“When I was younger, I got picked on because I wasn't so smart. But then I started studying more, getting averages in the nineties, and I got into honors. That really helped.”
“Are you proud of yourself for that?”
“Yes,” she spoke with confidence and sincerity. “I'm very proud.”
Morgan F, 8th grader at Holland Patent Middle School, was born to play the violin. She dedicates herself to our school's orchestra, academics, and enriching herself for a promising future. By speaking with her about almost everything under the sun, I learned about a person with an impressive amount of drive and an even more unique outlook on life.
Of S.T.E.A.M. and 8th grade curriculum, Morgan has much to say. She's “not a big fan” of the constantly changing schedule, as she finds it incredibly confusing amidst the already accelerated schoolwork. However, she loves all of her teachers this year, with Dr. Hast as her favorite due to her humorous and helpful nature. Of course, her contentment in the English Language Arts classroom has everything to do with her love of literature. Morgan always has a book within reach, whether she's at lunch, in class, or on vacation. However, when she's not reading in her free time, one can find her playing any of the sports she favors most, such as basketball, softball, and soccer.
She also has a passion for building and technology, at which she excels. One of her favorite technology projects in Mr. Misner's class was building bottle rockets in seventh grade. For this assignment, Morgan worked with a partner to create an aerodynamically-designed rocket out of a thick plastic soda bottle to be launched high into the air.
There's an entirely different form of technology that Morgan finds somewhat troubling. She feels strongly that none of us really need the cellphones and other electronics cherished by most people her age. When asked her opinion on these electronics themselves (rather than their use), she stated, “I found out that I don't really need (them), so I don't really have an opinion on it.” Sometimes, she wishes she could live in a time such as the 1800's that wasn't so heavily influenced by technology. She's aware that there are still teenagers out there who are not as technology-obsessed as others, but she stills believes that constant texting and use of social media contribute to a thick communication barrier in people our age.
Instead of texting and checking on Facebook, one would sooner find Morgan studying, practicing her violin, and dreaming of Paris (no, really). She has an intense appreciation for world cultures and believes that they are “perfect (in) how different they are.” Predominantly, she is fascinated by European cultures and customs, especially those of the French. Morgan would love to live in Paris someday, possibly studying culinary arts in the hopes of owning her own restaurant. As well as a future in cooking for the masses, she sees herself in a criminal justice lab as a homicide detective (maybe at the same time- you never really know).
If Morgan has any advice for you, it would be to “never give up.” The way she sees it, there is nothing that can't be achieved with the right amount of practice (she sees two violin tutors for sessions at least once a week), sense, and true passion. She has auditioned for the all-county orchestra ever since she was in the fifth grade, and has made it ever single year due to her hard work. About this year's all county audition, she says, “I was nervous and messed up on a scale, but I got in, and I'm happy about that.” Nervous? How could Morgan get nervous after having aced every audition since the very beginning? Well, it's been proven by numerous studies and the experiences of multiple individuals that just a mild case of the jitters can improve performance, as it puts just the right amount of pressure on a person to satisfy their need to do well.
Morgan's strong drive to succeed exists not only to further her musical career, but to achieve personal goals and step outside of her comfort zone on occasion. She admires and is thankful to her sisters for motivating her to try intimidating new things, such as dirt biking. What's even more impressive is a drastic academic improvement she achieved years ago and has been keeping up ever since. By doing this, she was able to prove to herself that those who bullied her were simply wasting their time. She considers this a drastic turning point in her life, as it was the first big change she's ever made with the bettering of herself in mind.
I believe all of us have a lot to learn from Morgan, a truly sincere person who is acquainted with the power of passion and hard work towards a goal.