What is your major?
Why did you choose it?
I would like to get into physical or occupational therapy. I like the idea of helping somebody realize themselves and get on with life after an injury, not sit in their sorrows. Since I do track, there are always injuries. It’s easy for an athlete to get into a funk where they feel they can’t get back to where they were. When they do come back and achieve their goals, it’s the best feeling ever! I want to be a part of that.
In high school, I knew a physical therapist who loved her job. She described it to me as always being active and being able to help. It sounded like a great thing.
What contributes to your success as a student writer?
Throwing everything that is occurring in my head onto the page. Sometimes I doubt myself, but it’s terrible, and then I regret it. When I do that, writing is really painful and slow. So I like to throw my thoughts out there, just so I have them. I figured out this process in my senior year during oral presentations. I had to use a personal experience to talk about Beloved. I got a bad grade, so I visited the teacher. She asked me what I liked about the book, and we talked and talked about it. She told me if I had said all that I said in that conversation, then I would have done great. The lesson: I should say what I want to say, instead of what other people want me to say.
Does anyone help you with your writing?
Sometimes I have my mom help me. I like to talk to Sonia, a friend who is kind of like my little sister. We like to bounce ideas off of each other, and that really helps.
What do you think about GEW?
I love it! I thought it would be just another boring English class. Right now, we are doing a research paper on our intersections. I’m focusing on lack of resources and opportunities for African-American woman.
What’s your favorite part of the class?
My professor. She is a fun person to be around. She doesn’t teach the boring writing rules. It’s a reflective class, and I have that set time to write about myself--rather than constantly pulling greater meaning out of a book. In GEW, I am reflecting on myself. Especially in my first year, when I am thinking about my future and where I am going forward, it’s helpful.
What has been your favorite lesson?
We don’t really have lessons. We do an activities and we discuss what we have done so far.
We once read a story book and discussed whether there was a deeper meaning behind it. I read Tops and Bottoms, about a bear and a hare. The hare would outwork the bear through trickery. You can’t just sit and do work. That was the moral. You have to stand up and be active. If you want a take-away from an opportunity, you are going to have to work for it and do it yourself.
I find that true in my own life. I have a learning disability. My mom told me that was the hand I was dealt, that I have to work twice as hard. Seeing the hard worker in the book, I saw myself. I keep working and working, but I have that end goal and it keeps me going.
Any advice for future GEW students?
Appreciate the class! And take the time to reflect. High school doesn’t give you that time. Having this opportunity is rare and you should take advantage of it.
Anything you would like to add?
My mentor Victoria Kendall also helps me with my writing. She was a mentor assigned to me by the athletic department. We meet once a week and she always gives me tips and advice on how to improve my writing.
October 2017: Maria