Tuesday, September 27, 2011
her story. it's a keeper.
Ya know how there are some things your kids make that you just can't part with....ceramics, handmade birthday cards, crafty Christmas ornaments, etc. Well that's how I feel about this paper that Playmaker recently wrote. This cut & paste version doesn't capture all of her professor's decorations (compliments & comments) that now adorn the original - but this will hafta do for here. For now. Playmaker is taking a writing class about travel and adventure. The only thing I edited out of this assignment was her name and where we live. I even left her grammar/spelling errors in there ... for to change it at all would make it less of what it is....that being her story. It's a keeper.
All About me
From day one, my life could be defined as “different,” or an “adventure” and for a good reason. In order for me to talk about who I am today, I should probably start from the very beginning. My name is ___________, my parents are still married, I have an older brother who is 23, and a younger sister who is 14, I am the middle child at 17 years old. Not a lot is known about my family history. When people ask about my nationality, I just say I am American!
I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona… on the way to the hospital. No, I’m not lying, my birth certificate literally says “en route to hospital.” I do not find it a mere coincidence that I am a naturally curious person today, dreaming of other cultures and traveling overseas, apparently even then I couldn’t wait to see the world!
After living in Arizona for three years, my parents, brother and I moved to Oregon where my sister was born. We stayed there for four years then moved all the way across country to_________________where I still am now! My mom homeschooled my sister and me up until high-school when I decided to stop homeschooling and try it out. It wasn’t long before I found out school was nothing like the movies. The first year of it I felt trapped, there was such rigid time schedules as apposed to the leniency of homeschooling. There was no learning at your own pace which was difficult when I excelled or fell behind. I found myself drowning in homework, where as in homeschooling all work was homework so after school there was nothing extra to do. As two years passed I decided high-school just wasn’t for me.
All of the reasons listed above were contributing factors to my pursuit in the Duel Enrollment program at Fitchburg State University. Junior year I came to FSU and loved it! Here I am, yet another year later and still going to the college.
Which leads me to how I came to be in this class. Because I am a Duel Enrollment student we have a limited selection of classes to choose from and when I needed another writing class I saw this and it was perfect! Adventure, and foreign cultures! This is everything I talk about wanting in life! Plus I needed the credit to graduate; this course must have been made for me!
I think my adventurous spirit came partially from all of the reading I do. Ever since I was young, reading has taken up a lot of my free time whether it is in the car, before bed, after homework or on a rainy day. Through the books, I have experienced so many different life styles, cultures, thrills, and dangers! There is something so appealing about a life outside of a daily routine sometimes.
Not only have I experienced the world through books, but also first hand! In eighth grade my aunt and uncle took me to Europe with them for about two weeks to visit with friends. We did not always stay in hotels but mostly with the people. I got to see how families in other countries live their lives, and even play a part them for a short period of time. It was winter and nearing Christmas when I visited the Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria. I was freezing, awestruck, and captivated the whole time! I may not be great at history but the things I learned in those two weeks will stick with me for the rest of my life, because walked historical roads with my own feet, I went in ancient cathedrals that took centuries to build, I took pictures of and with famous monuments. The books and stories I read before hand were coming to life! I imagined myself as a character in a in a novel, waiting for the story to unfold. Trying to picture every detail in my mind, and how it would be written on paper. I was finally beginning my own adventure!
Sophomore year of high-school my mom, sister, my friend and I all went to visit the same uncle who took me to Europe, only this time he and my aunt were in Senegal, Africa! If I was shocked in Europe about the differences in cultures, I was dumbfounded in Senegal. In the beginning of our trip I did not know what to think. This place was more than strange, more than pore, and more than out of my comfort zone. It did not take long however for me to embrace the differences. I admired their hard work despite incredible poverty. I saw the pride the women took in their appearance even while walking in dust and hot weather, I saw their beauty, and thought how often Americans dress sloppily or do not take care of themselves even though we are so much better off than them. I saw the joy and gratitude in young boys who had no families when we brought them the simplest of toys. I experienced people with next to nothing, sharing everything they have to people who have everything they could dream of, like me. When you get past the sand, dirt, smell, heat, and fear you really begin to understand the beauty in simplicity of a third world country.
The most recent trip out of the United States I was on was a mission’s trip with my church to Haiti this summer. I went in expecting it to be very similar to Senegal, and in some ways the same and others completely different. In many cases, Haiti was a worse off third world country than Senegal in terms of poverty. I did not know it was possible. In the beginning, my heart absolutely broke for those people. There were countless tent cities, sources of water contaminated, wild pigs roaming around, children wandering the streets, unimaginable amounts of trash, a repugnant odor… but once again, despite everything on the outside appearance, I fell in love. These people even after everything they had been through loved and cared for each other, children looked after other children, they played with what little they had and embraced us with love that only a child can bring. Love that breaks the barriers of language and age. In going to Haiti expecting to bless the orphans who we helped build an orphanage for, and blessing the people who needed water and food, I feel as though I have been blessed back by those very same people, in equal amounts if not more.
My heart does not naturally belong confined in a classroom being taught by textbooks, and videos telling you about the world. I was wired to experience, to walk, to see, to smell, to taste to feel, as I learn and as I create my own story. When I was a little girl I read so I would have an adventure now I am realizing that I have the potential to make my own.