Yesterday. I had class all day and homework in between. Plus the first Gay-Straight Alliance meeting of the semester and paperwork and Project Runway and math tutoring. Felt like I was stretched thin and rolled up, spread out, and stepped on by the end of the day. I was thankful for a lot of things–being able to get some homework done, doing well in class, having a great GSA meeting–but none of those things stood out as an exceptional reason to be thankful. I’m always thankful when I can get homework done. I’m always thankful when class goes well. I’m always thankful for the success of the GSA.
But merely being thankful isn’t the point of finding a hundred things to be thankful for.
My goal–the entire reason I’m doing this–is to be thankful for things I take for granted, for things I don’t think to be thankful about; to acknowledge all the things I never think to thank.
Just ten items in…I feel like I’ve run out of ideas. But thankfully (no pun intended) today and yesterday did make me think of something I often ignore, in part because of sheer ignorance, in part because of my inherent nature to work alone.
I’ll start with Wednesday. Lab day. Newtonian laws. Observational verification. So far…sounds dry–but then we got to use those tracks with the cars on ’em that you run into each other with accelerometers and that was awesome! I want a set for myself, actually, but I haven’t a clue where I’d put it. In any case, I was partnered with two people I hadn’t known really well–which was cool in its own right–and at first I felt we all weren’t really on the same page with the experiments. But as the hours pressed on, we fell into line and ended up devising our tests to perfection and verifying exactly what we needed to.
Yesterday during our Gay-Straight Alliance meeting, I tried hard not to monopolize the discussions. I don’t consider myself an exceptional leader by any means; I have a tendency to override others and haven’t yet gotten a knack for encouraging others to join the discussions–which I desperately need to master someday. We’re a group. I’m not a group. We are. So anyways, we went around the room and we all had a lot of great ideas for events throughout the school year and plans for the Clubs Fair next week. It was awesome.
Today two of my classmates and I got together in the Math Lab and worked on our Physics homework together (at this point it’s all math anyways) and that was not only a lot of fun with all our jokes and asides, but tremendously helpful for each of us. When one of us got stuck, we went to the others for help. And trust me, it was as awesome being able to help my friends as it was getting their help in return. Truly wonderful. We used the white board, drew diagrams, entered equations in our calculators incorrectly and then discussed all the obvious reasons why not before finding the one reason why, and so forth and so on.
I prefer to work alone. I know what I’m thinking and I like putting it into action exactly as I imagine it. I work well alone–twelve years of homeschooling does that to a guy–and I like the solitude of my own self, too–an inherent trait of introverts, obviously. But I have to admit, when you’ve got a good team to work with–no matter if you’re doing physics or math, planning club events, or simply trying to figure things out–it really beats being alone.
And for that, whether I say it or not, I’ll always be thankful.