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October Sky Essay

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Write about the adult or adults who strongly influence your present life and will influence your future career decision. Be sure to comment on how you feel about their influence.

Everyone has an influence and people make everyday decisions based on these influences whether they know it or not. The adult who strongly influences my present life and will influence my future career decision is a very good friend of mine named Billy, who is nineteen. This influence of mine gives me motivation to do and be better, critical feedback, and tips and advice.

Homer Hickam is motivated by his teacher, Miss Riley, to follow through with his dream and accomplish the most he can. Similar to my life, my influence motivates me to do better and accomplish as much as I can. Billy never gives up on me no matter how many mistakes I make, he believes I’ll be better, for example in school. Billy wasn’t a straight A student and prioritized school while he was in school but, he makes sure I do all my homework no matter how small it was. He expects big things from me in the future just like Miss Riley’s high expectation from Homer in the future. Today, Homer is a former NASA engineer so hopefully I’ll be just as successful with the guidance from my influence. Billy is a very smart person and is particularly good at visualizing and noticing small key things. Billy does not directly tell me whether I did a good job but the thought of me doing something perfectly right satisfies me because I know he is proud of me. This influences me greatly and affects how I would make a decision today. Before I make a decision for example on a test, I put myself in Billy shoes and think about how he would see it by using an alternative method to solve the question. Homer wouldn’t have went so far without the motivation from his teacher Miss Riley and I believe if I hadn’t had an influence like Billy I would definitely not be the person I am today who I am proud of. People who are motivated the right way are more likely to be successful because the person will always know there is someone who believes in him.

Critical feedback is important when you are trying to become better at something no matter how harsh it is. Billy does not feel guilty or regrets the things he says to me. He is similar to John Hickam and says what he believe no matter how mean it is. The comments Billy makes could be considered disrespectful but I see it as positive feedback. Not a day goes by where he does not give me feedback and I trust his feedback because he hasn’t gave me feedback that I doubted or questioned. This unfortunately would be an example of a fixed mindset because I accept his feedback and won’t question it unlike Homer who has growth mindset to disobey and question his father’s wishes. Unlike John Hickman’s rude comments, which were against what Homer wanted to accomplish, Billy’s rude comments are to help me improve in order to accomplish what I want. The comments Billy makes are usually not from big things but for the small things for example in basketball like the footwork or my shooting form that would all add up to a big problem if not fixed earlier. I would like to think these rude comments are positively affecting me and will help me change to become better. I believe John Hickman is not a bad person and didn’t mean to negatively influence his son but John Hickman had fixed mindset and was stubborn to change for his son. Unlike Billy, who has a growth mindset, adapts his opinion based on my strengths and weaknesses not giving me one path to follow. The critical feedback he gives me is helpful because I have friends and family today telling me what I am good at but no one to tell me what I’m doing wrong or how to improve..

Most influences give tips and advice such as a motivational speech or a quote that is meant to be analyzed for a deep meaning. However, Billy does not only do that but actually demonstrates many times. For example in basketball he will repeat a specific move over and over until I memorize it and understand it and then makes me do it a million time until it becomes natural. Homer got advice from Ike Barkoski on better methods and ways to improve the performance of his rocket. Also when Billy think it is necessary he will send me a link to a video that shows a professional doing something that I need work on and will make me watch it over and over with him so while we watch he can point out specific things that the video shows that are important and crucial in order to be successful. This influences me greatly because now I am not eager to do thing like play basketball games but instead watch professional do it first and watch some more videos before doing it. For example, now in school for math if I don’t understand a topic I will watch many videos on the topic and familiarize the pattern and what they are doing before trying it out myself. This is an example of mine of a growth mindset because I don’t only take into account what the teachers teach but what online videos say as well for a better understanding. Tips and advice are important for a youth because habits start at young age and if taught the right way in the future only good habits will be used.

In conclusion, Homer Hickam would have not have been able to be as successful without his teacher Miss Riley and I believe Billy is my Miss Riley. It’s always nice to have someone appreciate what you are doing indirectly because too much positive feedback won’t help you get better overall. Billy may be mean but he is honest and doesn’t give up on me and always believes I will have a successful future. His influence on me is greater than anyone else’s influence on me and my future decision will be based on the influence he has on me. I will never forget and in the future any accomplishments I achieve will be because of a great influence Billy has on me.

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