I got a chance to read through the entirety of a former WISE student’s project. Our teachers’ intentions were for us to see what a project should and should not be, and I certainly got a good impression of that. But more importantly (and perhaps unintentionally) the project painted a picture of this student as a person. It turns out that if you read a record of someone’s project that he’s been working diligently on for 16 weeks, you get a pretty good idea of what kind of person he is.
His name is Josh Jacobson, by the way, and you should check his jazz piano playing out here on his SoundCloud because he is an absolutely fantastic player. And, as it turns out, he went to Northwestern University, which is where I’ll be headed next year.
Reading his journal was like watching a friend work through a project. It was clear how much he loved playing jazz piano, and how passionate he was about music. As a fellow musician, I can do more than relate to that. Him mentioning songs that I knew or people that I’ve met made it even more enjoyable to read.
I was struck by how self-reflective he was. Josh was always on the positive side, pointing out the good before the bad, and never criticizing without a proposed solution. It was evident how much effort and thought he was putting into his project.
Because of all that, I knew that his final product, the senior recital, would turn out great, and it seems that he did too. He prepared his music well, overcame hurdles such as being busy with the school musical by being flexible with his project, and performed a great senior recital as recorded on his aforementioned SoundCloud.
What did I learn from this, you ask (you being my WISE teacher)?
Well it’s good to know what a good journal entry entails, what materials I can include in my entries to captivate a reader, and all that. But more importantly, Josh’s project was a reaffirmation of my belief that WISE is one of the most gratifying and enjoyable journey of self-discoveries that you’ll find as a part of the high school curriculum. If it is one single thing that I take away from his project, it is this.