs. Basinger, Brookelyn Evans, and myself.

To start with Mrs. Basinger. I guess you could call her my school mom. She cares about me, I can feel it. She takes care of me, in a way. She has braided my hair, she has fed me, and she has cleaned me up. She encourages me, in a way beyond any other teacher would. I can see myself through her eyes sometimes. I can watch my growth from a distance. And I feel the pride she has in me from across the room. Because she truly has shaped me. Molded me into my realest form. Showing me my own potential. But none of that compares to the lessons I have learned from her. In News Journalism, it is not a curriculum environment, so rarely we have “lesson plans,” per say. So the things Mrs. Basinger has taught me are lifelong. Unforgettable. The main one, you guessed it, don’t judge a book by its cover. Often I catch myself jumping to conclusions, but this woman keeps me grounded. A gentle reminder of a person’s depth is all she needs to say to make me reconsider my words or thoughts. For that I am forever grateful, because without this I would be miserable and close-minded.

Next is Brookelyn Evans. She doesn’t even know the impact she has made on me. She has no clue how she taught me this. And neither do you, so allow me to explain. Truth be told, I did not like her at the beginning of our classmate relationship. And I don’t think that my admiration for her now can only be attributed to “Oh, she grew on me.” It’s much more. She was a walking example for me to not discredit someone before I knew them. My distaste for her came without reason. It was because I did not know her. I did not know her life, her personality or her spunk. I am so glad I took the time to get to know her, and that she showed me but how special she is. Because I never would have realized how important it is to pursue a friendship, nay, a person, without her. So thank you, Brookelyn.

Lastly, I taught myself. I am no teacher so excuse my use of the word “taught.” I couldn’t think of a better way to express it. But it will do, because I did teach myself. I taught myself the ability to change mindset. I people watch. I cast judgement, effortlessly. That will not go away, unfortunately. But I now know, that I can change my mind on someone. I can be accepting, and I can be caring. This all comes with personal growth truly. There are a million more people I can thank for showing me examples of this life lesson. But, not often enough, I thank myself. Because at the end of the day, my growth is truly my own. My personal development is just that, personal. I am proud of the person I have become, and I am proud of my new found ability of not judging a book by its cover.

I could not have arrived at the place I am at now without ADM Journalism. But now, I have to move on from this is chapter in my life. High school is coming to a close, and with that, my time in the News classroom. I might be done here, but the greatest lesson I have ever learned, will stay with me forever.