Final Journal – Gratitude Entries And Goodbye (for Now)

Gratitude Email #1 – Amy Jacobs

Dear Miss Amy Jacobs, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I could say it a million more times and a million after that and it still wouldn’t come close to repaying you for everything you’ve done for me both within the CAS experience and in general. CAS was, and will be, difficult till the end. I found that many times I struggled to stay motivated, or even to see the relevancy of my project as a whole. I am a person who does best when provided with a clear plan of action and steps already laid out for me. I have no problem doing hard work, and I’ll put 100% effort in to guarantee results. But I am not without my faults. When it comes to projects with no clear plan, no clear steps forward, I falter, looking for each and every excuse not to carry on. Procrastination seeps in, and before you know it I’ve gone from 100 to zero, sitting on the side of the freeway pissed off and stressed with an empty gas tank. I’ve had more than a few of those moments, and each time it was Miss Amy Jacobs who brought me back and helped me see the light of calm, organized planning. I’ll never forget when I’d hit a block in my marketing project upon realizing that I’d already messed it up twice for my group. I had next to no confidence, I was stressed, angry, and frustrated and Miss Amy could tell. I asked if I could go to the bathroom, hoping to escape from the class and go waste some time somewhere else. But Miss Amy said no. She told me to not run from my problems, to sit and face them. Analyze and execute. Turns out I just had to think a little differently, and I ended up with a solid plan and a promising project. That’s just one little example of everything Miss Amy has done for me. She’s been there when school was too much, when social situations had me down, and even when all I needed was a little humor, advice, and more positive energy and reinforcement than I ever thought possible. Miss Amy became my second mom, someone I could always look to and will always look up to. And so I’ll say it once again, thank you Miss Amy Jacobs, you’re the best business teacher, advisor, mentor, and friend anyone could ask for. Thank you.

Gratitude Email #2 – Alejandra Villegas

Long term support is crucial for CAS. WIthout it, both students and projects suffer, falling apart as they lose focus and motivation. However, while it may not be as apparent, short term support is just as important in ensuring success and peace of mind. This gratitude journal entry goes out to a very close personal friend of mine who has not only been key in helping me stay calm and providing throughout this journey, but also helped me out in a situation where I was overextended and under high pressure. To this day I swear time sped up as I got nearer to my first ever official La Paz School MUN conference. By the time the day had finally arrived, I was relying on 3 hours of sleep, caffeine, and the pure will and determination to see my project through. 10 minutes into my conference and I was already running around like a headless chicken, putting out so many fires it looked like California on a dry summer day. The teacher in charge of our Spanish conferences was no help, and just like that I could see my conference collapsing in on itself. It was at that time that Alejandra Villegas approached me, giving my shoulder a squeeze and asking (while trying not to laugh, which I completely understand), “Hey Sam, do you need any help?” And just like that I had a partner who was extremely organized, calm, collected, spoke fluent in Spanish, and in general gave me strength and hope when I needed it most. Ale is one of the sweetest, kindest human beings I’ve ever met, and I can say without doubt that she is also incredibly hard working, even in situations like my CAS project where she wasn’t going to get anything out of it. Thank you Ale. Thank you for the wisdom, advice, jokes, and everything else you’ve done and given me in these past two years. Good luck in Spain, I love you!

Goodbye Note:

I’m two days away from the end of my junior year of high school. It has been one Hell of a ride. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible, both in school and in life, and a lot of things have become clear. I am extremely excited for what’s next, and I know this summer is going to be one of the best of my life. I’ve worked hard, and I’m ready to work harder. Bring it on IB, bring it on life, ‘cause Sam Hanson is ready.

A Navy SEAL quote to wrap it up (because what else would I put):
“You’re not here to survive this, you’re here to take charge of it”

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