Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Hands Up

Aug 31, 2022 07:05PM ● By Shannon Mc Kenzie

It’s back-to-school time, and as I attend open houses with my kids, I’ve been reflecting upon my own school days. When I was really young, I was so eager to be called on in class that I could be annoying. In second grade I moved with my family to a town where the kids had not learned their vowels in first grade, as I had. When my new teacher asked questions about vowels, my arm would shoot up, and if she didn’t call on me, my arm would go up higher as I maniacally tried to get her attention. There was a point in time when she started saying, “Anyone but Shannon.” I guess it didn’t deter me, as I remember her saying that often. Then at the beginning of fifth grade, when the teacher was assigning us to reading groups, she asked us what our reading levels had been in fourth grade. I answered with confidence that I was in the very top reading group, although I was not. I was pleasantly surprised when my strategy worked.

But then we moved to a new town again—this time when I was in the middle of seventh grade. All I wanted was to blend in and not be noticed. This desire lessened over time, but after reading this month’s Inspiration article, Living Life in Full Color, by Marlaina Donato, I realize I never did make it back to that time when I desperately wanted to be called on. I simply care too much what others think. 

Donato writes about how nature invites us “to live more boldly before it’s too late, and to express the passions we’ve held in for dear life.” I don’t know quite how to apply her words, but they resonate with me right now. There’s something enticing about that little girl unapologetically wanting to be called on and confidently jumping up reading levels. 

Wishing you boldness this September,



Join Our Email List


* indicates required
What Best Describes You?