My Time With ‘The Reflection’

December 8, 2012

The Reflection

When I was a Freshman, Gull Lake High School ran a school year based on semesters. Nowadays, we run on trimesters. But back when we were on semesters, kids used to be able to do this thing called “Double Blocking”. Double Blocking was when you took one class in the first semester (say…Freshman English) and then, in order to get ahead of the game and hopefully reach AP level classes in that subject, you would take the next class up in the second semester (say…Sophomore English.) Well, I did that my Freshman Year. I took Freshman English…and then Sophomore English.

This decision was filled with Pros and Cons…


-I was advancing my education in a subject area I enjoyed

-It would create an opportunity to take both AP English classes over two years (one in my Junior Year and one in my Senior Year.)

-I got to have English year-round

-I had Mrs. Jolin as my Sophomore English teacher. (We’ll get to why that’s especially important for this blog.)


-I believe that English is the class where you bond the most with your classmates…and I missed out on a lot of that experience with my grade. I never got to see my classmates get assigned parts to read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I never got giggle with my peers as we heard a teacher say the “f-word” in Catcher in the Rye. I never got to discuss Lord of the Flies with the Class of 2013. I never got to have all of those English class experiences with members of my grade. (Of course, I have AP Literature this year with a lot kids from my grade…but one year doesn’t make up for the two I’m missing.)

-I was a super shy Freshman surrounded by Sophomores I didn’t know

-I made a complete fool of myself on multiple occasions

Anyway, the most important thing to pull from my Pros and Cons list was that I had Mrs. Jolin as my teacher for Sophomore English. Because that was the first time I was introduced to the possibility of being a member of The Reflection‘s staff. The Reflection is the school newspaper at Gull Lake High School and Mrs. Jolin is the advisor that oversees it’s operations.

So, I’m in Mrs. Jolin’s class and she sort of suggested that I should sign up to be in Newspaper the next year. I filled out the paperwork to take the class…but when it came time to actually make my course requests for the next year, I realized I couldn’t fit it in anywhere.

And then I did something really embarrassing.

I had to tell Mrs. Jolin that I wasn’t signed up for the next year of newspaper. But I felt like I would be letting her down if I told her. I sat there every day in class wondering how I should bring it up to her. One day, we had this assignment where we had to write a poem and read it in front of the class…I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea, but I wrote my poem as an apology to Mrs. Jolin that I wouldn’t be in Newspaper next year. And I read that…in front of the whole class.

Maybe it really wasn’t as humiliating as I remember it…I suppose time does tend to distort our memories.

Anyway, I eventually became a member of The Reflection. This year, in fact, I took Newspaper for the first trimester. And I’m glad I did.

Mrs. Jolin has a very kind, quirky nature and that makes her really fun to work with. I suppose I am a little sad that I don’t have another trimester or that I didn’t take the class earlier. But I think My Time With The Reflection was well spent.

I wrote some articles. I made some acquaintances. I interviewed some people. I took some pictures. And, towards the end of the trimester, Mrs. Jolin even put a link to this blog on the newspapers website…which was pretty nice.

In the end, The Reflection was definitely the right way to start off my Senior Year and I’m really glad that I took the class. I’m glad Mrs. Jolin took the time to tell me to sign up. It’s only a week into the new trimester and I already kind of miss marching into Mrs. Jolin’s room everyday, knowing that the entire class time is being given to me and I can spend it working at whatever pace I please.

But as much as I feel this regret that I didn’t take more of the class…I also feel a certain sense of completion. Like the amount of time I spent with The Reflection was the right amount of time.

I am content.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)


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