November 7 – atypical should be the norm

106/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. It is said that when you have to teach something, your learning of that something is even better. I wholeheartedly agree with this in that I had only “learned” about Psychology during my minoring at university in the field but to have to explain in detail concepts and theories to high school students, the subject matter has now become second nature to me – basically ingrained in me. I have taught hundreds of students Psychology 12 and I always am looking at how they fit in with the various theories I introduce in class. One of my favourite behaviour models is Maslow’s Hierarchy which states that the ultimate destination of humans is to reach the state of Self-Actualization but that only a very few people ever get there. I know that I am not there and perhaps might get there eventually. I believe I have only met a few people that have/are reaching that level and one of them is a former student of mine – Daniel. I taught him in my Psychology class and even before having him as a student, I was impressed with him. He had a sense of self in the tumultuous world of high school. I saw him start up clubs that revealed what corporations like McDonald’s were doing. I saw him recognize the Day of Silence to protest the silencing of LGBT in schools. I saw him take upon himself to do the morning announcements and also to add some music to them to create interest in the message. I heard about him attending demonstrations. He basically was true to himself without falling into the pressure of the normality of high school. In my class, Daniel was well informed in various aspects and I was always impressed by his knowledge level. I actually learned a great deal from him and have been fortunate to have kept in touch with him since graduation and hear about his adventures, his accomplishments and his endeavours. He continues to Self-Actualize and discover himself and become all he can be. Thank you for showing me that there are students who think beyond just themselves and want to make a difference and actually do. In your honour, I continue to march to the beat of a different drum! Cheers to you Daniel!

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