“I think I can, I think I can.”
-The Little Engine That Could
I’ve made more than a few allusions to the fact that I was a little lost in high school. It wasn’t the easiest or happiest of four years for me. I often felt like the round peg trying to go into the square hole.
I have also told the story of how I eventually decided to attend college, despite the naysayers. Tonight I thought I’d tell the story of my first college experience.
My preacher had signed my youth group up to attend the Ambassadors Rally at OCC. If you’ve never been it’s kind of like a professional development event (but more aptly Christian development event). Teens attend classes of their choice and main seminars for everyone.
One of the cool aspects (in my opinion) is that you stay in dorm rooms with the students and can attend class with them. I got the opportunity to attend a class called Creation Science. This is a class which takes fundamentals and tenants of biology, astronomy, chemistry, physical (and other scientific domains) and views them through a creationist perspective. It’s a very intriguing and provoking class.
What took the experience up a notch for me was that I actually understood what was going on! Maybe that sounds silly, but it wasn’t what I expected. I barely made it through most of my high school classes with a C. And yet, here I was, fully engaged in a college lecture.
A thought occurred to me, maybe it wasn’t that I struggled with the material. Maybe it was that I wasn’t stimulated by it.
Now, very much intrigued by what potential I had locked away I went back into my studies with renewed energy. Aside from my Arts classes (which was one class I always did well in) science classes were my best grades, especially biology.
In fact I enjoyed it so much I stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up to take the dual enrollment quiz. (If your school didn’t offer them, they give you credit in high school and accredited college.). There was one catch. Our school offered three dual credit classes (algebra, biology, composition one). For some reason you couldn’t sign up for the entrance exam to just one class, all three came together.
Much as I expected, I did not do well on the algebra exam. Much to my surprise, I did do well enough on the writing exam to be accepted into the composition class!
College biology went by without a hitch. Composition wasn’t so easy. In fact after the first two weeks I knew I was going to fail. My teacher, Mrs. Stilley pulled me aside for a heart to heart and gave me the confidence to keep at it and learn from my mistakes.
And, I did! I pulled my grade out of the gutter and found a true joy in writing. I’ve always been a storyteller (as my family will attest to) but Mrs. Stilley made me a writer.