Failure and Resilience By Lauren Gredicek

Eighth grade has been a long year, and it’s hard for me to believe it’s coming to an end. There have been times I have failed on a project I was working on, and wanted to give up. But I made it to the end somehow, and I think I have done pretty good.

I remember making a video about the mission statement this year, and it stressed me out a lot. I remember so many things going wrong, and at one point we had to refilm clips.

That week I had to stay after school almost every day to finish the video, and I remember I just wanted to say, forget it. But I didn’t, and I’m proud of myself. After watching the final video, I was proud knowing I created that and put so much effort in. This was a time that really stuck out to me about how I persevered until the end. Another time, has been in this last project.

I was very excited when I learned we would be building a skateboard as our last project of eighth grade. My older brother has two skateboards at home, and many times I like to play on them and pretend I’m good at riding them. However, I’m not very good and have fallen a couple times. Despite my inability to ride a skateboard well, I like skateboarding

Final skateboard!

Final skateboard!

and think it’s a cool sport or hobby. And even if you’re not the best at skateboarding, you can still have lots of fun, as I’ve learned.

Now I want you to think of a famous female skateboarder, or perhaps a famous female engineer/builder. When I asked myself this, I struggled to come up with answers. I wish there were more women associated in things like skateboarding. When I think of skateboarding I think of skater dudes, like Tony Hawk. Women and skateboarding are not common things that go hand in hand. It’s one of those things that is thought of as more of a manly thing. Why can’t there be more women connected to skateboarding? I feel that as the 8th grade class of Ann Richards, building these skateboards is adding to the image that skateboarding can be connected to women. Its also adding to the image that women can do the same things that men can do. Even though we are not becoming professional skaters, we are still building and constructing them. What we have been doing in class shows that women can do things that may be considered, “manly.” As I came to this realization in the building process, it made me want to keep working and not give up when problems arose.

One thing I’ve learned is that building a skateboard is harder than I thought it would be. The thing that makes it hard is that there are multiple steps, and if you don’t do one exactly right, it won’t turn out the right way and the skateboard will not function correctly. For example, the first time we built we didn’t put enough glue on the grain wood and after we had pressed all of the pieces together, there were cracks in the skateboard, making it weak. I was upset about this because it meant we had to start over. I had wanted to just keep going and ignore our failure, but then I remembered my realization, and wanted to be proud of my finished work. So after starting over we learned from our mistakes, and

Our 2nd skateboard after we learned from our mistakes.

Our 2nd skateboard after we learned from our mistakes.

built our skateboard the correct way. Now I would like to quote a senior speech from the other day. She said it was okay to make mistakes, because we learn from our mistakes and they help us grow. I would like to say that this is 100% true. It’s good to make mistakes, and as humans we make them often. This project has taught me mainly two things. The first being that as a woman we are capable of the same things as men. And lastly; to make mistakes, learn from them, and continue on. Just because you have failed once, doesn’t mean you should give up.

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