Menlo beyond just the facts

From Menlo, I have learned an infinite number of facts – the causes of World War I, the difference between meiosis and mitosis, the law of decreasing marginal benefits. I’ve learned skills – how to properly annotate a bibliography, how to use InDesign, how to write a lab report. But most importantly, I’ve learned life lessons; things that my teachers won’t necessarily test me on, but my life undoubtedly will.  Things like how to be happy.

In the midst of my junior year, with the notorious research paper looming and a lack of stamina to make it until summer, my history class began learning about the 1960s and the great Lyndon B. Johnson. As part of the unit, we watched a movie on LBJ’s life – not just the decisions he made as president, but his lifestyle. One day in class, Dr. Hanson pointed out something that to this day still makes me giggle – the size of LBJ’s ears. If you haven’t seen them, you should google him because I swear they are the biggest ears I have ever seen in my entire life. Noticing them not only easily made LBJ my favorite president but also made memorizing facts about Johnson fun; if I was getting bored, I could just think of his ears, smile, and regain motivation.

The point I wanted to get across from my somewhat weird and borderline creepy example is this: in the past four years, I have learned how to make myself happy. In the most stressful, saddest, worst situations, I can think of something or do something or say something that inevitably makes me grin. This may make me somewhat of a dork, but I’m fine with that; at least I’m a happy dork.

All of the pressure and anxiety students endure at Menlo at times seems pointless, but in retrospect it is worth it. Not because of the grades or the test scores or the facts, but because of the lessons we learn beyond just managing time and studying. Everything can thank Menlo for some lesson they’ve learned; for me, it’s happiness. I’m sure that in ten years, I’ll forget all about Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, but I’m almost positive I’ll remember his gigantic ears.