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How I Came to Know Myself
Author's note: I hope this story can warm people's hearts as they read this story.
To all those who have been told that they couldn't do anything.
Starting from when I was young, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to do anything. I was told that I was too fat, too big, and not smart enough. However, I have came to prove that wrong. I may be fat, but that was how I was made. I am also reading a grade level above, and two grade levels in math above my level. This story shows how I did prove those people wrong, and how I came to know myself.
It all began one morning on February 26, 2001. I came to the world crying and screaming. I was 7 lb. and 6.8 oz. I was 20 and 1/4 inches long. I was born with clubfoot, a condition where my feet were turned in by 90 degrees. Only 1 in 1000 kids have been born with it. Some of names that were considered if I were a girl are: Emma, Claire, Meghan, or Kaitlin (Katie for short). I was told back then that I was a very happy baby, and I only cried if I was hungry or I hurt myself. Not that I remember that.
To be honest, life wasn't too eventful for me. I went to preschool at the “CDC” (Child Development Center) that was on the Bethel University campus from when I was 4-5 years old. I was immediately in the bunny group, which was the oldest age group. Every morning my dad and I would eat breakfast in the cafeteria before he would drop me off. He then would go to class. He was in nursing school at the time. One of the clearest memories I have of preschool happened when I was about 4 1/2. I was able to read at the time, so when I had extra time, I would walk by my bin, and and look up at the schedule on the wall. One time I got caught.
“What’re you doing?”
“Looking to see what’s next”.
She smiled, shook her head, and walked away.
Another memorable moment was in my older times at the CDC. I was outside sitting in the grass on the playground when I saw something I had never seen before: an inchworm. I immediately put it on my hand. I called my friend Rosie over. Unlike myself, she was as tall as the other preschoolers. She was about 5 inches shorter than me, which means that I was basically the tallest kid in the building. We grabbed a bucket. We figured that what an inchworm needed to survive was grass, dirt, leaves, and for good measure, a stick for it to climb on. We then sat on one of the few benches outside. People started getting curious like most preschoolers do. We showed the inchworm to the kids who wanted to see it. I felt like I was famous (then again, I was only 4). We then had to go inside. The inchworm inched out of the bucket, unnoticed.
One night, when I was 5 1/2, I was out of the CDC and getting dressed with some nicer clothes to go to Sunnyside to meet my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Johnson. I walked downstairs, fully dressed.
“Ready to go, kiddo?” my dad asked.
I got my shoes on, and walked out the door.
When we got there, it seemed liked a frenzy in there. 1st graders were reconnecting with their old friends, while kindergarteners like me just stayed quiet. There was just nothing for us to say. When we were in the kindergarten hallway, I saw a really short blonde girl, and a girl that was at least 3 inches taller than me. There were also two twins. There was a girl as tall as I was that was walking around with the short girl. When we walked into my home room (also my only room), I met my teacher, Mrs. Johnson. She was really nice. After we met her, we walked to the cafeteria, and got a popsicle. We then left.
When I came into my homeroom on the first day of school, I used that time to adjust. It was so different than preschool. If you looked into the room from the doorway, on the left was the play area and the window, in the center was a walkway, the back center was the meeting rug, and the left were the tables where we worked. My first friend was a girl named Olivia E. She was very nice and helped me with whatever I did.
My first meeting with the short blonde girl was about a fourth of the way through the year. Her name was Katie, and in my eyes at the time, she was a devil. I had brought my stuffed bunny to school that day, and Olivia and I were building a home for it out of foam blocks. It was a simple structure, with three walls, a ceiling, and a floor. I can’t remember it clearly now, but Katie walked over and knocked it down. Immediately, Olivia and I started crying. When I think about it now, it’s funny that I was crying over something that wasn’t a big deal. We ran over to Mrs. Johnson.
“Katie knocked over our house!” I wailed.
“I don’t know!”
“Oh, well, I will talk to her” Mrs. Johnson said.
About twenty days later, we started practice for our kindergarten graduation. On the second day of practice, I decided to liven things up. That day I had brought my joke book to share with the class.
“Why was Pooh Bear looking in the Toilet?” I asked. “Because he was looking for Piglet!!!”
Dead silence. I wondered what they thought of the joke. I tried another. After that joke, only one person laughed. Katherine Heidger. My eyes widened. Katie, my arch nemesis, laughing at my joke. After practice, I talked to Katie.
“Why did you laugh at my joke? I thought you hated me,” I said.
“It was funny”.
“Want to become friends?”
After that episode, we have never had a problem in our lives.
In first grade, there wasn’t a whole lot of memories. However, that was where I met my second friend, Anthony Zheng. Now that I think about it, there was a couple of memorable things that happened in first grade.
In the beginning of the year, Mrs. Hoff (my teacher) announced that there would be a “Thank You” drawing every Friday. For those of you reading this that go to Edgewood or Sunnyside, a “Thank You” was like a “Sunsational Slip” or an “Eagle Feather”. A couple ways I would try to get a “Thank You” slip would be daily volunteering everyday to point at the “Word Wall” (The “Word Wall” was a wall that had hard words and our names on it). We had to say the words out loud everyday. It wasn’t that I didn’t like saying the words, I really did, but I liked the thrill of pointing at the words instead of sitting with the other students. Normally, I would get a “Thank You” for doing that.
Another way I would try purposely to get another one of those slips would be for me to help with the daily class bathroom trips. I would randomly walk up to the boys side of the bathroom and start telling people if they should go in or not. For some reason, I think I liked that job better than pointing at the Word Wall. Who knows exactly why.
The summer of 2007 was an interesting one. Every year I get a packet explaining the next year of school and it tells me who my teacher is going to be for the next year. The teacher I had for the next year? Mrs. Wingate. I can remember myself thinking that it was a weird last name. Wingate? Gatewin? It was confusing, but it was still a fun name. I thought about it all of the rest of the summer. What if she was mean? What if she gave a lot of homework? I was worried. In my defense, I hadn’t seen her in the school. At all.
When I went to Meet The Teacher night, I was able to reconnect with people like Katie and Anthony. I walked over to my new homeroom. Apparently, it was the same room as my 1st grade reading teacher, Mrs. Grant. I met her and put my stuff in my desk. I then headed out.
In the beginning of the school year, Mrs. Wingate said that we would be writing in our notebooks.
“You can write fiction, biographies, and any kind of writing.
My first day of writing was based off an “Phineas and Ferb” episode. It was called “Snow Days”. It was about myself during summer. In the story, something unusual was happening. It was snowing in the summer. Peculiar, considering I like no snow during the summer. It was only a half page long. The largest story I have EVER written was in that very notebook. It was a day by day autobiography. I had class updates, absences, daily news, and things in my personal life. It was fun writing it, and when I was chosen to read to the class, I was able to get the class involved. Like one time I left off somewhere in my story, and I would have to ask the class where I was. And it seemed that the class liked it.
At the end of that year, I had received a slip that looked like it had been handed out to the entire 3rd grade. I looked down at the sheet. It had some words and what looked like a permission slip at the bottom. It had information about the 3/4 split. It said that if my parents and I felt that it was the right thing to do, They would sign at the bottom of the paper and I would that bottom 1/4th of the sheet into my teacher.
When I got home the that afternoon, I showed them the form to my parents, and we talked it over.
“Well, I won’t get teased because of my height,” I told my mom.
So, my mom signed it, and it was official that I was going to be in Mr. Wait’s 3/4 split classroom. When I walked in that next year, the desks were set up in rows. I chose my seat, and sat down, just like the whiteboard instructed. As far as I can remember, I was sitting next to Ashley Jensen at the left end of my row of three. When Mr. Wait introduced himself, he turned out to be VERY funny. He aimed 95% of his jokes at Nermin. Once when Mr. Wait brought in two princess books for his two little girls, I aimed a joke at Nermin:
“Hey Mr. Wait, are those princess books for Nermin?”
The whole class laughed.
Mr. Wait replied. “Yes they are”.
The class erupted in laughter. Nermin stayed silent, knowing that yet another joke had hit him. he was a good sport about it, though. That was what going on the whole year. The downside about being in the split class was that I wasn’t able to be with my friends. I really missed people like Katie and Anthony. However, we were in the same math and reading class so I was still able to connect with her. When we sat by each other, I met one of my current friends: Nahum Gebremedhin. He was nice, and was just like Katie. Katie had told me that he was her friend for a while. “How long has he been friends with her?”
In fourth grade, I was in Mrs. Johnson’s class. (A different one from kindergarten) She said in the beginning of the year that each day we were good, we got a letter. We were trying to get all the letters in supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. That’s 36 letters. And if we had a good report from a sub, we would get two letters.
“If you get all the letters in supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, you get a prize”, Mrs. Johnson said.
I raised my hand.
“What do we get if we finish the word?”
“You can get an extra recess, game time, and lots of other fun things”.
That got us excited. Have you ever noticed how, when everyone talks at once, it sounds like an ongoing noise? I never figured that out.
“Also, when you get a “Sunsational Slip”, you can put it in my basket. At the end of each week, I will draw 4 people to put their name on the big sun. Again, enter ongoing noise.
“I can wait all day...”
That got us quiet. The rest of that year went by like a blur.
In 5th grade, I had the person I had wanted the most. Mr. Rockenstein. It was really funny, because EVERY SINGLE SUB could not pronounce his name correctly. They mainly called him Mr. Rockenstieen instead of Rockenstein. The most memorable thing about 5th grade with Mr. Rockenstein was probably how fun the Non-Fiction Learning (N.F.L.) class was. I LOATHE non-fiction books. They’re SO boring! So when I found that I was doing that class, i just groaned. But, when Mr. Rockenstein said we were making magazine articles for the whole year, I almost shouted in happiness. We decided to make 4 magazines, one for each quarter. Then came a curveball. One of the 5th grade teachers was diagnosed with skin cancer. It immediately made a new dreariness over my life. It was sad. I had never dealt with a person with cancer before.
During the end of the 3rd quarter of the last year I was at Sunnyside, I walked into N.F.L. We were going to talk about our there for the next magazine. Zella brought up something that was a very good idea.
“I think we should make a special magazine that has any topic we want. And then we can dedicate the whole magazine to Mrs. Shomion”.
We all thought that it was a good idea. I made that article the best that I could.
A day before school actually started, we went to what was apparently called “In the Middle Day”. It was where all of the new students got into preset groups and took a tour of the building. I was in the feather group. We learned about different parts of school that I probably would not have known if I hadn’t taken that tour. That day, we also got our locker numbers. My number is 724. My combo is... well, we aren’t supposed to tell anyone that, so I won’t say that.
Well, Edgewood is going well. It is the end of the 1st quarter, and big things are changing in my life. I am currently preparing for a new schedule change, which will probably change at least 4 classes. The reason for that is this: a couple of weeks ago, I took a test that would determine if I would stay in my current math class, or if I would be bumped up. I passed the test, so I am currently working with my new math teacher to catch me up so I am ready when I make the official transfer in second quarter.
So there you have it. How I came to know myself. In 5 pages. I thank you for reading this document.