Monday, March 31, 2008

Channeling anger to benefit the community

I received this email from one of our college students. I thought it was powerful that despite her hectic schedule and her own fight to overcome her own learning disability, she sees the need to give back to a community similar to the one where she grew up. I love her attitude, her passion, and the way she is channeling her anger.

I bolded a statement in her email to which I think we should all listen closer.

Hi Ms. Janet,

I became a mentor for this seventh grade girl at DESA middle school and it's hard work trying to get these kids to think about their future. They only know what they see at home and around them and are so ignorant to the potential and possibility that education brings. When I've talked to her it's like seeing myself in 6th grade, clueless,not interested in the possibilities that education brings. Public education is truly failing kids in the inner city and it angers me that people are so indifferent to it. Anyway, let me get off of my soapbox, I just wanted to say Hello and thank you for being one who cares. I'm doing fine, school continues to be hard but I guess from now on that's the way I'll have to play the game, and mentoring has really made me aware of one of the reasons why anger is a gift that I have managed to turn into a positive driving force to get to this goal that I have made for myself. life is good.

So, lucky for me, classes have slowed down a little and by a little I mean I can at least write this e-mail without thinking that I'm cutting into my study time. I don't know if I got the hang of it, but it's become a way of life not having a life that is. I get up at 8 in the morning and go directly to my desk and study until 1 or 2 am everyday. Having this ADHD problem has helped me grow and try to refine my concentration. I try not to think about how much of an easier time others in my class are having with the material and it no longer is a competition. I think before the anger was directed at being competitive but it kind of finally hit me that I am in an incredible position to make a difference and that brings me more satisfaction than beating classmates in some recalling exam. I am learning because learning is one of the most rewarding things for me and if it takes me longer or I fail then even then learning has not ceased and I am ok with that now. Becoming the best physician for my patients is all that matters to me now and if it doesn't reflect on some exam then it only means that I'm still growing.
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