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Wilson 1 Rhiannon Wilson Megan Keaton ENC 1102-31 3 February 2014 Educational Exploration Why me?

Why is my dad such a jerk? His favorite phrase to utter is, Well, your sister always gets straight As, why cant you? Why does everything have to be about Ileah? Perhaps my dad thinks that if he tells me that I am not as smart, or as much of a do-gooder as my sister, Little Miss Perfect, I may make more of an effort in school. I wonder if he realizes that his comments and lectures pain me. Every time that he tells me Im not good enough, I begin to believe it a little more. I try so hard to control the negative emotions raging inside, but the hurt, and disappoint continue to consume me. I find it impossible not to wonder, what is the point of trying if I will inevitably come in second place? Therefore, I give up; I expect the worst in everything so I wont be disappointed. My parents are the perfect example of good cop, bad cop. While my dad, the bad cop, is constantly tearing me down, my mother is there to build me back up. In a way, she reminds me of the calm, clear skies that follow a vengeful storm; she brightens the day after the storm of my father has wreaked its havoc. Whenever I doubt myself, my mother is constantly by my side, assuring me that I possess the ability to complete any task that I set my mind to. She is the positive influence that gets me through my days at Lakewood Ranch High School. Looking back now, I can see the importance of that experience. My eventual success in high school was partially impacted by my parents. When I moved to Atlanta, and enrolled in GACS, I decided to show my mother that her belief in me was well founded, that she didnt

Wilson 2 waste her breath on me. I cut down my recreational activities, began to study hard, and focused solely on my schoolwork. I also tried to improve my grades because I decided it was time to prove my father wrong. Most of all, I put forth the effort for myself. After years of my father putting me behind my sister, I needed to demonstrate that I was good enough, smart enough to be as successful as Ileah. I needed to believe in myself.

Children are horrible, vile, little monsters. They dont understand that people have no control over any disabilities or disorders they may have been born with or develop in their life. I wonder if they realize the amount of damage theyre capable of doing to another child. However, I had a savior, and it came in the form of my fourth grade teacher. My fourth grade year in elementary school, I was diagnosed with Absent Seizure Epilepsy. We first realized I was having seizures when I played a game called Around the World in class. When shown a flashcard, I seized, and then asked, Wait, what was the question? My inquiry was answered with laughter echoing throughout the room. Because of my epilepsy, I was teased and called countless names, such as Dory from Finding Nemo. My peers were awful and mean because of my disorder. Mrs. Holland, my teacher, was so wonderful. She was helpful, kind, and most of all, understanding. She helped me overlook my seizures and focus on school, on succeeding and making good grades. Because of the teasing I received from my peers, I thought I was stupid and couldnt do anything. In spite of this, my teacher proved me wrong. Mrs. Holland encouraged me, and pushed me to discover my full potential. Throughout the year, we would have multiplication practice in the form of a game. It was a contest to see who could solve the most math equations in a given amount of time. In fact, these little tests are the reason why I love

Wilson 3 math. This activity helped me realize that I was smart, and I wasnt going to let my epilepsy hinder my learning ability. Also, Mrs. Holland would sometimes pull me aside if she thought I was having a bad day, and she would give me a pep talk of sorts. She seemed to be continually conscious of how I was faring. Even when all the kids were teasing me, Mrs. Holland never let me feel like I was alone. She was not just a teacher; Mrs. Holland was a friend.

I once had a teacher named Ray. His head was exceedingly grey He laughed all the time, told jokes that didn't rhyme and made learning Psych child's play.

He made the material fun I had no complaints, not one, But Dr. Ray got sick and he left real quick And that was the end of our run

I learned a lot in that class How to study and kick some ass I passed the exam With a five, yes ma'am!

Wilson 4 Turns out I'm a pretty smart lass!

For the induction ceremony, as each student walked across the stage, a National Honor Society officer would tell the audience of his or her activities, goals, etcetera. All of the other new members were younger than me, but had achieved, by far, more than I had. I became a little depressed at the thought that I hadnt done much in my life to be proud of. It was my turn to walk across the stage, and all I could focus on was the speaker; she spoke of my music skills, and my volunteering, but there was no mention of any meaningful accomplishments. After shaking hands with the sponsor, and grabbing my certificate, I left the stage and sat down next to my peers. As I looked at my certificate, I began to think about how far Id come since I started at GACS. Two years before, as a student at Lakewood Ranch High School, I wouldnt have dreamt of being inducted into the National Honor Society; I never wouldve had the grade point average to even be considered. Up until the NHS ceremony, most of my motivation stemmed from my parents, and the money they were investing into my education. Now, however, I realized that, not only could I make them proud, but I could also make myself proud. Then and there, I decided that I wasnt going to stop at the National Honor Society. Like the many other children at Greater Atlanta Christian School, by the time of my graduation, I was going to have generated a list of achievements that I could recite with pride and satisfaction.

I notice a major difference in Rhiannon since Dr. Ray left. She used to be so excited to come to Psychology, but ever since Dr. Chan began teaching, she hates it. Its understandable, considering we learn more about China than we do the material, and he pronounces her name

Wilson 5 like Ra-hien-non. Rhiannon is right; this class is a waste of our time. I hardly pay attention, and she naps on the desk. Psst, Rhiannon, or should I say, Ra-hein-non! You probably shouldnt fall asleep again, especially since youre sitting in the front row, I advised. What is the point, Christine? And my name is Ree-Anne-on, not Ra-hein-non. Like, where does he even get that? Back to what I was saying, there is no point in paying attention. Is my napping disrespectful? Probably. However, it feels like each eyelid weighs fifty pounds the moment he opens his mouth. Am I being a jerk? Yes, and I am fully aware of the fact. I just miss Dr. Ray. Not only did he look like an older Robert Downy Jr., whom I love, but Dr. Ray was also funny, and entertaining. I had never enjoyed a class as much as I did last semester. Now, however, its China, China, China. Why cant we just sit here and do nothing? I end up teaching myself the material anyways. Cmon, Rhiannon. Hes not that bad. Sure, he reads straight off the PowerPoint, but hes a psychologist, not a teacher. You have to respect the man for trying. Plus, even if you dont pay attention out of respect for him, at least pay attention so you can pass this exam. I know you try to keep your grades up for your parents, and imagine what theyd say if you got a five on this exam. Fine. I commend Dr. Chan for coming in to teach us. I dont think teaching eighty kids is the definition of easy. My parents would be happy if I passed this exam with a three. You know what? Im going to get a five, but its not going to be for my parents. No, Im going to pass it for myself. Since coming to GACS, everything Ive done has been to prove something to somebody. Through it all, however, Ive developed a liking for success, and accomplishment. I like feeling proud of myself, and knowing that I can achieve my goals if I work hard enough.

Wilson 6 Being inducted into the different honor clubs, and getting that award for sociology has made me confident in my ability to succeed. I may sleep in this class, but it doesnt matter because I will not let it affect my end goal. As I sit at my desk, I watch Rhiannon slowly close her eyes, and once again, rest her head upon the desk. Sleepily, she said, Mark my words, Christine; I will get a five on the national exam.