I have attended Lynden Christian schools all the way from pre-school to senior year, and, throughout my school career at LC, there have been good times and bad times. LC has taught me a lot about myself. It has taught me that I am a hard worker and can push my way through anything that comes my way. But, on the bad side, it has shown me that I can take my responsibilities for granted and misuse them.

Throughout my high school career, I have enrolled in as many shop classes as I could. Anytime I could get away from the classroom and do something else, I was down. I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and being mechanical. The first class you can take is woodshop, so I got myself signed up for it and I was ready.

I came into the class thinking we are just going to screw around and cut wood. “Yippee,” I thought. “I can’t wait.” Sounds like a blast, right? But I was completely wrong. For the first half of the semester, Mr. Van stuck us in the classroom to go over safety and to take notes. The whole reason I took this class was to get away from classroom stuff and now, on day one, I’m in a classroom desk. Obviously, I am not too happy about the situation so, for the first half of the semester, I sat there and cried myself a river every day because I didn’t want to be in the classroom. As we neared the end of the quarter, Mr. Van started using the shop as a reward. When we were focusing and taking the safety stuff seriously we would get to go to the shop sooner. Well, I had been wanting to go into the shop for a while, so I hammered down and focused on the classroom work. But even though I didn’t like the classroom work, I had a reason to work for and I put my mind to it and succeeded. Shop has been the class for me that I have always liked and enjoyed. It has shown me that I can work hard and whatever I put my mind to I can succeed.

This past year, all seniors are required to take the class Worldviews. I went into it just as I have gone into every other class at LC: negatively! I heard Van Hulzen and I heard world religions and that did not sound like a fun class at all. As the year began, my fears came true: I couldn’t focus. I slept through most of the note taking, and slowly started to fall behind, little by little. By the end of the first quarter, I had buried myself in such a big hole that I thought there was no getting out. I had screwed-up, big time, I thought. Since, in my head, I had nothing to work for, I decided that I wasn’t going to try, and I was going to slack because that sounded a lot easier. By the end of the first quarter, I was failing. Bad. I thought there was no way I could come back from this. Then LC came into play.

The staff, and the ones responsible for keeping kids and their grades in check, began to contact me. They showed me that just because I think a class is worthless, it is required, and I signed up for it which is me saying I am committed to that class. So, right then and there, I made the decision to do things differently. After the help from the staff (and getting myself to focus), I managed to get my grade up and pass the class.

Mr. Van and I have loved each other since day one. He has made a big difference on my high school career, whether he knows it or not. He has known my dislike for classrooms and learning since I met him, and he could relate to that because he hated the classroom, too. So I would start to struggle and start slacken in the class room and it would make its way to the shop and Van would find out. He would pull me aside and say “Hey, what’s going on why u screwing around?” Then he gives me a nice lecture about not screwing this up and that it will be worth it in the long run. He pushed me hard when I was struggling in the classroom and made a big difference for me going to class and Van being there every day to encourage me and push me to work my hardest and do my best.

Mr. Thomas is a whole different story. Before I had Mr. Thomas in class, I had heard stuff about teachers, and every teacher has their reputation. Well, from what I heard about Mr. Thomas I thought it was going to be a breeze. Mr. Thomas is one of the funniest guys you’ll meet, plus he’s honest. He says what he’s gotta say, and he says it at the right time. He knows when to yell and when to laugh. Mr. Thomas class was the only class that I walk to and think “I can’t wait to see what we are going to do today.” I could actually look forward to something in my day and that was talking to Mr. Thomas. He’s always respectable when he was respected and likes to have fun, but he knows when enough is enough.

I started to slack off in his class because it was easy to, and I thought for sure he wouldn’t fail and would just mark everything handed in. Then I looked on renweb and saw my grade: Zeroes because I had not handed anything in, and he wasn’t going to mark it there if it wasn’t. So I talked to him and asked what I could do to fix it. He said “Nothing.” Well, that pissed me off because I had an F. So I asked what he meant by that, and he said “I don’t give much work, so I expect what little I give to be done right and on time.”

I didn’t like that: “How am I supposed to make it up?” But that was my biggest problem: I would just put stuff off till the week before the quarter or semester would end, and Mr. Thomas was the only teacher I had that showed me that was not how it works in life. You can’t just put it off till the last minute eveytime you have to get it done on time. That’s when I realized that if I’m on the farm working, I can’t just wait till I feel like it to mow or chop when its ready. Like Thomas showed me: on time is important. Once I was able to realize that on time was important, I began to do the assignments and they were actually easy. I started to hand them in on time and my grade went up from an F to a B, just like that.

My dad has also been a giant influence on me on 18 years of my life. I have not always made the right decisions throughout high school, and I struggle with making the right choices and, because of that, I now have 2 MIPs. That made high school a lot harder because I was trying to deal with the consequences of my MIPs and pass high school, and it became a lot on my plate. I really started to stress out and, with all the judgment I was getting because of the wrong decisions, I made made it hard for me to show up to school. Too many people would look at me with weird looks. But my dad has been there for me through everything, and I know he’s a dad, and he has to take care of me, but when I messed up he always forgave me and gave me grace, which meant a lot to me because I knew he always loved me. The fact that my dad didn’t judge me, and that he always continued his hardest to push me in school to do the best I could. He has been a great example for me of how a dad should react and handle the many different speed bumps life is going to through at you. He has shown me how to work hard and provide for my family. He has been a great influence on me in the past 18 yrs and I would have never got this far without him.

Once I graduate, I am moving to eastern Washington, where me and my cousin (who is 20) will be buying a house together. I will be working on my Uncle’ss dairy farm. Because of all the hard work LC has taught me, I was able work hard and save enough money to invest into a house and get my life started. Lynden Christian has taught me to work hard and never give up. Go till the job is finished. They have changed me and made me the hard working man I am today and am proud to be from LC and always will be.

Thank You