In the paper “Challenges in the Path to Self-Actualization” the author analyzes the book “My Thirteenth Winter” by Samantha Abeel, which helps readers understand what people like her go through every day as a person and as a student…
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Abeel is a gifted student, but because of her learning disability, she is filled with panic and anxiety; but through her determination and social support, she deals with her feelings of isolation. I find it very meaningful that despite being diagnosed with dyscalculia, Abeel manages to find inspiration through her creative talent and the support of her school and teachers. Writing provides her an outlet for her genius and anxieties. I am impressed that she does not let her disability become her personality. I can relate to her feelings of social detachment. Before, I used to be very shy, but because of my family’s support and after finding good friends, I learned to enhance my social skills. Like Abeel, it is important to not be stunted by life’s challenges. Instead, people should manage to use them as learning experiences and sources of strength. Abeel helps me become a better teacher in the classroom by encouraging me to improve my skills and knowledge, so that I can support students like her. As a future teacher, I want to help both gifted and learning disabled students to attain their self-actualization. The meaning of self-actualization depends on their dreams and goals in life. Abeel’s story sensitizes me to the unique difficulties of her learning condition. As a teacher, I should be able to encourage her, so that she will not lose hope in herself. I must also be prepared in handling cases like her, which I will soon encounter as a teacher. Abeel inspires people with learning disabilities like her, as well as people without these problems. As a person, I can relate to her desire of attaining her highest potential, however challenging it might be. As a teacher, she inspires me to be prepared in responding to students with special needs like her. Abeel reminds the audience that every dream can come true, as long as they tell themselves that they can and will achieve them.
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