Sunday, May 10, 2015


It seems like just a couple days ago I was picking out what I wanted to pursue for my 20 Time Project.  This was surprisingly very difficult for me because never in my education experience had I been given the opportunity to do what legitimately whatever I wanted.  The thought of this project lasting a whole year and dedicating part of my life to it was somewhat overwhelming.  I didn't even know where to start! Mr. Provenzano just kept telling us to do whatever we are passionate about, and that's what I did.  I knew from the start, and after hearing about some of the projects from the year before us, that I wanted to do something for other people, like charity or giving back in some way.  I finally chose to help the people of Detroit and give back to them and the city.
I was so excited to start my project.  There were so many ideas floating through my head and every day I was so eager to do the next thing.  After doing research, setting up events, and most of all, waiting for emails back, I realized what a huge commitment this was.  I loved going down to Cass Community Social Services, exploring the city, and donating supplies, but it was all becoming very stressful.  Constantly, I had to put my project on hold in order to wait for responses from people, usually just to hear a month later that I was being rejected or the programs I tried to get involved in were all shut down.
The excitement wore off.  Honestly, 20 Time became a burden.  I tried so hard to find new things to do or get involved in but it started to seem like, to the real world, a sophomore in high school is not going to fix a whole city or help a whole community of people.  On off weeks when I had to write a blog post about my accomplishments, I felt like a failure when I had to say that I am still "waiting for responses" or "trying to switch gears" or even "haven't made much progress".  (Yes, we can be told a million times that failure is an option, but it will still always make you feel like a failure).
I was no longer excited by the possibilities of my project.  I just felt like a high school girl that already had so much on her plate with school, sports, social life, family time, etc.  There wasn't much time for my 20 Time Project and I was not willing to sacrifice the other things in my life for this project.  Life is crazy enough at this age and one more thing to think about can really stress kids out.  Also, we are have our whole life ahead of us to find out what we are passionate about pursue that and at this age, we don't really know what that "one thing" is.  To add, the whole school year I was constantly thinking about the 8 minute speech I had to give at the end of all this.  Quite frankly, I just wanted to learn Honors American Literature, without the 20 Time twist.
Although, just because I had some rough patches within my project and didn't necessarily agree with the idea, that does NOT mean that I didn't learn anything.  I truly learned a lot about the world while doing my project.  Exploring the streets of Detroit and seeing people in need was extremely humbling and showed me that the world does not all operate like the suburbia of Grosse Pointe.  I will never forget the chills that went through my body as Willie from Cass Community Social Services told me that just because I came in to volunteer, over 1,000 homeless people of all ages would be served lunch and dinner that day and a couple days worth of food would be sent to feed a prison.  I have learned from this project, as clich√© as it sounds, anyone can make a difference.  Volunteering, charity, and giving back is what we need to see more of in this world and what seems like a little thing to us, to someone more fortunate, it makes all the difference.
This is what I want to focus my talk on.  I am so nervous, stressed, and scared for my talk.  I know I have a lot to say but, for me, vocalizing my thoughts in an out-loud, speech like setting is hard.  The thought of memorizing an 8 minute speech makes me cringe, knowing that if I forget something or mess up and have a mind blank, my whole speech will become a joke and my project and what I learned from it will be disregarded by the person listening.  I understand that public speaking will always be part of our lives and it is good to get practice, but I just think that it seems like a lot and it is very overwhelming.  I am going to give my speech my best effort and really try to spread my ideas successfully.

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