The Cardinal Way

Sharing and Learning at Southport High School

In the Middle of It: Perfectly Imperfect

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I was in a conversation this week where I was reminded how often we expect ourselves to be perfect. If you know me, you know that I like things to be a particular way. From keeping things on my desk at a 90 degree angle to everything else or in the standard of work I attempt to produce everyday, I want things to be done well. If you ask my parents about this trait, they will tell you, the person they know me as today did not grow up in their house. I will admit, I have come a long way!

Although this character strength can be very beneficial in my work, it is sometimes also one of my biggest struggles. Even though I know it is a valuable part of the learning process, I, at times, do not want to make mistakes. Ultimately, I believe that this is because I feel if I make mistakes I am letting people down in the perfect world I am trying to create. The problem is that perfect, when it comes to humans and their everyday living, does not exist and is therefore an impossible goal. I have to remind myself of this regularly, put my ego aside, and remember that I am allowed to make mistakes, that they are a part of life, and in those lessons I grow.

Our imperfections make each of us interesting, make us different, and most importantly make us important. We all have something special to contribute that is unique to us as an individual. I cannot tell you what a perfect student, teacher, principal, or person looks like. The reason I cannot explain the characteristics of these individuals is because they do not exist. There is no definition for perfect in our lives, because life is not about being perfect. It is about improving and becoming better.

My goal in life is to use my imperfections, my mistakes, and my unique character traits to make this community a better place. That is my purpose. I get to have the amazing opportunity each day to help people get better, stretching them, helping them change and grow, while at the same time having others do the same for me. I get to go along with people as they get to places they never thought they would go or achieve things they never thought they could obtain. When I stop to think about that, it is deeply humbling for me to realize that I get to serve alongside others in a way where I get to have this lasting impact.

Even though it is a struggle, I know that striving for perfection only leads to things being less perfect, at least in the eyes of the person on the chase. Since nothing is ever perfect, the pursuit of perfection will only lead us to chasing an invisible, moving target. It is the imperfections and mistakes that we must work around and grow with that help us achieve success. I know that when my best developed plans appear to be broken, they usually help lead me to new places and new solutions that fix other broken things in my life. We have to remind ourselves, it is not about perfect, it’s about improving. It’s not about the goal, but the process to reach it. It is about our response to circumstances that define us, not getting it right every time. The only thing that truly helps us improve is working really, really, hard everyday. Any story other than that is probably a lie.

Life is imperfectly perfect, and that is the way it should be. So, remind yourself daily to improve...remind yourself to be better...remind yourself you are amazing the way you are right now! First always remember, life is about improving not about being perfect. Then once you have reminded yourself of this, ask: what did I do to improve today?

Keep learning; keep growing; keep sharing!

This is cross posted on my Principal's Blog

What it takes to #BeACardinal

  • Thank you to our wonderful main office support staff for taking care of the cake everyone had the opportunity to enjoy at lunch!
  • Thank you to our guidance office staff for organizing the Go College Week events.

Grateful Friday Challenge

Week 10 Grateful Friday Challenge:

Smile! Come on... I know you want to- It’s FRIDAY!! This one is going to be so great!

In your mailbox on Wednesday, you found your lovely faces in the form of school pictures! And this year- you will find that the company went all out! Hang those welcome signs outside your door! Then with a few of the remaining 27 pictures that are left over - let’s go back old school. Cut 3, 6, or 20+ apart and write some messages to your friends; then hand them out or hang them up in their room (maybe when and where they least expect it)! Let’s post these things with pride.

For some added fun, if you want, let’s meet in the main hallway between 2nd and 3rd block and bring some of those pictures for a picture exchange! Imagine what the kids will think!

Let’s get into this! Your picture should not be placed in the same spot that the other year’s photos go to hang out. Let’s be proud of the awkwardness of the yearly school pictures we take; and let’s make our smiles fill the walls!


Inspiration and Motivation for the Week


It's a Twitter Thing

Here is my favorite tweet of the week via @TheLeaderinMe
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180 Days of Learning -- #CardsLearn

I am excited to start another year of learning. I look forward to sharing daily stories of learning at Southport High on our new 180 Days of Cardinal Learning Blog.

Josh Brown

Mr. Brown's senior English students are choosing a controversial topic to discuss in an upcoming writing assignment. Students worked together to refine thesis statements about their topic to ensure that they were writing a quality debatable statement about the topic. Students will use this topic and thesis statement to write a paper discussing the ideas they discussed today. The challenge will be keeping their own opinion out of their writing for this assignment

Dan Jones

Mr. Jones’s AP Psychology students had an interesting class discussion today about hypnotism. The class discussed the reasons hypnotism might be used, who is most likely to be able to be hypnotized, and some of the possible reasons hypnotism might work such as: the social phenomenon or divided consciousness. While some students were skeptical, Mr. Jones provided a real life example as he had the students close their eyes and vividly described food. When they opened their eyes, he asked how many students mouths were watering as they listened to the description. Students made connections from this simulation and how hypnotism might work for some individuals.

Mark Snodgrass

Mr. Snodgrass's Civil Engineering students presented their initial planning for their class project idea of building a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Center in Perry Township. Students went through a SWOT (Stengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of ideas for the project from their perspective as students. They were then asked to go through the same analysis from the perspective of a different stakeholder that might be involved in the project. From civil engineer to manufacturer to community member and parent, the students took on these roles, researched that roles point of view and impact on the project, and then presented their ideas to a small group of SHS administration and teachers. Students came up with viable solutions based on their analysis and identified the next steps they would need to make this project a success. Throughout the semester, students will continue to use this project to further their understanding of Civil Engineering.

Anthony Pernell

Mr. Pernell's art students are designing playing cards. Each student is designing two detailed playing cards. The cards must be an ace, king, queen, jack or joker. Students were given the opportunity to come up with their own design or to use the Chromebook to help with ideas. The students were challenged to be creative in the design while keeping their card detailed and neat. Students were getting close to finishing their designs today and were getting input from Mr. Pernell on the final products.

Erin Ancelet

Ms. Ancelet's 9th grade English students read a short story today title: "The Rights to the Streets of Memphis." After reading the article students used Google classroom to post some specific comments. Students were asked to write a paragraph explaining whether they agreed with the mother's "tough love" approach with her son as he was facing a gang on the streets of Memphis. Students had to support their opinion with at least three specific facts from the story. During the story Ms. Ancelet and her students discussed imagery and thematic statements. In their Google classroom post, students also gave examples of imagery from the story and explained the thematic statement or the point of the story. Students were very passionate about their opinions of the lessons taught and learned from this story!

Educational Humor

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