Monday, May 05, 2008

Partyin' Like it's 1912

The AP test is this Friday, so I doubt I'll have time to post this week...or do much of anything. I will be lucky to squeeze in my workouts here and there.

Not surprisingly, I tend to look to the past for inspiration. My students are freaking out on me as they approach their "race day." I try to tell them that if they've been doing what they should have all year, they will be more than fine on Friday. Cramming for the AP test 4 days prios makes about as much sense as squeezing in a 20-miler four days before your marathon.

I'm making them little notes with Smarties attached that have one of my all-time favorite quotes on it. Exhibit A:

"The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best, know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if they fail, fail while they are daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." --T. Roosevelt

For many of them, the cards have been stacked against them as they deal with serious issues outside of school. I want them to know how proud I am of them for making it to test day--regardless of what happens. They have grown tremendously and I consider myself lucky to witness this.

Sometimes, getting to the starting line is overlooked. Often, getting to the starting line is a task in and of itself for many reasons, and one that should be celebrated. Sure, there are standards of "success," whether it's a 5 on the AP test from the College Board or a sub-10 hour Ironman. But, ultimately, I want them to understand that success must be defined within. Your goals and dreams may be up for discussion, but they are not up for negotiation. Ever.

For me, the goal is the journey. I am so grateful to be able to stand at a starting line in less than two weeks, and with one of my best friends there, too. Sure, I could have done more over the past seven months to prepare for one standard of success--time. But at what cost? At one that, at this point in my life, I'm just not willing nor have any desire to make.

I am very nervous and excited to enjoy the day and share it with friends. For me, that will make my race day a success.

Have a wonderful week everyone--see you after I get my life back on Friday!


triguyjt said...

sara..that quote has been, and will always be my favorite...
it says it all.

it means we dare to achieve and are not afraid of failure. we venture into competion (or a.p. tests) with purpose and heart..ahhh i write that..stevie wonders "higher ground" played on my laptop... we all search for higher ground.
have a great week with all the craziness

Wes said...

Isn't it great how much synergy there is between our endurance sports and other lifetime activities. You pointed this out masterfully....

Kurt said...

See you on the other side when your life is back!

Rae said...

Ugh!!! You are reminding me of those days 13 years ago when I was cramming for my own AP tests!!!! I hope all your students do as well as I did in AP Calc and nowhere near as TERRIBLE as I did in AP German!!!

TriCajun said...

Good luck cheering your students on this week. Bring your cowbell.

Triteacher said...

Keep up the good work, Teach! It is their Ironman, isn't it?