This morning I went to school with the mindset that I would start working on my newest goal: participating in class. I didn’t necessarily expect myself to go into raising my hand right away though. I figured I would just try and observe my reactions to see if I could somewhat control them.
I did more than I planned on though. 😉
In first period I decided to say something to the guy next to me, who is also very quiet. I asked him a question about one of the assignments for the sake of starting some sort of conversation even though I didn’t really need to know the answer. He wasn’t sure about the answer, but he smiled and spoke softly. I’m glad I asked him because he seemed friendly and sweet.
Then our teacher talked for a while about when the upcoming assignments were due (answering the question I didn’t really need to know anyway since I was already done). After she finished talking, she passed back papers. I raised my hand quick before I could put too much thought into it and asked her a question from one of the assignments. The whole class was talking then and no one was paying attention, so it was much easier to raise my hand and just talk one-on-one with the teacher. I later asked her another question without raising my hand when she walked past my desk. She was able to help me, and I got all my questions sorted out.
At lunch I sat with a group of 7 friends that I don’t know too well, except one of them I am close to. I felt more aware of my shyness in the larger group and noticed that lunch is a lot more fun when I’m just spending it with a couple of close friends in a small group or one-on-one with someone. We all sat on the ground in a spread out oval-like shape, and I contributed every once in a while to the conversations, but not as much as I normally would in a smaller group. I felt like I couldn’t talk loud enough to be heard by all the people in the group and a lot of them were able to talk pretty loudly, so I didn’t say too much.
In 6th period, I started thinking more about raising my hand in class. In this class the teacher always asks a lot of questions and asks for people to volunteer, so I knew this would be a good class to start participating in. I’ve raised my hand a few times in his class, but most of the time I think about answering and then can’t bring myself to do it and feel incredibly awkward. A couple questions were asked that I could have possibly answered, but my heart started beating really fast at the thought. So I paid attention to it and tried to slow it down a little and remind myself of past successes I’ve had when I’ve contributed in his class, and it helped a little.
Then he asked a question about a topic from the book that I had written my journal entry on, and I knew if I was going to answer any question it’d be that one, since I had already written out my answer for the journal prompt. I felt ridiculously nervous though, more than I have felt in a long time. I was actually shaking a little, and was wondering why I had set this goal for myself and how easy it would be to just not do it.
But I raised my hand as soon as the question was asked. I was called on, and as I answered my voice was a little shaky embarrassingly enough. It also sounded a little raspy and not like it normally does. I found that I couldn’t talk as loud as I would have liked to have, and felt like I could have projected more. But I did it, and he liked my response, and called on another guy who had a different response, but he said they both are two valid ways of seeing things. He then asked if I could think of an example of what I said from the book and right away I thought of one on the spot and brought up another good point, which he was glad I brought up.
Afterward I was so relieved to have done my participating for the day, it felt pretty good. I thought now all I had left in my day was going home, eating some cake my mom made since she hadn’t been able to make me a cake last week, and walking the dogs. I was happy with myself, and I’m so relieved to have the first one out of the way. I guess I can do this after all! Next time hopefully I won’t start shaking though, because that was a little overwhelming and I didn’t expect that.