Preparing for a Unit Battle by Emily Kozhina

Last year, I found myself in awe of the previous sophomores and their unit lessons about their culture. I knew that there would be a day that I would be in their socks, but I didn’t think I would find myself there so quickly. When I found myself sitting with the CW I circle, poems from my culture in my hand, and my rehearsed lesson plan lodged in my throat, I felt the pressure surging through every word I tried to speak.

Though I found myself panicked at times, unsure if the poems I picked worked (considering I was the third sophomore to center my lesson with pieces around communism), or if anyone would have something to say about my choices. Thankfully, with assigned prompts and long pauses of thought, I found myself leading a full discussion between the students, who raised their hands and voices with interpretations. The group discussions grew smoother with each poem as they familiarized themselves with these poems that took my long summer days to analyze.

In the end, once I sat patiently, waiting for my unit reflections, I felt proud of the work I had done, and thought to myself, “I can do this again, no problem,” which I will continue to believe until I once again find myself with packets in hand, throat suck, and my mind whirling. Until then, I’ll be preparing.

Emily Kozhina, class of 2020

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