The Shyness Project

Archive for the tag “the shyness project”

Two in a Row

In first period today I raised my hand to answer a simple math question! 🙂  I did feel a little nervous beforehand and hesitated once the room got silent.  But I did it quick enough where I didn’t have too much time to think about it. She didn’t see my hand though, so I just said it aloud surprisingly enough.  I said how to solve the problem and the answer that you would get.

It was a good thing I answered because she was starting to think we couldn’t do simple math.  She then asked if anyone had a calculator, and she looked at me and saw I had one.  So I offered to do the calculations that she asked me to put in and I read them aloud.

I spoke more all period than anyone else did in the class, though after a while I thought some of the others were probably getting annoyed with me.  But if they thought that oh well, that’s the second time I’ve ever raised my hand in her class so it’s not like I say much often.

It felt good, and the more I spoke aloud the more confident I became and could keep speaking.  I even spoke without raising my hand since most of my teacher’s attention was on me and she sort of expected me to keep answering I think.  Usually I always feel the need to raise my hand to answer questions because I’ve gotten so used to it over the years, but now in my senior year classes and college class it seems like it’s not really expected anymore.  That’s probably because by now the teachers figure we know when to talk so we’re not interrupting.  I still prefer raising my hand though.

Does anyone else feel like they still want to raise their hand even when they don’t really have to?

Friday: Frisbee and Swing Dance

Last Friday was a pretty good day.  I went to play Ultimate Frisbee after school and had a lot of fun.  It’s mostly guys who play at the high school and they can get very competitive, but this time they passed to me and I enjoyed it much more.

I even joined in on this frisbee target game that I thought I would stink at and would embarrass myself in front of all the others, but it turns out that I was actually pretty good at it and nearly won!  I surprised myself and apparently the guys watching, who my friend told me were very impressed with me.  After frisbee we took a lot of fun pictures, and we laughed a lot.  🙂

After frisbee I went home and got ready to go out swing dancing.  My close friend Angela and her boyfriend picked me and my brother up, and we headed out an hour and a half for the dance.  It’s a long ways to go, but considering our town is too small to have swing dances, it’s better than not going at all.

Swing dance had been one of my main ideas on how I could talk to enough strangers last month, but it turned out that I didn’t get to go in January and had to find other ways to meet people.  I thought it would be easier to make small talk at swing dance, but that night I found that I felt really friendly in the beginning of the night, and later on more reclusive as I became more tired.

I did introduce myself to many people though and gave out a few compliments on cool-looking ties and an awesome handlebar mustache.  The guys were quite appreciative too, and when I told one guy that I liked his tie, he responded by saying, “Well I’m really glad I wore it then!” with a smile.

I got asked to dance quite a few times in a row in the beginning, and soon became aware that I had to stop dancing at some point and grab some water.  Some dances I sat out and watched.  Sometimes I simply just wanted to sit out because my legs were sore, and other times I felt shy and had a harder time finding someone to dance with.

One guy asked me quite a few times, and even when he didn’t ask me I could tell he was trying to out of the corner of my eye.  I asked one guy who I noticed hadn’t been dancing at all and had just been standing in the corner, smiling at the dancers.  He said it was his first time ever dancing, and we talked about swing dance and how fun it is.  He seemed pretty happy that I asked him, and he was sweet.

We went out to eat afterwards and that was fun too.  We had some interesting and unusual conversations.  We were hoping to see our usual waitress, but she wasn’t there so we met someone new.  She was pretty nice, and we all liked her.  I suggested that we should write a note to leave with her tip to try and brighten her day a little.  On a napkin I wrote, “Thanks for being such a wonderful waitress Jenna!  Tell Amy the swing crew came by!  Hope you have a good night!” And then Angela added illustrations of the food we ate in monster form, and we left it with the tips and headed for home.

It was a wonderful day, even though it hadn’t started that way at school and I didn’t feel better until frisbee. 🙂

Water Audit Internship

Last Thursday I did a water audit, which is basically an assessment of a client’s home water usage.  I do a customer interview, perform a couple of tests on the showers and faucets to measure water flow, and then enter all my data into a designated program on the computer that calculates where the customer’s water is going, how much they are using, and most importantly, where and how they can improve their water efficiency.

I got this internship opportunity through a school club I joined last year.  Training was offered to any club member interested, and initially I was going to pass on it.  It sounded really professional and intimidating to me, and I thought it would be something that I couldn’t do.  But I told my mom about it, and she encouraged me to get trained.  My mom often encourages me to do things like this that intimidate me, and I suppose that’s a good thing.  I listened to her, and attended all the training sessions.  For the last one we had to do a mock audit in front of the rest of the group in our adviser’s home, which made me pretty nervous, but I did well actually and passed with flying colors. (This is an example of one opportunity I would have missed if I had let my shyness dictate my decision.)

On Wednesday I received an email asking if I wanted to do the audit tomorrow (Thursday) since it was canceled on me  last week, and I said yes because I already had the data and decided it was best to say yes.

I left my school at lunch and went to do the audit (we have to miss about 2 hours of school when we do these audits since they’re during the day), computer bag and printer in both hands.  I always feel like a business person whenever I have to carry that stuff around school, it’s so heavy too.  I drove myself for once and was able to follow my mom’s directions fine.

Once I got to the house, I rang the doorbell, and was greeted by the client, Karen, who I shook hands with.  (We have to be very professional.)  She had a little daschund who was 11, and he was very cute waddling around slowly and wagging his tail.  He had a lot of white spots around his eyes and around his head in general.

Karen was nice, and I greeted my supervisor Kate too, who does the energy audit.  I did my interview(without feeling much nervousness actually, I guess I’ve gotten used to it) and all my tests on the showers and faucets around the house.  Then I typed up my results and filled out the spreadsheet on the computer.  While Kate was away it was just me and Karen, and it was quiet for a bit.  I broke the silence by asking her about 2 months that were unusually high on her water bill, and if there had been a leak perhaps.  She said she didn’t think so, but she did put in the lawn those 2 months.

Everything in my report was done and ready to be printed, so I just had to wait for Kate to come back.  I went over and pet Karen’s dog, who was really sweet and licked my fingers to show affection.  Karen came over and I talked to her about her dog, my past dog Winnie, and my neighbor’s dogs Penny and Dexter.  I told her about how I had been doing a lot of dog walking and was really enjoying it, and we had a good conversation.

Kate came back and I talked to her about my report, then printed it.  I presented my findings to the client and went over her water assessment document.  I explained the graphs and the charts and where they could make improvements.  After I went over everything, I thanked her for her time, and said I hoped she found this report helpful.  She said she definitely did and thanked me for my time, and we shook hands.  I think I presented everything pretty well and was sure to go into detail about each part, though occasionally I caught myself talking faster or stumbling over a few words.

I left feeling good about the audit, and drove myself home no problem.

Wednesday’s Heart to Heart

So far this week and weekend has been a really good one.  I’ve had some deep heart to hearts with close friends and a lot of honesty has been expressed.

Wednesday started off well. Before school started I walked to the senior locker area where some of the people I know gather in the mornings, like usual.   My close friends usually aren’t there in the mornings, but there are some people there who I’ve talked to before.  Often a circle of two gets formed, and as I walk over I often find it difficult to “get in” the circle.  I don’t know them as well so no one usually looks over at me or greets me until I tap someone on the shoulder and say hi.  But this time was different, a girl who I don’t normally talk to much, Alicia, waved to me right away when she saw me approaching, and I smiled and waved back.  I entered her and the other girls’ circle, even though I’ve hardly talked to anyone that she was with.  She complimented me and said I looked very pretty today, and cool with my sunglasses. I said thank you and smiled.  I talked with her and some of the other girls in the group until the first bell rang.

It was a good start to the day, and I appreciated the compliment and Alicia’s friendliness.  Sometimes I just wander around the school to waste time in the mornings because it’s hard to enter those group conversations with the people over there that I don’t know too well.

At lunch I had a heart to heart with one of my close friends.  We didn’t see any of our other friends at lunch, so we decided to wander off on our own to someplace where we hadn’t sat before, and ended up sitting on the bleachers at the side of the tennis courts.  She had told me the day before about how she’s been feeling excluded by some of our other friends, so I brought her a banana muffin from the batch I had made earlier in the week, and told her that bananas are supposed to boost happiness.  She smiled and hugged me, and said thank you.  She confided in me that she’d been feeling really depressed lately and had spent the last few days crying.   She’d been having some dark thoughts about herself, and I tried to convince her otherwise not to think those things.  I told her that I care about her a lot, and that I like how she’s usually always smiling and friendly to everyone.  She’s very caring and selfless.  She said she appreciated what I said and wishes she could talk to me more often because I always make her feel better about things.  (I’m currently one of those rare teenager in the world who doesn’t have a cell phone, but still, I borrow my mom’s a lot and she can always call me there.)  She said she’s always tries to please people and be the nice one, but she feels like she’s been taken advantage of and people don’t really care about her.  I told her I used to do a similar thing in middle school, and in 6th grade I was really taken advantage of.  I told her all about the bullying and teasing, though I thought I had told her before.  But she didn’t seem to know about it.  So I told her about how I had always tried to please people and let people walk all over me.  In return I was picked on every day for being too quiet/shy, and for not knowing the popular rap and r&b songs on the radio, and for not wanting to wear pink skirts like them, for not being “cool” enough, etc etc.  I didn’t go into everything that happened, but talked about some of it.

I mentioned some people that I thought would be great to spend more time with and get to know better.  She agreed and said she wanted to get to know those people better too.  Before I knew it the lunch bell rang and I realized I still had half of my lunch to eat.  I decided I would sneak some food in class later, and we walked slowly to our next classes, hugged, and parted. She was in my thoughts the rest of the day though, and I hoped she’d be all right.

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