Thank You, Ms. Mu

Ashley Zhao, Staff Writer

Imagine yourself trekking through another grueling day of high school, just about to sit down at your computer in your graphic design class for the thousandth time. But just as the bell rings and you are seated in your chair, your feelings of fatigue and drowsiness suddenly wear away. The classroom’s cozy atmosphere washes over you, created by the warm fairy lights strung along the walls and the relaxing music being played throughout the room’s speakers. Students who populate Ms. Mu’s classes are free to eat the food they’ve brought in their respective periods, albeit the ones that have a strong smell or make a big mess (obviously). This kind of pleasant, easy-going classroom ambiance keeps the students engaged in their work–reminding them not to take any project too seriously. Her wonderful sense of humor is also something that many students look forward to whenever they enter her classroom. Her jokes aren’t afraid to reference politics or recent events happening around the world, packing a good laugh into any student who understands the punchline. Ms. Mu’s sound effect box, full of an assortment of joke noises like the classic trombone failure sound, help add to the carefree atmosphere her class possesses. Without these things, students would be less than invigorated to show up to class every day and learn how to use each feature of Adobe programs.

Ms. Mu, the visual arts teacher who presides over room A-212, clearly isn’t afraid to provide a comfortable atmosphere for her students. She doesn’t hesitate when calling out students who are slacking off on their projects and scrolling through their texts in the middle of class or watching videos instead of doing their assignment. By using the monitoring system built into the classroom’s computers, Ms. Mu can quickly get students back on task.

When ‘Constructive Criticism Day’ rolls around the corner, the broadcasting component of this system also helps Ms. Mu and other students give constructive criticism to their peer’s projects. Without calling out any specific person, she lets any of her students provide the criticism they think could help their classmate improve their assignment. Speaking about criticism, she doesn’t like to sugarcoat her words, and honestly says what she thinks about what her students could change about their work. She tells her students to build a “thick skin” so they can learn how to handle criticism in the future, no matter what career they take on. In many of her classroom discussions, Ms. Mu always reminds her classes to find new solutions and viewpoints in which they can bring out their true creativity and artistic expression. She always inspires her students with her own life experiences and those with past students, telling us not to get so worked up about our grades and other small things.

Ms. Mu always tries to help her students in the best way possible, whether if it’s through providing constructive criticism or bringing news of art contests for her students to participate in. Her ability to keep us engaged, on task, and inspired are only some of the things that make Ms. Mu’s classes so special to so many students.

-Ashley Zhao, 9, Pow Wow, Staff Writer