I was the student teachers wanted in class.  I sat still.  I did my homework on time.  I participated without dominating.  I got straight A’s…A as in Always.  As a young learner, I colored inside the lines.  As a high schooler, I kept off the grass.  In college, I played to my strengths.

If ever offered time travel, I will start my do-over around 9th grade with one mantra: “Donna, make straight C’s. I know you can do this.”   I will pick topics because they are interesting, not because I can test well.  I will seek classes that intimidate me.  I will register for classes that people would find surprising.  

I will measure myself on a “growth card,” rather than on a report card.  Getting straight C’s will be the sweet spot on the growth card.  Straight C’s will symbolize how much I embraced learning something difficult.  How well I balanced taking a risk on something really new while applying the effort required to learn it.

And while I’m back there in time, I’ll also advise my younger self to keep the perm in the past, forego yellow and lighten up on the eyeliner.