I like to think that I am an outgoing person. I view myself as an extrovert who is adventurous and LOVES trying new things. Even though I like to think this, it's not always the truth. Last summer, my parents decided that my sister and I would show our pigs in the Washington Fair.
My mom’s side of the family has raised show animals all of their lives. My mom and her siblings have won Grand Champion steers and show pigs at many national and state level shows. My sister loved the idea and was thrilled by the thought of raising an animal for show. I, on the other hand, was not.
I was absolutely mortified at the thought of showing a pig. I remember thinking that everyone would think differently of me because I was doing that, which is literally the CRAZIEST thought ever! I have no idea why I thought that. I just knew that I didn’t want to be thought of as a “farmer” or a “hick”.
As the summer went on, I slowly began to enjoy spending time with my pig, (whose name was M&M) every day. My sister and I had to walk our pigs every day for about 30 minutes, sun tan them, wash them, and measure out all of their feed. We have a TON of videos of us walking them around, and we probably spent about 3 hours with our animals every day. It was a ton of work, and I still wasn’t totally gung-ho on showing my pig.
I remember when we finally made it to the fair and it was kind of crazy. There were SO many kids that had animals and were showing! As I walked in, I realized that I wasn’t doing this for anyone else, but doing it to showcase all of my hard work that I had put in during the summer and that I shouldn’t be self-conscious or nervous about something that I actually enjoyed and had put a lot of time towards.
One of my favorite verses is Galatians 1:10, which reads, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
That verse is one that I think about probably every day and directly correlates to last summer. I was feeling nervous and trying to please people rather than doing what actually matters, and giving praise to Christ. Even though now looking back I laugh at my feelings and think they were silly, a year ago they were genuine fears that I had! I am so glad God pushed me out of my comfort zone and led me to try something new, which is now a huge part of my life and something that I love doing.
Rewind back to last summer, I showed in the Washington Fair and received Grand Champion Market Hog, which was an amazing experience! I also broke the fair record for the most money paid for a pig per pound. This summer, my sister won Reserve Champion Market Hog with her pig named “Wonky”, and we both won the Junior and Intermediate Showmanship classes, which was rewarded with belt buckles. We both got to show at the Missouri State Fair, and my sister won 2nd in showmanship there, and I received 3rd place in my class and was a member of the Gold Group showing class.
I am so glad that my parents pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone in order to have so many cool experiences showing our pigs! It is now a super-special activity that I do and I love it!
Peace Out :),
I do hope that this year I grow closer with my already amazing friend group. In this past year, we have all become such a tightly nit group. However, I am definitely not be opposed to making more new friends, because isn’t that what life is all about? I love meeting new people, and I think that this year I will have many opportunities to do that!
This next year, I will also be taking a couple of tougher classes, which I am a little bit fearful for. However, I think that after having one year of high school under my belt, I can use my time management skills from last year and apply those to those tougher courses. I am excited about the classes that I am taking and hope that I get the most out of everything that I take!
Even though school is about to be underway and I am definitely not ready for waking up at 6:00am, I am so excited for this new school year. Even though there are some fears, I know they will be overshadowed by the awesome things to come!
Dear Mrs. Wood,
Thank you so much for helping me grow as a writer, reader, and person. Your class challenged me in new ways and helped me become comfortable at Washington High School. Every single day a different life lesson was brought up, or a new piece of advice was given that I would take in and think about throughout the day. Reflecting back on my first year of high school, I realized that your class probably had the largest impact on how my year went. You consistently said to get involved, try new things, and know that every single choice that you make impacts not just yourself, but many other people.
That last piece of advice was directly brought up by reading the book Whirligig. I recently went to Saint Charles and passed a store with many whirligigs covering the front yard. I immediately thought of reading that book in your class and the effect that it had on me, You taught me that every person, thing, and action is a "whirligig" in a sense. You also assigned our class to build our own whirligig. Not going to lie, at first it sounded like the most insane assignment ever! However, the more my dad and I thought about it, it wasn't that bad and actually became a fun memory between the two of us that you helped create!
Thank you for being a woman of God that I can look up to. You always have open arms towards your students and seem to find the good in all of them, which I admire. I know that 14 and 15 year old kids are definitely not the easiest to teach, especially a sleepy, tired class like 1st hour! Still, you never failed to make the class upbeat and energetic with costume parties, dances, and many, many games and jokes.
I think that the largest impact that you have had on me was that you pushed me to join a journalism class. I don't know if I would have had the confidence in my writing and storytelling abilities if it weren't for you. You always told my class to get involved in high school, which I also think had an impact on my decision. Thank you for pushing me as a writer and never failing to give me advice and assurance when I was not positive on a piece of writing or a idea. Overall, you made my year memorable and enjoyable, and I know that I will not forget any of the memories made anytime soon!