One of the most predominant memories I have of high school took place during my senior year. I had 5 students in my World Civilization class and the other four students were in the library working on a project. I was working in the room. My teacher, Jim Hogan, was sitting at his desk doing his own work as well. I remember that the room was silent, but seemingly out of nowhere Mr. Hogan looked at me and said, ‘You always have to be in control. You never put yourself out there. You’re like a sponge. You take everything in and that’s why you do well, but you never risk your image. Like that role-playing activity we did the other day; you didn’t really put yourself in to. You have to so much potential to do something great, but I don’t know if you’ll ever follow through.’ (This was the gist of what he said.) I remember trying to argue with him saying that he was wrong. I had the attitude that he didn’t know me, so who was he to judge? Honestly, I was completely taken aback. I thought that I was above everything and that no one could really read me. I realized that day that if he could read me, then everyone could. Back then it scared me that he knew me that well from only having me in class. I remember wondering if it was a lucky guess. Regardless, I remember thinking that I appreciated what he said even if I didn’t tell him. I know now that that one moment in my education has affected me since. Every time I procrastinate, or don’t put all my effort into my work, I hear him telling me. I realized that what he did was part of his role as a teacher. It taught me to look beyond what kids say and realize that there’s usually more to everyone than what one initially thinks. Also, from these few sentences, I learned what kind of influence teacher have on their students. In my case, it was for the better. In addition to this experience, Mr. Hogan constantly pushed us during class. He gave us real life activities: role playing a town meeting during class to learn about democracy, making a real budget, a real resume, doing mock interviews for jobs. We had debates during the presidential elections in 2004. We had debates between Jefferson and Hamilton, between the advocates and protesters of Gitmo. His activities were interesting, challenging, and most of all, memorable. What I learned his classes has stuck with me throughout college, and hopefully will remain with me throughout my life.

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