Sunday, April 24, 2016

BEFORE YOU GO....A Final Reflection


The final days of the 2015-2016 school year are rapidly approaching.  For some of us, it will mark the beginning of another well deserved and highly anticipated summer break that will rejuvenate our spirits before our final year of high school.  But for others, it will mark the end of something very significant and the beginning of a whole new chapter in our lives..

It can be an exhilarating and terrifying time.  What are we going to do?  Who will we become?  What is our passion?  What are the dreams we're going to chase?

If you are like most people your age, you don't know.
Maybe you have a few ideas or notions about who you would like to be "when you grow up," but the pressure of choosing your career--your ultimate destiny-- can be quite dizzying to say the least.  How do you go about narrowing the field?  Have you chosen your major?  Is there some kind of magic formula that helps you make the right choice?  Everyone talks about finding your passion--your purpose--your calling.  Do you know what that is?  Do you know and are you  just afraid to admit it to yourself or are you whole-heartedly in the dark?

I do not, unfortunately, have a magic formula to help you determine what it is you were created to do.  I also, very regrettably, do not have a crystal ball to look into and tell you whether or not you will be successful in achieving your dreams.  I can tell you that often times, the journey is the best part, but so many people do not realize that in time to fully enjoy it...

You will have many opportunities cross your path, and there will be, consequently, many decisions to make. Whether you are graduating next month or a year from next month, your end here at high school is really just one of many new beginnings you will experience in your life going forward into adulthood: each risk and choice will open up new possibilities.  So while you may be a bit wistful about leaving your high school years behind you, remember that these years you have had were more of the jumping off place - a time to prepare, play, study, and learn- so that you would develop the tools you will need to begin and forge your way.

So...no matter what your purpose, passion or calling, the only thing I CAN promise you with great
confidence is that you will find it.  Keep looking, search your heart, try new things, explore new places, travel and adventure.  Take risks, embrace challenges, and enjoy the journey as you navigate your way towards ultimate discovery!  Keep a diary of the things you learn and realize, set goals, meet them, and set some more. Decide where you would like to go and what you would like to do, and then go there...make those things happen.  Be a mover and a shaker, but take the time you need to stop and reflect, too, and you will find it.

While trying to conceptualize this, our final blog of the school year, I came across this very interesting TED talk video.  It poses the fill in the blank question:  Before I die, I want to....  Watch the video, think about the project this young artist began, and then ask the question with your own explanation.  The whole world is waiting --your life is out there for you to discover and determine.  When you stop and think of all the ages and eras that have already gone by on this earth, each of us are only here for a blink of an eye.  How will you make the very most of that time?

I so look forward to reading your posts, but more than that, I look forward to seeing what YOU will do out there in the years to come with the time you have been given!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uebxlIrosiM





80 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this TED talk! It gave me hope and inspiration to live life in the best way that I possibly can. Candy Chang changed the game of community. The wall she made on her house stating the fill in the blank sentence, "Before I Die I want..." sparked my creativity and broadened my horizons of all the things that I wish to do before I die. It also put into perspective of others wishes and dreams and how they differ from mine. I especially enjoyed the comment, "Before I Die I want to be tried for piracy"-hilarious! Chang changed the outlook of not only her community but many around the world with walls like this. These walls brought people together. I also enjoyed how she took her pain from Joan's death and turned it into good. These walls can give people motivation and perspective on how to fulfill their life span because at any moment it can be taken away.
    Before I Die I want to be happy. My goal is to be a dermatologist, but if that doesn't happen or it doesn't make me happy, I can only wish for a successful life worth living. I also want friends and family members surrounding me and supporting me because what is happiness without having anyone to share it with? To make the very most of this time I will go through everyday with a positive mindset and try my best.

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    1. Happiness is the best dream. I hope that you find it...in whatever you decide to do!

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  2. This TED talk was very emotional and inspirational. I usually hate thinking about death and just the future in general (I have no idea what I want to do as a career or what college to go), but for this blog I will try to have an open mind. I think it was a great idea to turn a useless, run-down building into a positive thinking space for strangers to compare their thoughts and feel like they are a part of something within the community. I would write on the wall if I ever passed it. It's amazing how the concept spread to other countries as well!
    To answer the question myself, upon much consideration, I decided that before I die I want to travel the world. I want to go to as many places as I can within my lifespan, even if it's very gradual. As of now, I've rarely been out of Arizona, and even at that I've only experienced a few other states. Seeing different cultures, scenery, people, buildings, and doing different events in a variety of countries seems so worth it to me. I wouldn't want to go alone though, but to share the memories with someone I love, whether it be a best friend, family member, or significant other. That's my dream...

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    1. Kyra--you must make yourself a promise that you will! There is nothing more incredible than visiting a country you have always wanted to see! When I first stood at the base of the Eiffel Tower, I cried. I couldn't believe it was right there, and you know what? It was even MORE incredible than I imagined! Strolling the Champs Elysee and hearing an accordion player play "La Vie En Rose" was a dream. I had the same feeling when I stood on the Beaches of Normandy for the first time, and heard Big Ben chime. Europe was my dream, and slowly, it is coming true. PLEASE visit these places. They will touch your soul and change you! :)

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  3. One of my favorite TED talks, and being in school we have seen a lot! I love the passion she has for her project and the people who participated. It's amazing to see that countries all over the world are participating in the act and sharing their innermost thoughts. "Take the time to reflect" This quote (though it may seem simple), really connected with me, because almost all of do things without thinking about them afterwards. I know sometimes I do. Personally I'm going to start reflecting more, to connect more with myself.
    To answer the initial question: Before I die I want to live up to my own expectations. With this I don't want to be so hard on myself, and enjoy the small victories along the way. All accomplishments are good accomplishments, and one day I want to realize that.

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    1. How incredible that you recognize this possibility so young: that all accomplishments are good--they should be measured not by success or failure, but by the passion behind them. :)

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  4. This video and your blog made me choke up a little. I think this whole weekend has just been very emotional for me as a whole and I'm finally embracing the fact I'm graduating in less than a month and I can't help but be excited and yet so terrified. I never really thought about death right after my graduation and now that I've watched this video it hasn't made me paranoid or obsessed, just more aware of this. Of course, this isn't anything new...
    This past month a good friend of mine, died a tragic death this Easter Sunday, and it was hard for me to deal with that, trying to cope with the death of a young girl who had her whole life ahead of her. I think about her a lot, and just while I was in Disney I saw so many families and girls her age and I wasn't sad, but I was thinking about her and just, how that should be here right now. She should be out experiencing these things as a teenager. Now she's in Heaven and I do miss her, but she's no longer suffering.
    So her passing inspired me to live life more fully, not to take people for granted, and to look to everyone and bless people when they're sad and acknowledge other's presence. My dream before I die is to live life fully, without any regrets. I aspire to give my all in everything I do, especially once I move to California. It's so cut throat in the design industry and I don't want to look back on my life and think that I cheated my way or didn't try hard enough to get what I want in life. Also, I want for myself to not only be successful, but to be content also with what I have. I have trouble with wanting every detail in my life when I have no control over it to be going the way I want and it causes a Iot of anxiety. I don't want this to control my life forever because it has inhibited relationships, friendships, and goals I've had for myself.

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    1. Yes! Enjoy your journey, be ever grateful for every second you have to live and breathe and experience and just make the most of your adventure....wherever it takes you!

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  5. This was certainly quite a charming presentation, I appreciated the concept of the chalkboard building, especially within the context of the artist's other community building efforts (the idea of a "Please Disturb" sign was hilarious, but it felt surprisingly natural). She spoke truly when she said that we aren't encouraged to talk about death, because it is such an unpleasant subject, but the avoidance of such a subject also tends to avoid the discussion of goals laid out ere death overtakes us. The project she designed gave people in her community an opportunity to express their deepest dreams, an opportunity otherwise difficult to attain ("You know, before I die, I want to become an astronaut" is hardly a common part of conversation). The expression of ideas often forces us to truly consider them, which results in increased certainty in the idea and consequently a clearer path to pursuing it.

    The reality of my own mortality has been made undeniably clear to me at this point in my life, having passed narrowly through shadow and flame. I live every minute, every hour, knowing all too well that it may be my last on this Earth. The reality of life is that I may never see any concrete dreams realized, so I mustn't become too attached to the idea of any particular stage of life or destination therein. Without this knowledge, I might say that, before I die, my dream was to marry a princess, and do everything in my power to help her realize her dreams. I might perhaps say that my dream was to become a renowned author and a respected Professor, enlightening the world in either case. In the end, however, none of that really matters, because I do not know the hour of my death. If I make it there, then those are the things I will do, but my success or failure is not determined by such standards.

    Instead, I must focus on the principles that I may live by today, and tomorrow, and see them fulfilled. I cannot choose whether or not some accident shortens my mortal life, but I can decide what to do with the time I have been given. Therefore, I will say that before I die, I want to help others fulfill their dreams. I have been blessed with the depth of emotion and empathy to care for others' dreams, and the talents to support them, I recognize these gifts and intend to make full use of them. At this stage of life, I cannot do anything that seems very meaningful in and of itself, but the little things add up. I can think of a hundred little things that others did for me to help me along the way, though such deeds would seem of little significance themselves. By doing these little things for others, I will be the man I want to be, whether I die tomorrow or a hundred years hence.

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    1. Duncan, this is so enlightened. You are truly an old soul, and an inspired one. I have no doubt that you will be a published author, and a most excellent professor, whose students know that their teacher genuinely cares about their dreams...
      About the princess? Well, I am a hopeless Romantic, so never relinquish hope in possibilities! If not by noble, royal birth, she will be a princess to you! :)

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  6. I thought this was a really interesting video. I did not expect people to take something like that wall so seriously (for the most part). Normally, I would expect people to take it as a huge joke and write down ignorant comments making fun of the whole idea. It is nice that people actually took it so seriously though.

    It is a tough fill in the blank answer though. So many options for what you want to do with your life but you have to think of one overarching purpose for you to exist. I think mine would be, "Before I die, I want to live as happy as I was in my memories". Life is relatively stressful with having to apply for colleges and take IB courses and it makes me miss life as a little kid where I had to spell out different colors and identify which is which and then I could go home and play with my toys. Though it will never be the same, I hope to find a similar bliss sometime before it is my time to depart.

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  7. This TED talk was surprisingly emotional... I hadn't really thought about the prospect of death in terms of what I didn't do in my life. Being shy, I hold back in a lot of things and watching this video made me realize that I shouldn't be doing that anymore. Why should I hold back from doing or saying things? I only have a little amount of time on this world and holding back won't allow me to make the changes and special memories with others before I go. So, before I die, I want to stop holding back. I want to embrace who I am and to stop discouraging myself to do risky things. I want to live life fully with God and my loved ones and to not be afraid of anything.

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  8. That was really cool...
    As A christian, death is always on the mind, because it also COULD mean eternal life. There is a lot to really think about day by day, and not get caught up in the moment as she stated. Truly the impact you make now could change the entire dynamic of the world tomorrow, good or bad.
    I came to terms early on in life after making the mistakes of my adolescence, that no second is promised. Anything could happen at any given moment, and all you hope for and live for would be gone. Especially with the religious view, Jesus could come back right now as a write this for all I know! Which is why I don't make goals or plans, when I do they are extremely loose and adjustable. Therefore I hardly EVER make plans about what I want to do, it's to help other people be happy and achieve theirs. I'm just trying to enter into heaven knowing I made an impact on SOMEONE'S life.
    Before I die I want, everyone in the world understand that I love them, that some random guy in Arizona loves them, I hope they feel that in some point in their life, because as strange as it sounds, I honestly do love everybody.

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  9. In my first year of teaching I had a very passionate scholar discussing religious issues with me. He said "If you don't believe in an after life, what guides your life on earth?" My response to him is a similar one that I will share in regards to what I want to accomplish before I die. I said to him "Everything I do in the present impacts the future. Not just my future, but all those that I interact with. How I choose to treat people has a ripple effect. I do not make my decisions based on what I might get in an after life. I make my decisions based on the effect they will have here on earth." We all have a legacy that we will leave behind. Here is the one I hope to leave. As a mother, I hope that I raise children who are responsible and empathetic. If they have those two characteristics, they will make the world a better place or at least not make it worse. As a teacher, I hope that I have been an adult that believed in young people. I hope that I have encouraged them to take action and be risk takers, to believe that they have the power to make their own path.

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  10. This TED talk gave me a lot of hope and inspiration for my future. It really made me focus on what I want out of my life and what I can do to achieve it. Before I die I want to find complete peace and happiness in my life. I hope to find a job that makes me happy and provides for me well. I'd love to work in the field of psychology or nursing, specifically with children. I feel I'd be very happy helping families work through their medical feats. That's just what I'd like to accomplish mentally though.

    Physically, I'd love to travel all over the world, experiencing different cultures and seeing the world through different lenses. I hope that the next chapters in my life have a lot in store for me.

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  11. Candy Chang's story was a very inspirational one and gave me a lot of motivation to think about what I want to do in life. This TED talk made me realize that life is too short and if you want to do something you have to do it now or you will never get the chance to. Death is something that I do not normally think about because it has always terrified me but now it made me realize that it will happen eventually and when that time comes I want everything I wanted to do in my life to be done. So, before I die I want to become a professional dancer and travel the world.It has always been a dream of mine. I would love to work for different choreographers all around the world and study their cultures.

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  12. This TED talk was incredible to watch. Candy Chang seemed so at peace and comfortable with herself and I truly wish I could be like that! Throughout the video when they showed pictures of the writing on the wall I would pause the video and read what people wrote just to see all of the diverse responses, and there was one specifically that stood out to me. The one that stood out to me said, "Before I die, I want to LIVE". This one stood out to me because it was exactly what I thought of when I heard the question too. I truthfully don't think that I enjoy life a lot and I don't just live, but I wish I did! In my everyday life I worry so much about the little things that happen and about the mean things that people say, and I have no idea why. I believe that I just need to let go and live.

    At my age I think about death WAY more than I should, because it really scares me so much to know that I could just go away at any second and not be here anymore. I think that I just need to not care and roll with the punches. Before I die I want to just enjoy life and not care.

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  13. I didn’t mind this TED talk; Candy Chang had an interesting idea to turn something rundown into something hopeful with her chalkboard building. She did make me think about death, which is annoying because I’ve been walking the line between fear and indifference towards dying for so long, that I’ve just stopped worrying about it altogether. The reality is that, no matter how much I fear it, or how much I don’t care about it, death will knock on my door when my time is up. I don’t live my life disregarding death and I don’t live my life like I’m going to live forever. I just live as best as I can with the time I’m given, and before I die, I want to continue learning how live responsibly with the utmost enjoyment without regrets! I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. Jeez, I don’t have my entire life planned out. I just know that when the next moment arrives, I will perform as best as I can. It might seem simple minded, but I’ve made it 18 years with this philosophy and I’m going for 18 more! Maybe we can all catch up then and see how it’s gone! Haha!

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  14. These past couple of months I have been battling with how I want my future to look like. We are slammed with deadlines that are soon approaching and it is sad to think that death is one of them; this deadline doesn't have a specific date. Many of us have been told to work and study hard, that we have to prepare for college. My entire life all I have heard is "College, Work, Money". We grow up and hopefully get the chance to go to school for our education, find a job, work, and raise a family. Usually we are never told about the things we should do in between. We work hard our entire lives to get small vacations. We get caught up in our life's, we worry about other peoples problems more than ourselves, we plan way ahead instead of living in the moment.

    Life should be taken one step at a time. Enjoy every piece of it, make the most of the people that you care about the most, smile at a stranger walking by, tip your waiter, pay for someones meal, check up on others, TAKE RISKS, have adventures, do something that scares you and something that excites you! Before I die, I want to live. I don't mean living by physically being on this planet, but I want to have spontaneous adventures, go through heart breaks, meet new people, constantly learn new things, travel, discover different places, become indepedent, grow a family and be happy.

    We get caught up on what we have to do next, especially right now at this period in my life.

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  16. What I like most about this video is that Candy put herself out there without worrying about people judging her. She contributed to the world and she did it in a beautiful way. That is what I wish to do with my life. I dream of someday backpacking around the world with friends and not have to worry about any obstacles, limitations, or other's judgement. I want to document stories of real people around the world from different backgrounds,and let them know that they are important. I want to remind people that we are all human and it is okay to show emotions and to live a life of mistakes. I want to leave my imprint to inspire future and past generations.
    When I was younger I was afraid of death because everyone makes it sound like that is all you get in the end no matter what you do to prevent it, but I am determined to live a life where my memory will continue to live on even after I'm gone. I don't know when I will die but I hope I go peacefully, surrounded by love.

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  17. My favorite line in this TED talk was "Thinking about death, clarifies your life." This is true in many ways. It is true for us now thinking about our future. It is true for our loved ones closer to death. It is true for those who are younger with so much ahead of them.

    My "Before I die" dream is to have a family of my own one day. And to get there I have worked really hard in school. I care about my education and I want to succeed in life to achieve my dream. I have pushed myself for straight As and college scholarships since I started school. Now that I am here, now that I am done and I achieved those things I found that I was still lost. I didn't know what college I should go to or what scholarship to take. I still don't. However, I did decide one thing. Through a lot of prayer and tears and discussion with my mom I decided to serve a mission for my church for 18 months. It is a scary choice for me. I don't know where I will be going. I don't know how well I will be able to teach the people. I don't know what school I will go to when I get back or if I will be able to get scholarships again. I don't know how or when I will ever get my "before I die" dream. But I do know that I need this break. I need to step out of my comfort zone and away from the world I know.

    The world is such a busy and chaotic place these days. Everything moves so fast. And part of my problem right now is I've been wishing away my days. I always long for the weekends and the vacations and the summers and my life. I need to remember my life is NOW! I don't need to rush it to be happy. Each day is my life and I will live it moving forward but never jumping forward or skipping over days.

    I remember reading a story my mom showed me at the beginning of the year about how senior year seems so slow but in reality it goes by so fast. It talked about enjoying it and going to activities and spending time with friends and being young instead of wishing it away. At the time my response was "Yeah, okay! I still want it to be over." And while that is still a little true I wish I would have soaked in some of the moments more than I had because now there are 28 days until "real life" starts and it is going to be scary leaving everything I've know behind.

    What are you most afraid of? Now, go do that!

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    1. Mikensee, I am going to respond to your post by quoting from Prince Caspian: Yes, you are nervous about your choice; it is bold and because of this it is scary. But your uncertainty along with your determination is what makes me so sure you are ready for this experience.
      The only way to really live, I firmly believe, is to acknowledge our fears and then seek to defeat and overcome them. Then you advance to another level of peace and existence! Super excited for you!

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  18. This video captivated me... To see others' dreams that they want to put into action before they die was awesome and not only that, but the response was incredible. Seeing this made me so happy because I feel like I am growing up in a world with no dreams or no aspirations. It seems like everyone is almost on sleep mode; that it is alright to settle and be average. It could just be that people don't know yet or don't have the opportunity or courage to share, but I love to see that there are still those that want just a little more out of life.
    Personally when looking at this statement, I automatically fill it in with "be a light". Before I die, I want to be a light. My whole life, I have wondered what my purpose is, why God sent me here at a time like this. Looking back, I have never wanted anything more than to be a light. From a Christian perspective, the goal in life is to be a light and to let the spirit of Jesus Christ shine through you. That is why I want to be a light. I want to be a light in a dark and oppressed world. I want to be someone that stands out from all the others in the crowd. I want to be the person that people talk about for being so happy and kind. I want to help people and change peoples lives for the greater good. So that when I do die and I rise to heaven that God may look at me, smile, and say "I am well pleased."

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  19. Before I watched the video I had no clue what to say I wanted to do before I die. It seemed like a question about a destination, or a grand moment. "Before I die I want to fall in love, parachute off the Grand Canyon (because this theoretical person I've created is apparently insane), and solve world hunger". I was paralyzed because I didn't know. But the video showed me that the statement can be big or little, silly or serious. So here are a few things I want to do before I die.
    I want to teach. I want to help others find the love of learning I've been blessed with. I want to show others love and kindness, as God asks us to. I want to find my place. I want to die knowing that I've done everything that I should have, and lived a full life.

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  20. I can by far say this has been one of my favorite Ted Talks and definitely one I wont forget after graduation. I always think about the “what I want to do before I die”, list I’ve mentally wrote and add to on a daily basis. It’s so astonishing to me to think how fragile life is and you never really know the time you have left with the people you love. I’ve always made it a personal goal of mine to smile and be friendly to the ones I meet because words and actions do have the power to change someones life. I’ve also made it a habit of always telling the people I love and care about that they are important, because you never know when that could be the very last thing you say to them.
    When watching this video lists of “what I want to do before I die” stirred about my mind. I want to make a change and positive impacts, whether it be a huge one or just a small one in someones life. I want to live a life of adventure and I definitely don’t want to find my self saying “If I had only” or “what if”, I want to take the opportunities life presents me with and use them to full my advantage. I love school and I want to be successful in life, but I don’t want to smother my self with work and school; like I honestly have been doing the past four years, I want to explore and build relationships and enjoy the little joys life has to offer. I want to be happy before I die.

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  21. Like a couple of my peers, this Ted talk brought me to tears. Like Mikensee, my favorite line in this entire talk was, "Thinking about death, clarifies life." This is true for anyone living. Death can sneak upon us at any time, any second, death has no discrimination to who it takes, and that is the thought that scares me when I think of death. When I think of this, I immediately snap into thoughts where I ask myself, am I happy with the way I am living? Am I living life to the fullest potential?
    Every day, every month, and every year I grow older, my list of wishes and goals I want to achieve before I die grows. I do not want to live in fear of death, because in retrospect, our time on Earth is so very short. Too short to constantly wonder when we will leave. That is one thing I want to accomplish before I die, live without the fear of death itself. Despite the great goals I've set for myself, despite all the material things I'd love to have, see, and feel before I die, I always come back to the same three things I want to do before I do. I want to be genuinely happy- whether that comes from being a mother some day, finding my true calling, making my parents proud, being an inspiration to my sisters, I want to be able to say I lived a time on Earth truly and purely happy. Second, I want to say I saw the most extraordinary things our world has to offer and it doesn't have to be places I travel to. I want to see life changing acts of humanity, I want to see someone give true forgiveness, I want to see someone be cured of a terrible disease, etc. The third thing I want to do is make a difference. Whether it is for one person, many people, a nation, or even just myself.

    There is one quote that never leaves my mind, and it is, "To live would be an awfully big adventure." I hope that as I grow older and wiser I learn to embrace the precious gift of life more and more.

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  22. This blog made me feel really emotional. I thoroughly enjoyed the video. I love all the projects she's done. I really enjoy learning about other people and why they are the way they are, what their dreams are, all that stuff. I think the projects she comes up with are a very interesting way to learn about people. I love when she says "two of the most valuable things we have are time and our relationships with other people." I have very few people that I consider extremely close and I try really hard to make sure that I maintain these relationships because they are extremely valuable. The question posed is very deep and something I often think about. There are several things I want to do before I die. Before I die I want to be genuinely happy. I want to make some music not to be famous, but simply because I love music and think it would be cool to have my own music to share. I want to marry someone that I love with my heart and soul and that loves me with their heart and soul in return. I want to go to Disneyland, Paris, and multiple other places with the love of my life. I want to take pictures of people and capture their light and learn their stories. I want to impact a community or even just one person's life. My biggest goal is to accept all that I am. I want to accept my failures and my accomplishments all the same. I want to be proud of myself and be as good of a person as I can be. These are just a few of the things I want to do before I die. As I go through life I want to keep this quote from her with me. "The people around us can not only help us make better places but they can help us lead better lives."

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  23. This TED talk was really inspirational! The chalk board she made for others to fill in the blank sentence "Before I Die I want to ..." really opened up my eyes. She made it so that people could reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space. I thought that was a really neat idea.

    Before I die I want to be able to travel the world and see all the 7 wonders of the world. Also, I just want to live a happy long life. I want to be able to leave this world knowing that I made my life as happy as possible, and that I have no regrets.

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  24. Listening to Candy Chang was inspirational, especially heading off to college next year. I really enjoyed listening to what she had to say because it was interesting and she was easy to listen to. Going o to college next year allows me to follow any path I choose to take part in and when she mentioned the "before I die I want to..."it got me thinking on what I really want to with my life. It had me thinking that I really want to enjoy the simple things in life but also I want to travel around the world to see as many things as I can.
    I was not as emotional while watching the video as I anticipated. I think I am at a point in my life where I am ready for new adventures and ready to move forward to do many things I will work for.

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  25. This TED talk by Candy Chang inspired me deeply to live life to the fullest, as cheesy as it sounds. Death is inevitable and scary, but I understood Chang when she said"thinking about death clarifies our life". A family member of mine passed away three weeks ago and it was hard to think that a loved one is no longer with us. At first, I was mad, that he was taken away from his family and friends. But then, at the funeral, the priest said that God believed it was there time to go and that he was still here with us, spiritually. This made me think critically about life in general and how to appreciate the little things: the roof over my head, the food we eat, my friends I laugh with, my family I love, etc.

    I once wrote in an old journal of mine that I was terrified of the future and death. And I still kind of am, but instead of running away from my future, I have to face it. Before I die, I want to... be incredibly happy with myself and learn to appreciate myself more often. I believe this can be done by reaching my goals: graduating college, do what I love, having a successful life, having a family, sharing all this happiness with friends and family members, and going on adventures: I want to live a fulfilling life.

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  26. I'm scared. I'm really scared. We are all so young and in reality we collectively as a whole have not experienced anything in life. I have no clue what is out there. And that's why I never really want to think about my future and leaving High School, it scares me. But to answer the question, Before I die I want to live. I know that really doesn't make any sense what so ever but I'll explain what that means.

    I think it's pretty clear that I'm scared of a lot of things but one of them is going through my life and not living. I am deathly terrified of dying without making my mark. I have always said, even when I was little, I want to be someone and do something great. And I guess that's what I want to do before I die... I know that thinking this is kind of selfish of me but it has always been something that has been a constant presence in my life.

    All in all, the future is scary and it's also terrifying and it's also amazing. I am absolutely petrified of what comes after I leave Odyssey but deep inside, I can't wait.

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  27. Candy Chang's story and speech was truly inspirational. Her presence was also inspiring and comforting. Something that I really took from this video, was remembering what really matters most to us as we grow and change. Sometimes I let myself focus on the things that really don't matter, and put all my thoughts and energy into things that really aren't important for my growth and the people around me. This video made me reflect on who I have been for most of my life and think about who I want to be from here on. It made me realize that happiness is above all, and labels don't matter.

    Death is a scary thought for me, I always push it aside and most of the time, forget that I'm going to die at all. After watching this video, I actually thought about death and why I'm so scared to think about it most of the time. When you die, that means that the time slot you have on earth is over. The time you have to make a difference, the time you have to be happy, and the time you have to accomplish all your dreams and desires is over. There aren't any more chances after that. That's why I enjoyed this video because it causes you to actually think, and maybe even find new goals. Before I die, I want to make a difference (whether its small or large), travel the world, and find peace, no matter where I am.

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  28. I really enjoyed this ted talk as I feel as though it was a reminder that life is so valuable and is not everlasting. I am a person who struggles to accept that my life will come to an end someday and that I need to make the most of each day. Yet I feel that the best way to make the most of each day is to be kind, spread love, and be content and happy with who you are as a person. Whether or not you become successful and wealthy or less fortunate, if you learn to love life the way it is and you find happiness in each day, then you are making the most of your time. Before I die, I want to share the beauty of life to my future children. I want to have a family of my own that I can inspire to keep being caring to everyone they meet and the earth itself. I also wish to be happy before I die. Although I feel even if I were to die tomorrow, I would die happy and loved.

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  29. I'm at the point in my life where I do think about what I want to accomplish or experience or contribute before I die. Candy Chang said time and relationships are the most important things we have; I agree and yet I don't use time wisely for myself or others and I don't take the time to foster relationships as I should. So, before I die, I'm not sure I would choose anything more than to use the time I have left to spend with family and friends.

    The part of her talk that struck me was how to use public space to create connections with others. Her "Before I Die" sentence starter was a way to connect strangers by asking them to share their most intimate desires for their own lives. The activity brought people together in a public arena and expected neighbors, both known and unknown, to expose personal goals for all to see. The use of public spaces to create community connections is something to be considered, especially in cities where people can come and go and not know their neighbors names.

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  30. I really enjoyed and connected with Candy's sentiments. I loved the idea of the chalkboards, and especially the idea of sending them all over the world. It allows people a way to express themselves, but also to connect with strangers on such a profound (albeit small) level. The idea that death is rapidly approaching should be something that is scary, but actually is rather comforting to me when I really think about it. It's easy to think that there's just a straight shot into the end, but it can be measured out in your life in a way that empowers you. You have the power to be who you want to be and greet death as that person. For me, I just want to be someone who made others happy and made them feel loved. However that may happen is still up in the air, but as long as I can make one person just a little happier to wake up every morning, I will feel fulfilled.

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  32. Watching TED talks always gives me a sense of enlightenment and hope towards the endless deeds and opportunities a single mind can accomplish. Having faced depression and being able to turn those dark feelings into ones of happiness was a hard one for me and during that time I had thought of death, what would happen when I pass away. And honestly for a while I was scared, but recently as I have drawn myself farther away from depression I have realized that every person makes a difference on the people around them even if they don't know it themselves; and the idea of creating a project such as this chalkboard giving people a reason to share their goals and dreams is amazing.
    So to answer the question "Before I die I would like to achieve my dream of travelling the world, meeting people of many different cultures, and eventually turn these experiences into something that people can use to inspire themselves and achieve their own dreams.

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  33. This TED talk was very interesting. I've always had the same outlook on death. It's going to happen eventually, there's no way around it. It's up to us to live the way we want to and make the most of the short time we have on earth. That's what I really think this TED talk is about. In addition, this project is really cool and I love to see one of these boards in person and contribute. It's about realizing that every person has a chance to do something special and everyone can make a difference.
    Before I die, I want to travel the world and make a difference. I want to experience what its like in other countries, but also help those people who are less fortunate.

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  34. This TED talk was great and really interesting considering it was, in my opinion, one of the more unique TED talks I have seen. This specific question is very deep and fascinating and tends to have as many answers as there are people, perhaps more. I also find it really cool how someone stopped and took the time to communicate in such a way that is unique and special and not traditional.
    Personally, before I die I want to makes sure I am successful in the typical regards being family and a good, well paying job but I also want to see more of the world and spend time outside of my normal day to day culture. I want to be opened to other people and countries across the world.

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  35. As someone who overthinks everything, death is something I have had some time pondering upon as well as the meaning of life. I do not fear death, I have a fear of losing time. She was right when she said that our two most valuable things in life are our relationships with other people and time. If only we had more hours in the day, perhaps we could accomplish more or be able to achieve the things we would like to before we die.
    I thought for a long time what my "Before I die I want to..." would be. Of course I considered the obvious; travel the world, make someone happy, get married, ect. I don't know if I have a set answer right now. As long as am happy and bring happiness to at least one person I think I will be more than ecstatic with my life even if I don't get to check off every little thing on my bucket list. (Which is a lot by the way)

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  36. This blog and TED talk made me really emotional. I may not be graduating this year, but a lot of my friends are, and I'll miss them like crazy before I'm suddenly struck with the realization that I, and the rest of my amazing, inspiring classmates, are next in line. The idea of an ending in a stage of our lives, be it school, youth, or life itself, is very stressful and worrisome. We often realize we're close to the end of something we'll never get to experience again, and are overwhelmed by all the things we wish we had time to do before we move on in life. What separates some of us from the rest, however, it is what we choose to do with our remaining time. Will you sink beneath your depression, and desperately cling to the remaining time you have, or make the most of it and make some memories you'll treasure forever? Will you choose to look ahead, set a good example, and make a difference, leaving a legacy that those behind you will be proud to take on? It's at times like these that we should keep in mind the positive teachings and moral lessons of our school, including our mottos "Finish Strong" and "We Dream, We Achieve, We Lead".

    As for what I would like to do before I die. . . I think I'd like to use what makes me happy in order to make others happy as well. I understand that I'll be pursuing a creative career with all my power, despite how people often discourage me from doing so, because one of the things that brings me the most joy is simply making beautiful, usually wearable, things. But I also know that I'm happier when I'm guiding someone towards their dream as well while doing so, instead of simply taking the spotlight myself (a good example of this is theater, where I've spent many late nights taking home costumes so that actors can look as good as they feel when they're on the stage). That's why I'd like to do something with my work that helps someone else smile. I'd like to make an impact, but not by speaking to or leading others, but by guiding, inspiring, and spreading care and love to them. I'd like to make someone else happy by making, and in doing so, make a more positive change in the world. Before I die, I'd like to accomplish my dreams of creating by creating the dreams of others.

    "'Do or Die' is an old concept. 'Do it before you die' is new."
    ~Anonymous

    "It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it is called Life."
    ~Terry Pratchett

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  37. Ashleigh JohnsonMay 1, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    I have never watched a TED Talk that made me think this much, nor this emotional. Although it is not my time to graduate, almost half of my friends are leaving to follow their life path and some I may or may not see again. Growing up with them, it will be hard to say goodbye. It has not quite set in that they are leaving. I love them all and they are all very dear to me. I have gotten to know most of the seniors and I know that one day, I will see some of them on the news doing great and big things. This is just one more step through life and I cannot wait for them and us, juniors to experience it.

    Before I die, I want to be happy with my spouse. I don't have to travel, I don't have to be rich. I just want to be happy and watch my kids grow up. Before I die, I want to be able to look back on my life with my significant other and remember all of the fun and not so fun times we had together and/or apart. And my last 'Before I die', I want to make an impact on someone. Whether it is helping them through a hard time or making them smile. I want to help someone for the better, before I die.

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  38. Candy Chang is such an empowering woman. I went into the TED talk thinking of death as this awful, unavoidable thing. But after listening to her words, I saw it as an opportunity, an opportunity to reflect. Upon this reflecting, I've figured out that death opens up new doors for the people affected by it. In Candy's case, she saw the death of a loved one as a chance to bring her community together.
    Before I die, I want to spend time with family. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with some family I don't see as much today, and I was full of gratitude for that. Family, especially extended, has a big place in my heart, and I realized that with all the time I've spent with them over the years. I hope to spend a lot more time with family (since I'll eventually have to start one of my own).

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  39. I’m usually not the biggest fan of TED talks, but I enjoyed this one. I could relate to Candy Cang
    I lost my aunt almost a month ago to lung failure, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. We knew she was dying because she had been in the hospital prior to that and stayed for about 5 weeks, but knowing about it kind of made it harder to let go. Not knowing how much time you have with someone that's scary, not death. I don’t think anyone is ready for death or to experience it to happen to any of their loved ones but it makes you appreciate not only everyone around you but it makes you appreciate that you were gifted another day to live. It makes me as person want to live life the fullest capability and treasure those around me and never take anything for granted.

    Before I die I want to truly live my life. We only get one life and that is the life that we are currently living today and if we are not living our life the way we want, then are we truly living? I’d love to travel the world after completing my education, Europe fascinates me and that's apart of the world I would love to indulge. I want to marry the person love and raise a family with that person. I also would like to stop holding myself back from opportunities that are presented to me, and be a risk taker. Death is not something that really frightens me, I believe that we should accept death with open arms and it is something that occurs naturally and something we should not be afraid of. On the other hand the future scares me, I am scared of what's to come but the future should never be something to hold any of us back. Before I die, I want to take life for what is it, rather than stressing on what is to come.

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  40. I truly liked this TED talk, I usually find myself dosing off when I watch TED talks, but this one truly interested me, and I found it really inspirational. This really makes me think of the best future I can see for myself, When thinking about what I want to do in my future I find myself thinking of jobs that will make me a lot of money, so that I wont have to worry about money, or so that I can do things that I've always wanted to do and provide for my family, however the more I truly think about what I want to do, I think of myself having n connections and just traveling the world, so this TED talk, is kind of helping me find that equilibrium, where I can do both, where I can provide for myself fully but also spend my time traveling and doing what I love. My goal is to live in the moment, make good memories and keep myself happy. This TED talk of Candy Chang, has really made me think about what I see myself doing and who I see myself becoming. I want to know that I lived a full life, and be comfortable when I leave knowing that I did everything I have wanted too, and wouldn't have any regrets.

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  41. Another medium for inflicting my egotistical thoughts and desires upon others? Count me in! We never miss opportunities to talk about yourselves, and this particular TED Talk gave a pretty common but nonetheless interesting subject to think about. Death, it’s a pretty scary thought for most of us. We can only guess what happens after you die, so it’s important that you live the life you were given in a way that makes you happy. The video showed us the results of Candy’s social experiment. A giant chalkboard is certainly less mundane than a boarded up building, even more so when it prompts any person to come and write on it. Was it a cool experiment? Yes, I think the opportunity to reflect on one’s self is important, but, I feel like a lot of the responses were either insincere (pirate guy) or just plain unrealistic (like curing cancer). The responses I really liked were those that focused on experiences. “Traveling the world, finishing schooling, being admired, and seeing my grandkids do well” were by far my favorite because they focused on improvement and experiences. A lot of people die feeling dissatisfied because of many reasons, and I think an awesome way to avoid that feeling is by experiencing the world around you. There are always places to see and things to do, so being able to enjoy the “fat” of life is something I strive to do before I die.

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  43. That was one of the most interesting TED talks I have ever seen. This woman project is incredible. She gave life to a wasted space, and I thought that was a clever way to leave her mark on the world. Also, the next tie I am in New Orleans I want to go visit that original house and write what I wanna do before I die. I also think it would be cool to make one of my own in my community.

    I haven't really thought about what I want to do before I die because I feel like I haven't thought that far into the future. I sometimes forget that one day I will die, and that one day this reality I live in will cease to exist. When I do think about what I want to do before I die, I can only think of two things. Before I die, I want to live in a world that doesn't judge based on things like skin color, sexuality, gender, religion, social class etc.. I want to live in a world that sees every human being as an equal. Before I die, I want to accomplish my goal of becoming a doctor and helping people all over the world.

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  44. This Ted talk was truly inspiring. It made me realize, as well as many other countries that a simple statement can change the way you live. As someone who lives in a community with the wall of art that she had put up, they will see it almost everyday. Which would then cause them to reflect back on their own lives and ask themselves what they want to do/accomplish in life before they die.

    There is only one thing I want to have before I die and that is happiness. A goal of being happy could mean so much, it could mean just being at peace with who I am or being happy because of what I would have accomplished. I feel that true happiness is something many people do not have in their lives, making me work harder to reach my goal of being at peace/ being happy before I die.

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  45. This whole talk is what I've been thinking about lately due to going off to college soon and starting my life from scratch once again. I'm constantly thinking about what I want to do with my life and how I want to go about it. I've come to the conclusion that before I die, not only do I want to live my life to the fullest and enjoy all the things life can give you, but I want to make the lives of the people that live around me better. I plan to do this through engineering and trying to find ways to make electricity more efficient cheaper and safer to harness from nuclear sources. I happen to be that person that has their life mostly mapped out. Besides what I want, I found it quite interesting what other people wished for, and it makes me kind of wonder if I am supposed to wish for something that isn't too big and that is achievable, or if it should be something that I have to reach for, but if I get to it, it'll be worth all of the work that I had put fourth to get there. I hope that as the senior class prepares for graduation, we find out what each of our callings are, and we can live our lives doing what we were built to do. This allowing all of us to reach true happiness with ourselves, and allowing us to do all of these things before our short time here is up.

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  46. That was so cool! Whenever I see these kinds of projects, I get really jealous because I want to do something great like that. So, I guess that's my first "Before I die, I want to..".

    I have a lot of things I want to do before I die. I would like to skydive because I'm so afraid of heights. I would like to visit Africa and do missions work there and go on a safari and ride an elephant. I want to be a nurse that helps people everywhere I go. I want to make an inspiring documentary one day. I don't what it will be about yet, but I'll figure it out.

    All of these things are super random. But, they all have one thing in common. Every one of those things I listed requires you to be alive. Not just the breathing or heart-beating kind of alive (although those are important). I'm talking about the "living" alive. If you asked me to name only one thing I want to accomplish before I die, it would be that I want to live. Really live. I don't want to be stuck in a cubicle until I retire because I need to support my family. I don't ever want to sacrifice my dreams and passions because of money. I want to use the time God has given me on this beautiful earth to serve Him and live life to the fullest while doing it. I want to get outside my comfort zone and get dangerous. I don't know. Going to work everyday and raising a family in the suburbs does't cut it for me. That may be exactly what "real living" looks like for another person. I'm totally not judging. Every person is different. Everyone has their own definition of genuinely living life.

    That ended up being a lot longer than I thought it would be and I think I went a little off topic. My only hope for my classmates is that each of them finds what it is that makes them excited to live this life and pursue that God-given passion.

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  47. That's a really cool idea, with the chalkboard wall. I love projects where communities can come together to create something, without actually having to be together. Art and creativity and public spaces all combined makes me very happy.

    I have thought about death a bit, not in a morbid way, but in the way Candy talked about. It clarifies, and it's really important to know what you want to do with your life. I don't exactly know what I'm going to do, but I do know what I want. I hate planning and I'm usually spontaneous, but I have planned out the next several years of my life (just a plan, no guarantees). A plan is helpful for the technical details, but honestly, I would rather just do things as they come up.

    I think the most important thing for me currently (who knows, it might change) is to see more of the world with someone I love. I'm a restless person wrapped up in laziness, so it's hard for me to actually do the things I'm aching for, but that's my dream.

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  48. I hesitate to write this final comment for our blogs this year. It seems as though the beginning of this year was only last week and I was just beginning to write my first blog post. I can't believe how the time has passed me by like it does every year. This TED talk reminded me of that and made me sad to realize this year is coming to an end. I had so much fun this year in all my classes even with all the stresses. Ms. Chang is correct about so many things. Our society doesn't socialize with our neighbors anymore and we don't live out what we wish to do before we die and when I think about how fast this year went I can see why a lot of us don't accomplish our bucket lists. The world today demands so much out of us and we are told since the beginning or our youth if we don't accomplish an education or a sport our future is bleak, but I think our future is more bleak when all we do is focus on that one thing that we think will give us success and happiness. Because of this, I have finally decided that what I want to do before I die is to get to know my neighbors, focus on family and friends, and put my faith first and make an IMPACT on them. I don't want to die not having this close relationships that can blossom into an amazing life with amazing people. I am not saying I necessarily want a simple life, but I want to make my life less about "you have to do, you have to do" and more about "let's go visit___, let's hangout together, etc. and show them a life well lived.

    I think accomplishing this in my life without all my other "To-Dos Before I Die" will make my life worthwhile simply because being close to those around me will mean I will make an impact on their life. I don't want to be that person who lived, but did nothing to show or inspire others how to live. I want to be the one that changed them, lead them somewhere, and did something great in their life. I want to be remembered. Of course, I still want to travel the world, study ancient artifacts, and write, but none of those things would be as cool as making an impact on someone I know. That is what I am going to do before I die.

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  49. I enjoyed watching this inspirational Ted talk. One of the things that she said, that stood out to me was "Two of the most valuable things we have are time, and our relationship with other people." I agree with this statement. I think these two are very important in life. The way someone manages their time can be very crucial, with deadlines, events, and things that need to get done. I also think it is important to have good relationships with other people, because you can learn a lot from others. However, I would also say that another valuable thing we have is prayer. Prayer is very powerful. What I liked from this video was the idea she had about the chalkboard. I think this is a great way for people to stop for a moment and to just reflect. Before I die, I want to have impacted someone's life in a positive way. I want to inspire others and just be genuinely happy.

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  50. I enjoyed that video. It was very inspirational and comforting to know that some people out there are really trying hard to show others the importance of everyday life. So many people take advantage of the little things in life and it's very disappointing to see, but I guess this leads into what I want to accomplish before I die. There are many things I want to do before I die, I could go on and on. However, there are a few things on that list that really stand out to me. One of them being getting a profession that I love and one that can help others with their struggles. Whatever that may be, I just want to end up doing something that I can get up and be happy to go to every morning. I also want to travel the world and experience new places and cultures. Traveling has a huge impact on who you are as a person and how you look at life. I want to be able to tell my grandkids endless stories about the things I have done in my life. I want to start a car collection because I love cars and they genuinely make me happy. Like I said I could go on and on. But most of all, I just want to live a long healthy life and enjoy it to it's fullest. You only get one life and one body, so I'm going to make the most of mine no matter what path I choose.

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  51. I'm not going to lie, I teared up during that video. It terrifies me to think about growing up and becoming independent. The thought of not being able to rely on my parents for my every wish and need makes me want to lock myself in my room forever so I'm never forced to leave. I'm scared of losing the ones closest to me because (knock on wood) that's never happened to me and I don't know how I would handle a situation like that. But most important, I'm afraid of growing into someone I dislike. I'm scared i won't choose the right career path or I won't choose the right brand at the grocery store. I'm scared of making all the wrong decisions because I've always had someone making them for me.

    On the other hand, I can't wait to get out and explore the world. I know I just talked about how scared i am, but that doesn't come close to how thrilled i am to live for myself. Before I die, I want to travel the world. I want to explore the unknown. i want a career that I can truly say I love. To be able to go home at the end of the day to my husband and children and live in pure bliss. I want a great education, but I don't want to be so wrapped up in my stress that I'm not able to enjoy life. Life is very short and we only get one to live. I want to live it with happiness.

    I have a slight idea of what I want to make of myself. I keep telling myself I have time to dwell on it, but time's running out. I'm the most indecisive person you'll ever meet, but at the end of the day, I know I'll find something I can't live without.

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  52. On Easter Sunday my friend died. It was sudden and unexpected and since then, it's been hard not to think about how fragile life really is and, especially, if I were to die right now, would I be able to look back on my life and say that I had lived it the way I wanted?
    What I found the most interesting about this Ted Talk was the degrees of things people want to do before they die. It went from "swim without holding my nose" to "make the world a better place" to "get my wife back." It made me realize that, while it's usually good to aim high, life doesn't have to be about changing the world or saving people's lives. Happiness can be in smaller things too, like planting a tree or owning a boat.
    Therefore, what I want to do in life is just be content. I don't feel that I need to be great and known around the world or even discover anything new. Helping people on a small day to day basis can bring happiness as well as making a positive impact on the entire world.

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  53. Before I die, I want to marry and have a family. I want our home life to peaceful and happy. I want to be teach my kids right from wrong and able to live long enough to see my children grow into adulthood and have their own kids. I want my spouse and I to love each other unconditionally. I want my family to live in comfort but I don’t have to be rich or famous in any way. As a religious person being married and having a family is one of the greatest things that I can do in this life and I have every intention of doing it.

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  54. I really loved that TED talk and the woman who was speaking it really touched my heart. When I think about what I want to do before I die it's really hard to narrow it down to just one specific thing, so I've narrowed it down to a couple. Before I die, I want to learn how to live without wearing a mask, find someone who knows me better than I know myself and have my future children not doubt that their existence is necessary and wanted. I want my children to not know what it's like to wonder why their parents aren't together, or why they hear screaming every night, why they keeping having a reoccurring night that is actually a memory, why the people that are supposed to care for them seem like they don't, why it feels like they are the root to all the problems in their loved ones lives or whether or not everyone would be happier if they were gone. I feel no child should have to go through that or think that, but it still happens, I know. I want to do everything in my power to make sure that won't happen.

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  55. This TED talk was beautiful in the simplest way. When you really think about it, how many people are remembered, how amny names stand the test of time. I think there's something greater than each one of us and that we need to make our lives count for the peopel we love the most.
    The speaker said two very powerful things. The first, was "thinking about death clarifies your own life" and the second was "two of the most valuable things you can have are time and your relationships with others". I think this is very true. It's so easy to get caught up in the daily routine or your own accomplishments but when it comes down to it you only have so much time, we tend to put aside others for our own purposes, but I think life is about more then just a degree or some trophies on a wall. Life's about giving back to the people you love, the people you meet and this beautiful earth that God has created. I hope that when my day comes I can look on my life and say I've given back because life is just a vapor. Thank you for sharing this (:

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  56. Before I die I would like to graduated college with my masters degree and then with that be able to go onto pursue my dream job of becoming a NICU nurse. I would like to also be married and have a couple of kids of my own and have a house that is my future family's and not a rental. I would like to be able to die knowing that I was happy and everyone in my life I influenced in a good way.

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  57. I really found the TED talk inspiring to go out there and achieve my dreams. I'm only one sentence into this blog post and I already realize why my friends were getting emotional when they did it. I'm so happy to have been a part of this school for 5 years. Sure, it's made me want to rip my hair out, but if it didn't, it wouldn't have been worth it. I know there's college (and a lot of it for me with medical school), but I think it's beyond those years that I'm looking forward to. I want to be a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and help children who struggle with mental disorders. More than that, I want to invest myself within my writing and singing and make my name known in the best way possible. Eventually I want to get married and be a mom. All of my friends already know how excited I am to have kids. My only problem is leaving my friends, because the moment I step out of these high school doors, there's no guarantee that we will ever see each other again, or that we even will still be friends; that's what makes me the most reluctant to go. I feel as if I'm still so small with so much to learn, and I'm not ready to leave yet. Although, I know I have to. I need to go and try new things and (as cliche as it is) follow my dreams. But thank you, Mrs. Caraway, for all that you've taught me for all my years to come. :)

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    1. You are most welcome, Megan! It has been a true pleasure. I did not know you wanted to attend medical school! Wow! I wish you all of the success. You will definitely make a great physician.

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  58. I found this whole blog post very encouraging. Before I die I want to do a lot. I dont know specifically every single thing I want to do. Im the type of person that likes to live day by day and not focus on whats going to happen tomorrow. I just want to live life to the fullest and do great things, whatever they may be. I would love to get my 15 seconds of fame for something good one day. I hope eventually ideas will come to me and fate will lead me to do the amazing things I was made to do that I cant see right now. Im excited to see what the future holds for me. My job goal is to find something I love, find my passion in college, make a career out of it and make lots of money. Who knows what I will do before I die.

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  59. Death is something I think about a lot. I’m personally not afraid to die so much as I am afraid to waste the time I spend on earth being sad or bitter. Recently my grandmother passed away and like Candy it made me reflect on my life and it made me realize what changes I need. The crazy thing is we all say we need to make an impact on the world but standing with my cousins, aunts and uncles, roughly 40 to 50 of us and knowing all that family came from my grandma I knew that even small impacts matter. She made her mark on the world with out thinking about it. Before I die I want to learn how to be completely selfless and live a positive life. I want to give back to the world.

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  60. Candy Chang is awesome, this video was awesome as well! I seriously almost cried. The "before I die" statements have definitely come up a lot lately, maybe it's the anxiety I'm getting from realizing that after graduation I will be an adult and out in the world exploring. I have an endless list of what I want to do before I die. Some of the things I want to accomplish are buying my own Dodge Challenger, getting my own apartment then buying my own house, getting married, and having kids (more than 2). I also want to travel all across the world and make money being a dental hygienist.

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  61. I found this TED Talk to be one of the most inspiring I've ever watched (subject to change). I found this person's story really touching and admire the fact that she was able to turn it around into something amazing. A movement spread across all over the globe. I've thought about that question, what do you want to do before you die, from time to time and it can be hard to narrow a single or just a couple of your aspirations down. I think the three major things I would want to do before I die is get accepted into the Naval Academy, have a family, and be able to go saying that I did all I could and that I have little to no regrets.

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    1. And I want all these things for you, too!

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  62. I enjoyed watching this TED talk quite a bit. It made me really think deeply about what I want to do in life. I think that no matter where I end up, rich or poor, in a profession that I see myself in now or not, or any number of other ways things could end up, I just want to be happy with the way I lived my life. I don't want to be bitter and mean when I am old, I want to be kind and caring as I watch my children and grandchildren grow up. I want to have lived a christian lifestyle and truly have done the best I could. Before I die, I want to be happy, and have made God happy.

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  63. I'm not quite sure how this TED talk made me feel! I suppose I've never really thought of things in terms of what I want to do or what I shouldn't do, but rather what I should avoid doing. So, typing up this blog post, it was difficult for me to not start off with, "I want to not cause harm to others" or something of the like. The question is what I want to do, not what I want to not do. I’m kind of wondering now what I actually want to do in my time here (which I guess was the whole point of the TED talk- good job, Candy). I’m also trying to think of something that isn't generic, which is really difficult. Whoops. Before I die, I want to do a lot of things. But, mainly, I want to make peace with people all the people I’m not on good terms with. I know, it sounds stupid, but I believe that when you cleanse yourself of negativity (which is a sucky task when you’re a relatively negative person), you’re more capable of positively impacting those around you, and I think that’s everyone’s goal. I know that most of my negative energy goes towards those with which I’m bitter or I don’t like, and I know that that can really influence those around me. So, you know, if I push away negative thoughts towards people, I think I push away negativity in general. I think that makes sense. Kind of.

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  64. Okay, I have seen this TED talk before and it still makes me feel good inside. I honestly want to find one of these kinda walls and write on it. Its seriously on my bucket list. But before I die, I want to have a family. Its not a big wish but I want one, I feel it brings a different sense of responsibility to you. I mean I also want to win a huge title in Skeet Shooting like winning a gauge at worlds or becoming a really well known coach. But this one is the top of my list.

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  65. My entire high school journey has been extremely difficult. When I was in elementary/middle school, I was part of a program called Project THINK which was specifically geared towards gifted children. People who are gifted are put into various categories based on what they are gifted in from what I've read over the years; some are more academically inclined, some are gifted in music and the arts. Project THINK was made to bring all of us together, to create a sense of community with people who didn't really fit the bill with the average person. All my life, I struggled in school, not because I couldn't understand the material, but because it didn't stimulate my mind. On multiple websites, I've read that gifted people need to be educated differently in order to get the most out of them. Project THINK helped me severely in school, and when I began having less interaction with it due to the school's counselor having decided to schedule less meetings throughout the year, my grades in school took a dramatic decline.

    Then, I came to Odyssey for my freshman year, and every single year has been a huge struggle for me.

    It's not that I had a hard time understanding the material; far from it, actually. I used to get so frustrated in class when the teacher would explain a concept and someone wouldn't get it. I absolutely hated having to hear an explanation more than once, and it bothered me that I felt so ahead of people (I legitimately felt too smart to be around people, it was horrible), when in all actuality, I just learn at a different pace than others. My mind just works differently. I was born this way and I can't help it. Usually, gifted people excel in logic and mathematics (probably why I've never failed a single math class, in all honesty), but they also make up the majority of people who have lower-paying jobs or people who didn't get very high grades in conventional school. As I've come to learn from experience, I don't think it's because we don't have motivation or that we don't understand what's being instructed, but our minds are not being stimulated the way they should (as I said above), which made tasks daunting and hard to complete. Every year in middle school (and maybe even in high school, I don't know), I've had teachers tell my parents that I'm lazy and I don't care, etc. when that couldn't be further from the truth. I do care. I don't like being seen as a failure and I definitely don't like feeling as though I am, and I'm more than aware of how important high school is. The problem isn't me and it never was; there's nothing wrong with the way I process information and go about executing my knowledge of it. The true problem was the fact that these people never really took the time to sit down and understand ME and what I needed, what approaches needed to be taken for me to succeed in the way I could in school.

    Coming to Odyssey introduced a wide spectrum of teachers who took the time to understand my struggles and who worked really hard with me in spite of my apparent laziness, and for the first time since Project THINK's height in my life, I felt as though I wasn't alone. My parents know that I'm gifted, I was tested for it back in 2nd grade, but often they forget this fact and really do treat me as though I just don't care about anything; oftentimes, they treat me like I am NORMAL and I make the conscious choice to fail. It is severely discouraging and at the start of my high school career, and it left me feeling extremely hopeless. When I met these teachers over the years, the people who reached out to me and asked for explanations and tried to help me as best as they could, I felt like I didn't have to shoulder it all on my own.

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    2. I met wonderful teachers like Mr. Hiatt, someone who actually understood my mind because he had the same thought processing in high school, and he did the best he could to try to help while showing me that I needed to contribute as well to achieve ultimate success. That is a lesson I will carry with me always. I met Ms. Jones, someone who was there for me at my lowest point and did the best she could to work with me. I met Smitty who could see that there was more to me than just the talkative nature and flaky homework assignments. I met Mrs. Stro who tolerated me when I would be less than cooperative and worked really hard to make sure I got through her class. I met Mrs. McMahon who stayed with me whenever I needed her presence to help me push through the assignments I needed to finish. I met Mr. Hopkin who gave me opportunity after opportunity to find ultimate success in his class. I met Mrs. Hurley who truly understood what was going on with me and let me off easy every time I made a mistake, because she couldn't let herself watch me crash and burn. Lastly, I met you, Mrs. Caraway. Despite everything that happened, all the mistakes I've made the past two years, you still had faith in me even though it probably felt like I didn't deserve any of it. You gave me chance after chance to be able to redeem myself, to bring myself up from rock bottom. You offered me your support and you stood by me when I didn't really give you any real reason to you. You care about your students so much and it's been apparent the past two years, and I want to thank all of my teachers for being the best support system I've had as I struggled to get by in Odyssey. While my grades aren't anything spectacular and they haven't been, it's enough knowing that you all were able to tell there really was more to me than met the eye. You were able to tell that I was smarter than initially perceived, and you worked with me to make sure that quality shined through, even when I was being difficult.

      I've met a lot of amazing people here, not only my teachers, but my friends. I regret a lot of the decisions I made, but I don't regret my time here at Odyssey, and I never will. It really has been a wonderful experience to me; I'm grateful for the teachers, for the friends, for the memories. I'm glad that I got to share this part of my life with everyone in this community. The TED talk really did solidify the belief that we're all part of a community, that the people around us can help us make decisions to reach our dreams and help us truly think about our lives and the goals we have for ourselves. Thinking about death is hard, but it really does bring a good, inspiring outlook into the way we hope our lives will work out. It allows us to deeply reflect on what we want to accomplish and what we set out to do with the time we have left and with the people around us.

      Before I die, I want to reach ultimate happiness with myself. I want to be happy with a job I love doing. I want people to accept me for who I am, much like all my friends and teachers did here. I want to be able to make something of myself with the mind I have, so I can make a difference and change the world. Finally, I want to be able to accept that I'm okay, and others are okay, too. There's nothing wrong with my mind and there's nothing wrong with other peoples'. Just because I am on a different plane of thought does not mean that I am better than others or that we all can't reach our goals; it's better if we band together, because the people around us really do define who we are and help shape us into who we're destined to be. I want to be happy with the decisions I made, and I want to be able to fully accept MYSELF for who I am.

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    3. Victoria, this is very insightful, and I so appreciate your sharing it. I will need to disagree a bit and offering an alternative way of looking at your situation.
      I don't like labels. I never have. They seem to always become one of two things: excuses, or explanations, and neither one work for me out there in the big world. To me, a lot of our learning and performance in school and in the world comes down to choices. What do you want? Do you want to succeed? Then you must risk failure, yes, but not doing the work--not putting yourself out there because you either think you are above the work, or unable to do it is a terrible waste of time and potential. Those who become successful, and by success, I mean reach their ultimate goals and live their passion, have one big thing in common, and it has nothing to do with how smart they are: they dedicate themselves to any and all tasks required, no matter how menial, and embrace them as stepping stones to their destiny. Instead of being frustrated because others around them struggle, they learn from the experience and take away the gifts of patience and empathy. They realize that IQ aside, everyone is gifted in some unique way. I firmly believe this and my life experiences have taught me this to be true. I have a grand opportunity to learn from EVERYONE who steps into my life if I am willing to value every human being for who they are and what they can do and teach me. I also have learned that there are opportunities for me to teach them, too.
      I would challenge you to not compare how you learn or approach tasks to others. I would also challenge you to take time and reflect what is really holding you back from taking on the tasks. Are you afraid of failing? Do you feel you are above the tasks? Because if the second is true, that is something that will ALWAYS hold you back. If the first is true, you can rise above that by saying I give myself permission to fail, but I absolutely do NOT give myself permission not to engage.
      Life is too short!
      Food for thought going forward. :)

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    4. I wish to also add that it is not only the key to success, but to happiness and self-acceptance, as well!

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  66. This TED talk was very touching in a emotional sense. I really enjoyed it. It made me see a perspective of giving more, and helping others.
    Before I Die... I just want to be, happy. Happy with myself, with what I've accomplished, and who I've became along the way. To worry about myself and what I think, not what other's think.

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  67. suzanne@mail.postmanllc.net

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