Who I Am | Teen Ink

Who I Am

October 25, 2007
By Anonymous

“Learning from experience is a faculty almost never practiced,” Barbara Tuchman.

I have been, and always will be, influenced by the past three years of my academic career. They have been three years of transformation, pride, and academic achievement. I've realized the true reward of harnessing the quality of my own education and gain skills that have helped me become a more articulate and opinionated observer of the world. These gifts of education have only become evident to me in the past three years. I came from being burdened by my own academic apathy, to striving for nothing less than excellence and personal success in the fields I pursue. The past three years of my life have created a more outgoing person, a more passionate writer, and an even stronger student overall. I owe these fulfilling alterations and irreplaceable opportunities to the professors and staff of my high school, Middle College High.

I was an obviously atypical Middle College student when I arrived my sophomore year, because I was, and remain, to be the only Caucasian student amongst a completely African-American student body. This feeling of dissimilarity was soon dissolved and I began to flourish socially, as I always had, but I noticed an irregularity amongst my new-found friends. Many of my fellow students and personal friends were extremely academically minded and yet they were still sociable and popular amongst the student body as a whole. I was instantaneously inspired and envious of their well-rounded success and future-conscious life styles. Their presence awoke the true longing for education I had suppressed for so long due my falling into the typical social traps of school and lack of teacher encouragement.
Despite my excitement of finally succeeding academically, I wasn't chasing success for the sake of success, I've always had a secret agenda, which has always been, and still remains, to pursue a career in writing. My talent for word craft and poetic explanation became instantly evident to my English III teacher Mrs. Lane, whom became a wonderful source of encouragement and support throughout my junior and senior year. My writing has always been a personal point of pride for me and the challenging essays and reflective writing pieces that were assigned revived that passion and gave me reason to succeed.

Middle College is a unique high school because it is located on the campus of Southwest Community College and allows us to be dual enrolled, so we can take college courses with the Southwest students. The level of responsibility and professionalism the Middle College faculty invests in their students proves the encouragement and inspiring environment given to us as students. Currently I take four college classes and constantly urge the underclassmen to take advantage of the dual enrollment program. As I began to flourish academically, I began to become more ambitious and outgoing. Teachers began to offer me opportunities to represent the school in numerous meetings and organizations, I began to use my skills as a writer to inform my fellow Memphis City School students by writing for the Teen Appeal, a monthly newspaper for students. My writing skills won me an all expense paid trip to New York City with seven other students from my school, to be a part of the 2007 Middle College Leadership Conference; to go, we had to write an essay on the meaning of diversity.

My exploration of the true meaning of diversity in the truly diverse city of New York, led me question my own acceptance in society and befriend a very diverse group of individuals. We explored the city's different sections and met an amazing array of peoples. The trip made me realize how segregated the south really is. Memphis, like many southern cities, is naturally separated: whites from blacks, rich from the poor, gays from straights; but these boundaries seemed absent from New York. My research did not end in New York, the south's history of racial tension immediately affects how we are separated now. The neighborhoods that were mostly populated by African-Americans one-hundred years ago, still remain to be. Anthropology and the study of human behavior between races really interests me, because it directly affects me.

Middle College has fully prepared me for my post-graduation academic career, I can honestly say that I feel confident in my future and wherever my education may lead me in the future. Among many skills and memories, my high school experiences have given me a set of expectations and admirable qualities to search for in colleges. Qualities like reasonable class sizes, offers outstanding opportunities, and will best prepare me for the future. My numerous interests range from writing and art, to science and anthropology. I understand the gifts of academic success and how to achieve them. I use these successful and enjoyable experiences as a foundation for creating new ones in any environment I may be in.

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