jessicaga_psaWe are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
~Aristotle

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.
~Louis Pasteur

Over the last few days I’ve been thinking a lot about excellence, character, and the meaning of life. I’ve been thinking about the program here, my history, even recent events in my life and the people in it. I think this was all triggered by an email I recieved from another teacher earlier in the week that said “Not everyone is as skilled as you- not everyone can teach the way you do.” I completely disagree. Everyone CAN do what I do. I’m not especially creative or skilled. I’m not especially smart or talented. I just do the extra. (thanks JessicaGy)

I’m Tenacious. Like Louie above, my strength lies solely in my tenacity. I never give up and I don”t accept defeat. If I say I will do something, I do my absolute best to do it. If I forget or fail, I accept responsibility and do whatever I can to fix it. I care about who I am- not what others think about me or who others think I am, but who I really am… who I really want to be. I’m not talking about being cool or popular or liked. I’m talking about looking in the mirror and being proud of who’s there.

I have had some incredibly hard situations to deal with in the last few years, both personal and professional. But in the face of some difficult times, I simply kept moving on. It was incredibly challenging at times- even painful at times- but I decided to not give up on my own character. My own commitment to excellence. And looking back, I won.

Am I special? Sure I am. But not because of some special magical power or natural ability. I’m special because I keep trying. I get up after falling down. I don’t stop until I’m finished. I don’t accept the minimum for myself.

What about you? Are you living for the moment or for what matters? Are you trading your future for temporary fun? Are you trading your amazing future vacations from a job you love for short mental ones in a job you don’t (school is your career right now)? Don’t waste time. Look forward, not down. The goal is ahead of you, not under your feet.

All this talk of work and sacrifice and excellence- does that mean that you won’t enjoy the here and now? Absolutely not! You simply have to learn to love the here and now. Find your passion. Find what you love. Think about what you might want to do- because no matter how bad you think school is- it’s better than living with your parents and wearing a paper hat the rest of your life taking orders from some high school kid who is focused.

Everyone has to pay their dues. It’s now or later. I can tell you that now it’s cheaper and easier than later, but you have to make the decision. You can’t choose not to pay- the scales will be balanced someday.

Carpe Diem, everyone… And don’t take the shortcut… take the scenic route and have something to look back on for your trip.  More to come on this whole theme soon!

Today I want everyone to register at www.certiport.com. If you have a login from last year, please just log in and check to be sure you remember your username and password. If you’re new, please make your login your firstname with the first and last letters of your last name and your year of graduation your login. (Mine would be robsz87- Rob SchwartZ, 1987). Use your school student number as your password. This way we’ll all have the same login format and we won’t forget it!!! If you choose not to use this method, that’s fine… but DO NOT FORGET your login! You’ll be using it for the next few years! If you use myspace or facebook or AIM daily, you can use that login… but make sure it’s just something you won’t forget.  We’re going to pretest early next week and then CT1 will go through the lessons and hopefully everyone will be certified by Halloween. After that- it’s smooth sailing!