Monday, November 21, 2016


When I was a high school student, I had a strong reputation among my English teachers.  This was mostly because I was close to three of them in one year; one was my senior AP Literature teacher, one was my cross country coach, and one was my junior AP Language teacher who I was a teacher aid for senior year.  Since all of the English teachers at my school seemed to be friends, they talked to each other often about many things, including the students.  Over the years, I got to know my English teachers well and liked all of them.  I enjoyed talking to them and listening to what they had to say.
I admired my English teachers for their writing skills, strong opinions, love of news, and dedication to social justice.  They liked me for my strong work ethic and desire to learn.  They often told me I was a talented writer, and even shared some of my works with the class as examples.  My love for them and their belief in me drove me to constantly work hard to impress them.  
After three years spent around English teachers who cared for me and an English teacher/Cross Country coach who knew about my work ethic in and out of the classroom, I developed a reputation as a great student.  With each new assignment, I spent hours researching for essays and revising previous versions.  The fact that I had a “reputation” help my work and reputation grow stronger - I felt the need to keep up the high standard my English teachers had set for me.  I valued them and their opinions so much; if I slacked, what would they think?  
My reputation also expanded because I came to office hours whenever my English teachers had them.  I would ask them to look over my paper with my and make adjustments or correct errors.  I occasionally went in after school or during lunch to ask questions about how to make my writing better.  During my senior year, when it came time to write college application essays, I made sure at least one of them looked my work over before I sent it in.
At the end of my senior year, however, it got hard for me to focus on my schoolwork and thus harder to write good essays.  I still completed all of my assignments, but sometimes I shirked a bit on the essays I had to write for my senior class.  I think the teacher understood that most seniors were doing this, so it wasn’t a big deal.  Even so, the reputation I had developed over the years gave me a lot of leeway in terms of finishing those last assignments.  My senior year English teacher had a system of extra credit in which we could turn in weekly essays to increase our course grade.  Throughout the semester, I had turned in an essay almost every single week.  When it came time for the final paper, I had a 120% in the class.  This meant I could get a low B on our final essay and still have a solid A in the course.  
With such strong incentive to shirk (as it was the end of Senior year when lots of fun parties were happening and people were ready to move on to college), I did not work as hard on my final paper.  I received an A-, which I think was quite generous considering the amount of work I put in.  I think that my teacher understood how hard I had worked all through high school and how I decided it was time for a break.  I still tried, but I didn’t put forth a 100% effort.  This was my way of cashing in my reputation at the end of high school to allow me to slack on the final paper but still get a good grade in the class.


  1. And English specialist who studies economics, what would they they think of that?

    I still have my high school yearbook from when I was a high school senior. What the teachers write can be interesting - and revealing. I wonder if you have something similar.

    Senioritis in high school I believe is normal. There is the college variety too. Some of it may impact our class. But, as a parent I'd say the real cashing in comes during the summer between high school and college. Kids can get away with a lot then and sometimes do.

    1. Dear Professor Arvan,

      If you remember from one of my earlier posts, during my freshman year I studied to be an English teacher. When I graduated, my English teachers and I all thought I would one day teach the subject. I went back to visit them a few times, so they know that I am no longer pursuing teaching. They didn't act disappointed or surprised or anything, they just encouraged me told me that they thought I could do anything. Even now, I am still not sure what I want my career to look like, and I definitely plan to someday go to graduate school. One of my teachers often shared his philosophical/political opinions, which were very far left-leaning and known by some of the more conservative students as "communist." He would often get into debates with our AP Economics teacher (whose views were quite the opposite), and both were strong-willed people who believed their opinions were right and wouldn't give up their positions. I thought that he might be shocked that I decided to study Economics. Even so, he knew that I wanted to focus on behavioral economics, the more social aspect of economics first made popular by Daniel Kahneman. So maybe that made it less shocking.

      My high school English teachers all wrote really nice messages to me in my senior yearbook, ones that I will remember for all my life. I don't miss high school anymore, but I still find myself missing my favorite teachers every once in awhile. If I ever self-publish or write a book, which is something I hope to do, I will most definitely be dedicating it to them. They were the ones who inspired me to love writing. My senioritis was minor compared to the work ethic and passion I developed throughout high school, and I think my teachers knew that.

  2. I can tell from your blog posts that you have very good writing skills, and I have always enjoyed reading your blog posts. They are not just texts, but shows characters and your personalities. I’m glad to read that you had some great teachers and remained a good relationship with them. I think good teachers/professors are not only the ones that teaches you knowledge, inspires your interest in the fields, but also life mentors.

    I wonder if your reputation in writing from high school remains intact when you came to college? And since you love writing so much, in addition to teaching and creative writing, have you ever considered working in the business/marketing communication field (I remembered that you said you have an interest in business as well) or journalism field where you could utilize your writing skills?

    If you ever self-publish or write a book someday in the future, please let me know, I would be willing to buy one and read it :)