Knowledge is Power | Teen Ink

Knowledge is Power

February 3, 2008
By Anonymous

As I scooped the last bite of warm spaghetti into my mouth one October evening in 1994, I heard a voice from the next room. “Come on Tracy, I want to teach you some five-letter words tonight.”
“Okay Daddy, here I come.” I skipped into the family room and my father scooped me into his lap, with a pen and paper in hand.
“I’m going to write some words down, and I want to see if you can pronounce them for me. Alright?”
“Okay.” I kissed him on the cheek and waited excitedly for words to form on the page before me. Nights with my parents, slowly teaching me words, were the highlight of my day; and little did I know they would be the most important lessons of my life thus far, possibly forever.

Ever since I learned to read I have been in love with the English language. Words are my passion and I have been writing everything from fiction to poetry ever since I could form sentences. When I started preschool, I began reading children’s books on my own. My teacher was impressed with my passion for reading and allowed me to read to the class. I began reading chapter books when I was still in elementary school, and by fifth grade my teachers told me I was learning at a high school level. My favorite books from elementary school included The Chronicles of Narnia and some of Stephen King’s shorter novels; among hundreds of others.
My parents have always assumed that I would graduate at the top of my class. They were extremely proud that I was so interested in school. I was usually the first student to finish assignments in class and in turn, would help other students who were struggling with their work. One thing that has been consistent in my life is the prospect of becoming a teacher and I believe it may have stemmed from the satisfaction I received from helping my classmates long ago.
Yet around seventh grade, my outlook on school changed. Although I maintained my love for words, I became moody and rebellious, refusing to work to my full potential. Instead, I would sneak my own books to school in my backpack and read them during class. Due to this sudden shift in attitude, my grades suffered.
Regrettably, I did not realize the depths of my languid attitude until it was too late to erase the damage. It was difficult for me to realize the importance of school at a young age, and it truly saddens me that I wasted almost four years of my academic career. Due to my change in grades, freshman year I was grouped with mostly lazy, unmotivated students who hated books instead of with the students more like me: stimulated from the get-go and ready to learn. But instead of recognizing that I was misplaced, I fell hard; telling myself, “Just wait until college. I will do all of my work then because I’ll be doing what I love every day.”
I wish I had known that this attitude would hurt me in the end, but I hope it does not cost me acceptance from your school. While I don’t expect to be chosen over a student with an immaculate transcript, I sincerely hope that held next to a student with a transcript similar to mine, I will shine through due to my passion and sincere promise of hopeful success.
I firmly believe I will succeed as a high school English teacher. English has always been my forte and I am confident that I fully understand how to deal with “slackers” because I am able to empathize with them. I want nothing more in life than to teach students both the wonders of literature and that they are able to exert their full potential if they apply themselves. Though it has been a slow process, I have matured as best I could and I know I can succeed in college; for it’s what I have been awaiting my whole life. Now that it is fast approaching I would like the chance I feel I deserve.
My father’s lessons have enabled me to succeed this far in life and I hope they will follow me forever. Those five letter words have made a great impact on my life: allowing me to learn, dream, trust, and hopefully teach someday.
I have the potential and the enthusiasm to succeed as an English major. It is what I have been working towards, little by little, ever since those days of my parent’s help; and I eagerly look forward to what college has in store.

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