Among the final pages of the yearbook from my senior year of high school, my name is right next to the "most likely to return as teacher" verdict. I was satisfied, the title was a result of all the seniors free-writing names on a list of about 15 "most likely" awards, so I was glad to have been considered for anything at all.
I am not a teacher, nor do I live in Portland, Oregon, where I'd have to be to teach at my old school, but I do visit nearly every time I return home to see my family, and it always feels good to walk down the hallways. I am one of those people who always loved school, particularly when I was learning something new and given creative control over assignments. I even liked studying and finals. I was not a fan of anything that I deemed a waste of time, and I must admit I failed one quarter of Scripture (attended Catholic High School) with a perfect 50%. I scored 100% on tests, and a big fat zero on homework assignments, which I refused to turn in on principle. The instructor simply assigned us to copy pieces of the bible verbatim, and I figured I had better things to do with both my time and my brain than xerox passages by hand. When he expressed regret over giving me a failing grade for the quarter, knowing that I understood the material, I looked him square in the eye, and told him that I was fine with the grade if he was. If his methods didn't identify comprehension, perhaps he wanted to alter his grading or assignments, but if his goal was to identify who would blindly follow an assignment, his system was successful. He changed a couple of assignments the following quarter, including a rewrite of the nativity story in the new testament, and I completed each assignment that bore some creativity and provoked thought. I still skipped anything that required me to copy. I believe that quarter I received a D. Thanks to my understanding of the material and successful test-taking, and a final weighted at 1/3 of the semester grade, I finished the class with a C+ despite two very poor quarterly grades.
That was an exception, and most of my classes were in the A to B+ range. I loved any assignment that stretched my mind. I was still guilty of procrastination, as many other students, but I took a lot of joy in thinking about the world in different ways and learning from the students and teachers around me.
Even though I have not fulfilled my "calling" per the high school yearbook, I feel like the idea behind it was pretty spot-on. After all, I love learning, research, school activities, community action and involvement, and, obviously, coming up with assignments and lesson plans!
writercize: You have two options, both based on "most likely to" awards.
- If you are already working on a book and your character is an adult, give them a most likely award.
- If you are looking to spark some fun writing, create a most likely award and create a character profile to go along with the award.
Note: You don't have to feel limited by the standard "most likely to succeed" or "most likely to become a millionaire." We had "most likely to travel the country by train as a groupie" and "most likely to wear a lampshade as a hat" - get creative!
Click "read more" for writercizer sample response inventing a few most likely high school awards and their characters. Leave your writercize response as a comment to share your results with the exercise!writercizer sample response:
(all names are completely fictional and not intended to represent anyone real)
- Most Likely To Star in His/Her Own Reality TV Show: Bethany Ann Levito - documented high school on You Tube, one video a week, exposing the "true life" of a high school teenager - boyfriends, sports, parties, drama department. Why reality and not journalism or documentary director? She was the star, asking her next door neighbor to film her along the way.
Most Likely To Lose All His/Her Teeth: Bobby-John Allan Smith-Jones - lives on a constant diet of chewing tobacco, donuts and lollipops. Spends most of his time after class on the bench with the baseball team.
- Most Likely To Work Undercover: Natalie Brasilia - jumps from group to group under the radar. Chats easily with anyone, appears confident but is not memorable and does not forge strong friendships with her classmates or teachers. Has been mistaken for a substitute teacher and taught classes during course of high school.
- Most Likely To Own A Plane: Goldy Johnson - no one is sure of his real first name, but he exudes class and confidence. Opened his first business in 2nd grade selling computer programs to predict online gaming patterns in multi-player games. Graduating with a book deal and investment offers on the table. Admitted to all Ivy League schools.
- Most Likely To Invent A New Professional Sport: Brady Lock - built a ski ramp down the front stairs of the school, invented shoes made for ski ramp, and set up a neighborhood competition