Now that the my final year at Galileo High is coming to a close I have had a lot of time to reflect on certain memories of things I will miss in the future. From the test-cramming to the Varsity basketball games I played in to the connections I made, I had a good time attending school here at Galileo.
One particular connection that I made here attending Galileo that I value very much is the one I created with Mr. Schnitzer, the retired photography teacher from last year. When I first took his class my junior year, I really didn’t like it. I took the class because when during sophomore year when we were choosing classes, people said that photography would be an easy A so since everyone else seemed to be signing up, I decided I would too. In my eyes, it seemed to be a no-brainer to join a class where not only I would have friends in my class, but to be able to obtain a good grade with minimal effort.
What I wasn’t prepared for though was that Mr. Schnitzer took his job very seriously. The first time I did a photoshoot in the studio for his class, I did terrible. I didn’t understand that photography was way deeper than just taking a picture with a light on, there was also shot lists, and different types of angles to shoot which I had no idea existed until I took the class. On top of this we also did animation and had to create stories from scratch. All this with the added fact that Mr. Schnitzer had very strict deadlines, if an assignment wasn’t turned in to him by the end of the class period, it was a zero with no excuses.
As far as my grade, I started off the year putting some effort into my shots, but Mr. Schnitzer kept giving me bad grades. Then I decided to put some real effort in his class, but my grade didn’t really improve and I felt like I was getting nowhere with every assignment.
There was a period in time around the first grading period that I had a low D in his class and I started to wonder if I should even keep attending his class. But for some reason even though I was struggling to get a good grade, I became determined to show that I was learning something.
Mr. Schnitzer had developed a passion that I had in photography that would not go away. I started to take photos in my own time and started to watch Youtube videos on different cameras I wanted to buy. While my photography skills were developing, my connection with Mr. Schnitzer developed as well. Instead of wondering why he gave us hard work, I realized that the reason for this was because he was passionate about his work despite the fact that it was his last year teaching at Galileo.
By the end of the year I became close with Mr. Schnitzer and I was producing A level work each grading period. It was a bittersweet moment the last day I attended his class because even though finally able to retire and take the vacation he was always looking forward to, I would also be losing a good friend. I can still remember the funny advice that he gave me: “Ben, if you ever want to become a professional photographer, dont.”