Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's Gonna Be a Bright, Bright, Bright, Bright, Sunshiny Day

I think the way a person deals with disappointment reveals a lot about them. Take for example my students. Today they received their test scores for a state-mandated graduation exam they took last month. You can always tell the kids who passed from the kids who didn't. The kids that passed the test rush to you with big smiles and proudly present their test results to you, like a little kid with an A+ on his report card.



It's kinda cute really. And frankly, it's teenagers at their most lovable. Even if they are usually a jerk in class, they are so proud, you can't help but be proud of them too. However, the kids that didn't pass fall into two distinctly different, but equally sad categories. For many failing students, the is the first  *true* disappointment they have ever experienced, compound that with the fact that the person that failed them was not a teacher or a parent or a boyfriend, but themselves, and it's a recipe for disaster.



You have the kids who are quiet. So quiet they are clearly trying to fade in the background. So quiet they hope that amongst the cheering and excitement no one will notice that they are there. Hoping no one will ask them how they did, they keep their eyes downcast. Encouraging words, "Oh you were so close" or "You'll get it next time",  fall around them and make no impact at all. These kids have internalized their disappointment. Some of them may never pass. You can tell they know this and have resigned themselves to that reality, but they are disappointed nonetheless. 



Then you have the other end of the spectrum. These kids are loud about their disappointment. They complain. They call the tests dumb. They blame their teachers, the school, the state- anything but themselves. These kids say the test doesn't matter and that they don't give a crap. They say they aren't going to try anymore. Some of them mean it, but some of them will continue to try. Someone once told me that test-taking was purely psychological- if you think you are going to do poorly, then you will. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Sorry, I am rambling... I think what I am trying to get at is how I deal with disappointment. It's probably not surprising that I am a total brat like that last set of kids.  But why? Are we hard-wired to deal with disappointment in different ways, and clearly there are way more options than the two I laid out. Can you change the way you react?

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life...The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
 Charles R. Swindoll 





40 comments:

C G said...

Really pretty! Love the bright yellow!


Carsedra of:

http://www.embracingtherealme.com/

http://sweets4yourtooth.blogspot.com/

Keesha said...

Wow I wouldnt be able to watch them go through so many emotions. Poor kids. Some of us still respond to things the same way as adults...*sigh* Well hopefully your sunny attitude (and cardi) help brighten their moods.

Annie said...

Dealing with disappointment is definitely tough - I feel like I'm a big baby about it! You look fabulous Katie - love the black+yellow, and the print of that dress is SO pretty!

Annie
The Other Side of Gray

Tara_St said...

For me, it depends on who I'm around when dealing with disappointment. If I'm around my friends or boyfriend...I am a total whining baby. If I am around people I'm less comfortable with, I try to fade into the background.
I love that yellow cardigan. There is just something about the color yellow that puts me in a good mood...except when I get a ketchup stain on my yellow cardigan like I did last week...haha.

Tara
Penniless Socialite

BrightandSassy said...

Yellow looks great on you! I know all about how frustrating state tests can be for students and for teachers!

http://brightandsassy.blogspot.com/

Becca said...

I was a horrible test taker in school- I hated them! I did fairly well in those days, but I was by no means a "great" student. I know their frustration.

That dress paired with the cardigan is so bright and cheery, I love it!

Brianna McDonald said...

You got another song stuck in my head. :)

Sharon S said...

Disappointment can be tough to face at any age! I do think it's a lot harder though when it's something that's in your control.

Loving the geometric print on that dress, Katie!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart

lovelovefashion said...

i love this post! i work as a learning assistant in a deprived high school and despite the bravado of any student, failure hits really hard, i have seen the student with zero effort and work genuinely shocked over poor results, and sadness in the student who poured so much into their work only to discover they failed too, and thats where i agree with the quote, i always try and share a positive attitude and approach and it rubs off, i have always believed in the power of a smile ( i know! how cheesy is that hehe) anyhow! i love this post! and also your outfit! i need yellow right now x

Always Maylee said...

You look great in yellow! Disappointment is so hard to deal with, especially if you got yourself all excited or worked up for things to go a certain way.

xo, Yi-chia

Jessica said...

Attitude IS everything! You look fierce in yellow :)
xx

Anita said...

First I want to say that I love your dress, it's very beautiful and the pattern is great! and then, for the disappointment... your post really made me think about myself: well I think that I'd react rather quiet. But I wouldn't stay with all the others, I normally want to be alone when I'm disappointed, and normally it's myself that I give the fault...
xxx Anita

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Well, that's kinda my specialty I guess!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much! I need to keep more of my disappointment inside, instead of whining so much! Thanks for visiting!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Disappointment is definitely tough! I try to shield my son from as much as possible but I know that one day it's going to happen!

Thank you, Yi-chia!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

You are exactly right. Kids that feel "entitled" like something is owed to them (What do you mean I didn't pass- when they know they didn't try) are so annoying, but it's heart-breaking for a kid trying so hard to fail. I have a ton of kid who literally missed by one point! So sad!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Good point, Sharon! When you know that the fault belongs to you, then I think you are right. Disappointment is tougher!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I have so many students like that, and it's so unfair that graduating high school is hinged upon passing this one exam!

Thank you so much! It's been so dreary down here, that I needed a bright color!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you! And you are right! It is so frustrating. I get upset because I see how close some of them came to passing, or I see the ones that should have passed and didn't take it seriously. And the pressure it puts on teachers... don't get me started!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Well, a ketchup stain in anything is a reason for a bad mood in my book! It's been super rainy and overcast here the last few days, so I needed something bright and sunny!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I know I am a big baby, but I am trying to work on it!

Thanks, Annie!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I definitely try to be positive, and I'm sure the cardigan didn't hurt!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Carsedra!

Marie_McGrath said...

This is a very interesting subject to talk about and I totally agree that attitude is everything. It took me several years to learn that the key to happiness is having a good attitude and dealing with problems in a positive matter. Its about accepting the things you can't change or control, and focusing on the good things. You look bright and cheerful in this outfit btw, love the yellow!

www.thejoyoffashion.blogspot.com

Loren Cline said...

You are such a cutie! I love your dress!
I'm definitely more of the 'keep quiet type', I'd rather people didn't know that I wasn't 'smart enough' or that I was 'to smart'. I can remember being embarrassed by nosy kids several times in school.

PaulCCarter said...

Your just so adorable

http://goo.gl/OrufB

Marissa said...

1. I love how bright and cheerful your outfit is.
2. I deal with disappointment in all the wrong ways, shopping, eating junk food, and being moody.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I definitely deal by shopping, which is a terrible habit!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I completely understand that reaction! I HATE when kids will try to snatch up each other's tests! It's none of everybody else's business!!!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Well, I'm glad you've learned that- I'm still working on it! But you are completely right. You've got to find the silver lining and believe that everything happens for a reason!

Marissa said...

I did some major retail therapy in Target tonight.

Laura {whoplannedthis} said...

I just found you tonight - love the bright yellow sweater, yellow is such a happy color! I'll be back :-)

Audrey @ Putting Me Together said...

You look awesome, as usual.

I love the depth that you're bringing here, Katie! I think the message you're empowering us with to have ownership of our attitudes is awesome. I agree that attitude is important and that to a large extent, we are able to control it. Disappointment can be so difficult to deal with, though, and I think if a young person hasn't had a sense of self-worth instilled in them then the bad attitude and pointing fingers tends to be a manifestation of the lack of self-worth. Sometimes, they're just bratty, and that's another story. But for many, I think there's a deep pain under their inability to gird up and change their attitude because they didn't get what they needed as children to believe they COULD succeed or overcome. I'm not saying this to make excuses for them not taking ownership of their failures, but just to reflect on what I've noticed is another obstacle that some people need to overcome in order to be able to take charge of their attitudes. :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

You are so right about the struggles our students deal with and that their reactions are not always their fault. it's tough to separate and recognize that some of these kids have horrendous home lives, especially in the heat of the moment! I had a student ask me one day why I talked and smile and say hello to every student that passes by my door, and I told him that I may be the only person all day that shows them any kindness. And I believe that. I try to build up and not tear down.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Yay! I'm glad you'll be back!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I would love to!

Carrie said...

Gosh, how did I miss this gorgeous dress?? I really shouldn't let end-of-semester craziness get in the way of my blog reading ... ; )
Interesting post on disappointment. I think you bring up a good point: we (in schools, at home, and in the community) need to teach productive ways to deal with disappointment. Many of our students do not see people dealing with disappointment and setbacks in a reflective way. It's a life skill to be able to dust yourself off, assess where you fell short, and make a plan to do better the next time.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I know how that is- sometimes life just gets too busy!

I love your input into this issue. I agree that they don't have good role models for dealing with disappointment. Thank you for sharing!

Tori said...

I love the print of this dress, so cute!! I have no idea how you teach high school kids! I was a sub for a couple months and knew right away I could never be a teacher, such hard work!! Good for you, glad we still have some good teachers out there :)


www.mythriftychic.com

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Pin It button on image hover