I am not always a hardworking student, and I do not like to waste my time on trivial work, like ungraded math homework. That wasn’t always the case: when I was little, I would perfect each assignment and brag over an “A+” of arbitrary value.
But the workload soon increased exponentially, and my over-all grades began to fall. The quality of my exams dropped, and the amount of ungraded math homework I did diminished altogether. With such mediocre results, nobody praised me anymore. I began to wonder, Why am I doing this? What purpose does this hold? Out of the limelight with declining grades, I began questioning the necessity of even trying. So, in an attempt to escape the competitive education in Hong Kong, I fled to NCC at the start of 9th grade, into a rural yet far more intimate environment. And I began my stressless, leisurely life at NCC. Or so I thought.
Over the past four years at NCC, I have met dozens of students, and even teachers, who shared a similar mentality, unmotivated and uninterested in meaningless daily assignments with no real impact on the world. They were far more independent, emotional, and philosophical than what I considered to be monotonous marionettes back in Hong Kong. Here at NCC, we shaped our education toward our interests and worked toward our future. We tackled all sorts of real-life problems. For example, recently, in my Grade 12 Illustrations class with Mrs. Blue, we were given a task to create business cards for a real hairstylist in Fort Erie who was trying to rebrand and advertise her new hair salon. We would discuss her specifications and ideas as we worked through the creative process. As a class, we even further analyzed her age, fashion, and mannerisms to determine the best and most-fitting business cards. And we considered specific art elements and principles of design, such as shapes, colours, and balance. We began editing and submitting thumbnails and roughs with Mrs. Blue, doing countless changes and adjustments until we next met the hairstylist.
Later, when we each proudly presented our designs to her in person, we had the chance to express all of our thoughts and explain the details in our designs. My hopes were high that she would choose my design, and then, without hesitation, she promptly selected my friend’s.
I may not be the most talented artist at NCC, but I have grown significantly as a learner and as a worker through these interactive and practical projects, something I attribute to the learning environment here at NCC and to real meaning serving as my new motivation.