Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Intellectual Autobiography pour vous

Well, chillins. For my Literature of Journalism class, we were asked to write "intellectual autobiographies." Below is mine. Enjoy!

Dad showed me that you win if you don’t worry about being silly in public. Mom taught me to seek after education, and a career. My big brother Kelly taught me to drink Hershey’s chocolate syrup straight from the bottle, when no one else was in the kitchen. He also assured me that talking to a therapist didn’t qualify me as being crazy. My parents have shown me that waiting to get married pays off. My brother Patrick and his wife Jenny have shown me that getting married young can work too. My younger brother Riley told me last night not to worry about today. Grandma showed me that if she can get her college degree at the age of 80, then I have no reason to whine.

My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Borth told me, at age 11, to “keep writing.” I talked to a guy named Keith for about ten minutes once and he told me I would be a good writer. My friend Dave let me know I was deserving of romantic love. My parents called me “cute,” “pretty,” creative, funny, and smart often enough growing up that I didn’t have to spend my adolescence seeking the attentions of casual boyfriends and could instead make friends, play sports, and study. My dad still tells me that nothing good happens after midnight.

Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies taught me that I could be a cynic and a Christian. Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place taught me that the Holocaust affected more people than just Jews. The Babysitters’ Club books let me step into a fictional world that was actually realistic. The book Wonder gave me permission to laugh at middle school. I learned to French braid hair from the Kudos Braids & Bows book. The Bible has taught me to humble myself in the sight of the Lord. Cats have shown me that it’s okay to do your own thing, that solitude is vital. Too much time alone continues to teach me that, as the Bible taught me, “It is not good for man to be alone.” My family, and pastors, have shown me that faith is worth fighting for.

A semester in Africa taught me that “exotic” experiences can feel like everyday life. A girl in a computer lab told me that she felt the same way about her experience there. I learned from moving growing up that people are different yet the same everywhere you go. I learned about adoption and civil rights at a young age, and was immediately transfixed with the concepts.

I learned from several great friendships that it is important to be friends with men and women. I learned from overhearing other females say that they “hate” other women that I hate it when women say that about each other, and I learned from observation that such verbal attacks are destructive, even to those who utter them. I learned ballet at a community college last summer. I learned from a semester of social work study that I hate doing social work.

I continually learn from elderly men wandering the streets everywhere that adorable old men can put a smile on my face just about always. My middle school librarian taught me the Macarena. Youtube taught me how to knit. I learned yesterday, when I attempted to eat my breakfast, that I’ve had too many scrambled eggs in grad school and have maybe overdone it. And I learn all the time that I will never stop learning.

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