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Kate HugoI may not know my purpose yet, but I can surely answer my purpose for attending college (or more specifically CRCA). I knew why when I was first ushered into the middle school cafeteria and handed a key in the form of essays and interviews. It was a simple thought really, I wanted this. I wanted this so bad not even amonkey’slove for its favorite fruit could compare, so I snatched up my pencil and wrote. I wrote despite my parent’s hesitance and my own fear. All of this is what helped me shove through with my shoulders covered in debris and my mind racing faster than a Mazda fit with sticky tires. That brings me backtowhy.Whydid I go through all of this? It’s even simpler than doing or saying. When I grabbed mypencils,and papers the thought dancing through my head was “this is it. This is it and I need to go there, work my tail off, andget away.” It’s not the best thought, but even so, it’s a thought.

Despite all of this, there is no doubt that what truly drove me to pick up my pencil was a strong urge toproveandescape.My escape laid with education with its oaks and cedars, hopefully, up north. To tie it all together, the only way to get there is to become a wildlife biologist. It all ties together, escape equals outside, outside equals college and finally, college equalsbiology, which, amazingly, biology equals outside so there’s one step forward, right? It feels like some master plot by some villain, but now I’m just waiting to see who plans on stopping it in its tracks (or maybe this will play out like Megamind where I could end up stopping myself?). It all ties together with my plan to escape. By escaping, I’m proving that I’m not a useless dunce and that it’s not worth it to look me over only to forget that I am someone with a bonfire for thoughts. It’s not all that surprising that almost nobody but myself and thosehurling rockshaspushed me this far. Perhaps I’m skipping over the few that let me run wild and pushed mefurtherthan any rock or thought could, but it’s a fact. After Intermediate, I was alone for all but a few friends crawling along beside me, even if some of those friends treated me worse than I could have thought they would. After all, all but two at most treated me like a human being and the other three I never really saw much, and it still all connects. I know for a fact, always a fact, that I would not be here if I hadn’t dropped into the abyss.Thereis, of course,a start, where the fall began. I had to be somewhere before the plunge after all. Now I’m not going to lamely start with “it all began” but it really did all begin in 3rdgrade where I hung out with new kids and played war games while also trying to start a musical revolution with Lion King 2. Ofcourse,things get sour, but I was naive and young. I hadn’t changed much when I started 4thgrade and returned to old friends. I spent most of my time aspiring to be an artist while chasing after other people that wanted nothing to do with someone like me. However, out ofeveryone, myteacher supported me the most (so much, she was amazing there is no doubt there) when I was beginning to struggle. I barely knew basic multiplication and was slow to understand mostly everything that hadn’t managed to escape my interests.

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It all makes sense considering I’m a very complicated person. I need to know all the ends and outs; kinks and quirks of something before I fully understand it and simply being told what and not how drove me through a wall. Many walls in truth. It didn’t help that my memory washorrid, nomatter how hard I tried to fill the gaps or how hard I tried. Worksheets weren’t cutting it, short clips on the subject weren’t cutting it, and then CRCA came. Ifeltpushed to do something, it was fantastic, just like with Math in 8th grade. Here, Icanwrite without being toldnoand given a book that I never fear not finishing since only class reading was available ingrades before and then we were given a lousy week to complete an entire character journal/questionnaire withminimalinstruction that wouldn’t be expanded on.

The only real things I learned and remember the clearest (that I didn’t have to shape up later) were the projects we did hands on and the readings. Lectures and worksheets never stuck and thiscontinuedforyears. I slowly got tired of school and everything related to it. I felt as if I wasn’t learning anything, nothing wasstickingand became undeniably and utterlybored. I was, without a doubt, getting tired of worksheets andtheconstantdrone of in class readings. I had begun to panicaboutwhat I didn’t know, and most ofallbegan learning that learning wasn’t worth it if it was that miserable. To add to it, it didn’t help that my parents only added to the stress by making every mistake a burden. It wasn’t until a certain math class that I began to learn something. I began to get through equations and know what it is I was solving. My teacher went through everything, pausing sometimes to ask questions or repeat something if confusion settled. Shepaidattention. I loved it so much, it was such a different world from being told ahundred-wordsentence and immediately givenaclassassignment that nobody would explain or that would have gaps.

I had come to the conclusion that it had been forever since I took something in,learned, almost greedily. My trickling stream of interest blew over into a full river in that one math class. However, despite thisall,I still struggledwithother classes. Half of the time,even the teacher didn’t evenknowwhat they were teaching, just handing out worksheet after confusing worksheet then denying any asked help. In fact, my fear of going in early or after school branched from this. They would say yes but help was still not there. I remember one fateful morning I slunk in for missing a day to seek help on what we had learned, but instead I was handed the day’s worksheet of completely new information and told to do it. To top it all off, he didn’t even helpor explain when I asked. However, some parts all changed a bit the next year with the new math teacher, she was one of the only ones that encouraged coming in. The first time I went she literally went stepbystep with me to make sure I understood even though we went over it in class. It helped me understand so much clearer than anything else I had been from previous encounters. However, I am not without flaws. While I was getting tired of constant worksheets with no meaning I came to realize that, maybe, that’s all there is to it. What could be any different about this all and howacollegeor high school would be? It’s like those listsof college nightmares with the professors, what if, what if, what if?I started giving up and while it sounds bad, it was a good choice considering I was going through this all practically alone till I summoned up enough courage to get my tired self some help. Speaking with someone about my mess of a mind and with my slight struggle to get assignments in was tough, but it helped. She pushed me to get organized and get my late work in no matter how much I struggled with it. I got into CRCA and she helped reassure me. However, near the end of theyear,things weren’t getting any better and I stopped seeing her due to her becoming busy with more important matters…

This chaos doesn’t really occur much in CRCA and over the months my views on school have only changed to a more positive outlook to where Ienjoylearning and interacting with others. Despite this, I am still an awkward little melon,but that’s ok because unlike before I’m not terrified of simply standing to do mediocre things like getting up to sharpen my pencil or speak up, and asking for help is a little easier. However, despite being a turtle half the time I’m still slowly inching from my shell. I cannot pinpoint when I got thisshell,or these thoughts, but I think it all originated from feeling alone.Schoolwas a factor, of course, and while it played a heavy part in scaring me in, I still partly blame myself for letting the threat manifest intosomething greater. I’m getting tired of hiding, and that makes it wise for me to stop. I don’t want to keep losing, being a loser sucks, but among itall,I want to stop hiding. It’s my goal to finally strip of that shell and be unafraid like the9-year-oldI once was.

My favorite part of all this is that everything ties together, like a web that I weaved but is made of strands both my own and others. I have strands for school, frayed and wispy, then my friends and family, like steel but rusting, as well as many others. My passion for learning is one of those strands, like a drug that I don’t want but it engulfs me anyway. I want it like a limb in pain want of pain medicine, any pain medicine so long as it works. I’ve repeated this over and over again, and I will repeat it again. Despite my past learning experiences my curiosity has yet to be killed off, but this is just something Imustovercome and it’s something I will overcome. Doubt is a lie, and it’s something that swims without me. Doubt slices my web sometimes, mean and angry, but not unbearable. It’s like the thrum when I picked up my pencils and dove. I can do this, I have no doubt in that.

Getting through this all is something that motivates me. I’m simply tired of being bored or ignored. It drives me insane sometimes and that’s okay, I’m okay with that. I’m notokay,however, with letting it stay. An uninvited guest is an uninvitedguest, therefore,it must go, no matter how long it stays. Taking out the trash so to put it, nothing to worry about except washing my hands afterward. I like to put it as CRCA is the soap,and so far,it has been. Being able to not only learn but get to know myself is an amazing feeling. With the collegeclass,I have been able to get a lax judgement of what college will be like. I get to learn who I am considered as in the eyes ofsocietyand know how I learn best. Getting to knowmyselfand all that jazz.

I have known little on how I learn, I also questioned the questions of “are you this learner or this learner” questions as I didn’t really know, but now I know a little bit more. Coming frompast experiences as well, I seem to learn better hands on and by teaching and collaborating with others. The label for this is “kinesthetic” from VARK. With mypersonalityit’s a little more interesting but I don’t know my full view on it.Apparently,I’m an INFP, and it’s overall a correct description of myself. All of this combined is an interesting compilation. I feed my preferred learning style by doing things like tutoring or staying after school to go over everything some more (mostly to collaborate with others). However, I should get used to studying alone as this pattern simply cannot continue forever, and fornow,I will leave it to time. I can do college. I can do anything I stuff my nose into, and I will do as much.It leaves me jittery, all this talkofcollege and school. Fornow,all I can do is place the correct blocks into the right shapes. I’m unafraid of my routeeven ifit’satwisted mess.After all, I love a good hike.

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