Finding My Way

When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to learn how to read and write. I was fascinated by how the mere alphabet, twenty-six letters I had recently memorized, could be arranged in certain ways that expressed words whose meanings were universally known. Even to this day, I am amazed by the strong emotions that can be evoked with simple words and to think these simple words come from the mere alphabet.
Six years ago I was in a near fatal automobile accident where I sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. Since then I’ve participated in just about every form of therapy available; this includes speech and language pathology. Learning how to form words, how to articulate them clearly, where certain sounds or parts of words are produced and if and how any resonance should be produced.
I’ve participated in speech therapy for the past six years with Chelsea Bell, Jennifer Mayes, Kami Martinez, Brit Austin, Christine Harding, Amy Thompson, Jessica Anderson, and Chris Jullian. My academic background in the use of language could be stated as my whole time as a student at Oakland Community College but specifically as I learned how to orchestrate elaborate essays in Comp I with Mary Slavchev and Comp II with Roger Elle. I’ve learned how to verbally get my thoughts and ideas across in Public Speaking with Mary Moon. I’ve also learned how to capture what my imagination comes up with when I let it run wild in two creative writing classes with Scott Contor.
Most recently in Professor Contor’s class, I’ve experimented with ambiguity and carrying a motif completely through a story. Also this semester I’ve fallen head over heels for poetry! I’m a pretty busy individual so whenever I have a moment; I’ve been really thinking about events and individuals that cause me to re-live strong emotions. This elaborate thinking allows me to really consider my word choice and sort through the order in which I would like them to appear in a poem. Taking this time in my thought process allows me to transfer the strong emotions I felt in those specific moments into very short, sweet, and simple poems.
I largely contribute my ability to do this thought process without paper or a computer to my car accident. This is because initially after the accident I was unable to write, but had some pretty serious testing to do such as the neuro-psch exam, part of the A.C.T. as well as some initial ‘let’s see where you’re at’ math tests; I also attended high school where I’ve had to compensate for not being able to physically write.
My poems “Him,” “Forbidden,” and “When He Smiles” work well together because while they are about three separate guys they each deal with the common feelings of love/lust that everybody has. “Him” describes a love I had (it also inspired the spin-off poem “Valentine”), “Forbidden” deals with the emotions of a distraction I’m not allowed to pursue, and “Obvious” (formerly “When He Smiles”) refers to the guy across the room that I’m lusting after. Because each of these three poems deal with the emotions common in young adults they are very relatable.
I teamed up with the co-owner of Level 11 Physical Therapy and am now the main contributor to their blog; in doing so I exercise the skills I harvested in my Comp I and II classes. I’ve been a member of the Grand Blanc Area Toastmasters since March 2013. This has allowed me to perfect the abilities I acquired from my Public Speaking class. I plan on submitting stories that use the skills I’ve honed in my creative writing classes, to various magazines in hopes of getting my ‘foot in the door.’
As a part of Toastmasters, I’ve participated in Table Topics Contests. The first was just a club contest and the second was a regional contest. I didn’t place in either contest but from each I left with a participation award, memories, and could sum each contest up as a learning experience. By participating in them I’ve learned to formulate and answer at a moment’s notice.
I’ve flip flopped a tad in my college career. From early on in it, I knew I wanted to major in liberal arts. However I was unsure where I wanted to go from there. After switching careers around a little I decided I wanted to become an author and a motivational speaker. I figured I’d write non-fiction lessons like I write for Level 11’s blog and speak to audiences based on those lessons too.
Now I’ve tossed this idea around quite a bit; back when this career became known to me several years ago, then when Professor Contor mentioned this career in passing one day last semester. I took this terminology home with me to research. And that’s when I discovered it; my future career choice. Linguistics: the scientific study of languages.
Sitting at my Hewlett Packard desk top I entered linguistics into Google. Through the divine intervention of God I discovered the missing link I hadn’t known to look for: a degree to pursue that would encompass both of my future job prospects and that I was already passionate about.
With this directional pull on me and my desires I feel as though I’ve come full circle since simply being excited to learn how to read and write. I am excited to announce that after I finish my degree in liberal arts from Oakland Community College I will transfer to Oakland University where I will apply for the linguistics program so I can further follow my passion of language both written and spoken. Wish me luck!

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