Humans of LQHS: Avery Torres’ reflection sparks a road to self-discovery

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Photo courtesy of Avery Torres; Designed by Diego Meza

Diego Meza, Reporter

As the bell rang throughout the first day of the 2018-2019 school year, Avery Torres ‘21 dreadfully walked in the summer heat from class to class—that was, until the start of fifth period. 

Curious to see who was in his English class taught by Alex Jackson, a former teacher at La Quinta High School, he noticed a mirror inside Room 357 among the empty seats.

“That’s weird,” he remembered thinking to himself.

That mirror would unexpectedly and significantly revive his soul, he said. 

Torres is a senior at La Quinta High School. He plans to major in music in college and become an expert trumpet and oboe performer in the coming years.

Instead of just learning, like everyone’s name, or something they did,” said Torres, “[Jackson] had us look at a mirror and write something about ourselves to ourselves. He wanted us to look at who we are and who we wanted to be.”

Briefly astonished by Jackson’s assigned task, Torres gravitated to the mirror. Within a few seconds, he thought to himself, “I am not who I want to be, I want to feel alive.”

“That kind of inward-looking and reflection, quite literally because I was staring at myself, that was the kind of attitude that he wanted us to all have whenever we were talking to someone,” he said, “or whenever we were in class, we would always think about ourselves.”

His peers were also highly encouraged to think about other people and how they were feeling. 

“I feel like if I hadn’t been in that class, I would have not been as much of a person,” said Torres. “I really think anyone would feel that without the personal exploration and the development of maturity and in the way of sympathizing with other people.”

Although self-reflection and introspection didn’t come naturally to Torres, those small words of self-discovery and awareness of others’ feelings were just a few topics that were constantly reviewed and eventually embedded in him over the course of the school year. 

“We talked a lot about the values that other people’s experience brings to me,” he said. “Like, if I’m thinking about what’s good for me, he would say people are good for me. So, obviously, I’m living my life, and everyone else is living theirs. But if you think about it in the way of sharing. we’re all great people to communicate with each other.”

Humans of La Quinta High School is an ongoing series featuring Blackhawk students and staff. Follow us on Instagram @humansoflqhs and Twitter @lqhawkview