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Napoli’s Advice: Embrace Imperfection

Language+Arts+teacher+Mr.+James+Napoli+teaches+the+End-of-Course+Exam+Part+A+structure+to+his+11th+grade+AP+Seminar+class.
SAMETH SITARAM ‘27
Language Arts teacher Mr. James Napoli teaches the End-of-Course Exam Part A structure to his 11th grade AP Seminar class.

Mr. James Napoli teaches ninth-grade English as well as AP Seminar at Edison High School. Other than writing and reading, Napoli enjoys bowling in adult leagues and watching his favorite baseball team, the New York Mets. He is also the co-advisor for Student Council and the Assistant Coach for the EHS Bowling Team.

With seven years of experience in the field of teaching, teaching hundreds of students over the years, Napoli has fair advice for students.

“It’s okay not to be perfect,” advises Napoli. 

Through teaching, playing sports, advising multiple clubs, and coaching sports, Napoli has learned that mistakes must be made and refusing to learn from these mistakes is more detrimental than the mistake itself. He believes that perfection is good to strive for, but one should not beat themselves up if they don’t get there. He also believes that if one is so focused on being perfect, they will feel discouraged and view themselves disparagingly when they do not meet their often unrealistic expectations.

“When I was in middle school and I bowled on my own in leagues, I would always get upset every time I missed a spare or made a bad shot,” said Napoli. “Often times, this frustration would lead me to bowl even worse for the rest of the game because I would be annoyed by the first mistake. I didn’t realize that I just needed to calm down and learn from mistakes to perform well for the rest of the game.”

It’s okay not to be perfect.

— Mr. James Napoli

Napoli believes that students’ drive to be perfect can be corrected with a mindset of taking life on a day-to-day basis. He believes that students are often too worried about being perfect because of their obsession with acquiring their future goals. For instance, students feel that they must participate in as many clubs and activities as possible to get into a “good” college. These obsessions often cause students to pile unnecessary stress on themselves to have a better chance of obtaining something they often have no control over.

Napoli’s experiences have taught him that approaching each day as it comes is much better than dealing with the overwhelming pressure of looking too far ahead. He believes that this mindset would result in a chance for students to embrace and learn from imperfection.

Applying this advice, Napoli believes, is possible in any realm, from academics to extracurriculars to sports.

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About the Contributors
ESHAN JHAVERI ‘27, Staff Writer
Eshan Jhaveri is a freshman working as a Staff Writer for The Eagle's Eye. When he is not writing, Eshan enjoys playing the piano and engineering. He also enjoys running long distance and is a runner on the esteemed Edison High School cross country team.
SAMETH SITARAM ‘27, Staff Writer
Sameth Sitaram is a staff writer for the Eagle's Eye and is a freshman at the Stem Academy. He is part of the school's orchestra. He is an event coordinator of the Wellness club, and is a part of the Peacock Society. He is a passionate violinist and a vocalist who performs around the US.
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