"If you fall down seven times, get up eight."
In the beginning, my parents were my teachers. My mother and my father seemed to be awesome banks of wisdom, direction, love, and protection. I can remember receiving my first reading lessons from my mother, and learning to ride a bicycle from my father. For an extended period of time, I relied on their expertise to guide me through unfamiliar situations. Because their lessons proved to be effective tools, I logged them into my 'personal utilization reservoir.' As I matured, it was not 'personal utilization reservoir.' As I matured, it was not my parents that offered direct knowledge as it was the experiences I shared with other people. I learned from people with honest intent just as I did from those whose intentions were somewhat malicious. In essence, my learning style changed. Unlike the open sharing. I received as a child information was no longer freely given. I found myself rather active in researching the information necessary for me to pursue a certain goal. Win, lose, or draw; the actual labor I invest in reaching a goal is what proves to be monumental in the end.
This autobiographical sketch will focus on my transition from a 'parental pupil' to an 'experiential pupil'. The difference between the both is learning styles. Those students in the 'parental pupil' stage are learning by lecture, direct instruction, and regurgitation. Those in the 'experiential pupil' stage are learning from direct experience with a particular subject. These students are not studying someone's interpretation of a particular object; these students are collecting, processing, and analyzing that particular object firsthand. Through a brief autobiographical narrative, I will illustrate my transition from 'parental pupil' to 'experiential pupil'. this narrative focuses on my matriculation from high school to college. It was through this particular experience that I learned about faith, courage, fear, and determination for myself.
Texas A&M University: Fall 1995. It did not tate long to notice that bicycling was a common mode of transportation on campus among the student population. My parents liked the idea of biking and they decided to purchase a bicycle for me as a gift. They thought it would be convenient for me to use for transportation to class, the grocery store, and any functions I might attend. Little did they know, I had my own purpose.
I had been at Texas A&M University for three days. It was the week dormitories were opening for the early comer니 classes were to begin the following week. my plan was to be settled before all the students begin to flock the bookstores, registrar's office, and financial aid buildings.
However, I was not enjoying myself at all. There would be no problem getting to my classes on the first day because I had walked my class route 20 times. I repeatedly tried to strike up conversations with different people only to feel like a dunce when they seem the least bit interested in me. This place bared no resemblance to home, and I was in a deep state of sadness.
It was Wednesday morning, August 23, 1995 when I decided that I could no longer stay at this place. it was obviously not the place for me. I felt tremendous culture shock; I was miles away from home: I had not met anyone that struck me as appealing; and was I tired of trying to assimilate. I felt that Texas A&M was a worthless cause. After finishing a quaint breakfast at McDonald's, I rode my bicycle back to my dorm room and commenced to load my backpack with sweatpants and t-shins. After saying a prayer, I jumped on my bicycle and started to ride home never to return. With ,y eyes full of tears and my heart racing uncontrollably, all I could focus on was hugging my mother. I pedaled and pedaled and pedaled. I kept praying, talking to myself, talking to God, talking to myself, talking to God, crying, pumping, thinking, sweating, and praying. I was confused, scared, angry, excited, and nervous. All I knew how to do consistently that day was ride my bicycle. So, that is what I did for eleven house (88miles). I rode my bicycle.
The thoughts that entertained my mind that day are indescribable. No one was on the road with me. No one was there to offer suggestion. No one was able to ease my fear of the future. I was on the road by myself. Even though I had no one there to offer direction, I did locate a sense of peace. I had plenty of time and space to think. I had t beautiful countryside to view and smell I had the opportunity to get extremely personal with myself. Yes, I went through aches and pains, both physical and emotional, but I was able to make a sound decision. Through this intimate experience in soul-searching, a huge amount of growth was final product.
I am in agreement with the adage, "Life is like a bowl of cherries." However, I also believe that some of the cherries are sweet while others are sour. If we yearn to understand why certain cherried are sour whiles others are sweet, then we being to truly develop the perseverance necessary to maximize our potential I have learned to appreciate the bitter periods in life; for they are training grounds that strengthen me for future endeavors.
By eRIC Durham
Prof. of English, Language & Literature
GOODDOCTOR'S LETTER -
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