Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Defining Moment

June 28th, 2005
10:53 am:
A Defining Moment
I saw a wooden yellow and black Baltimore City festival booth at the Hopkins Fair, with two long haired people sitting on it, talking to passersby. I knew I had found IT. There was a banner with a butterfly and two laid back people were telling people about their high school. “No man, we don’t give grades”. “Exactly, you get to pick your own classes.”“There aren’t that many students, maybe 75 or something.”I dragged my mom over to the booth and asked a couple questions. When I found out it was right downtown I thought “yes!”. I clutched a brochure in my sweaty little hand until I made an appointment for admissions.THIS was my high school. I absolutely, would not go to an all girls’ school and wear a uniform. I would eat roaches first. But this school, this was something I could sink my teeth into..I was so excited I started that summer. When I met the other students I felt comfortable. We shared interests and concerns. I could work as hard or as little as I chose and no one chided me one way or the other. They didn’t care what clothes I wore and encouraged me to ask questions. They already knew all the safe spots to smoke a bowlWhat I didn’t realize until later was how much that choice manifested the course of my life. A seemingly simple, little decision impacted my entire life.At this high school, I met a guy who took me on an Alice In Wonderland emotional journey. I met my first husband. I learned that I had the ability to sway an audience with my words. On paper, in front of people. I found I could plan events and raise money. I learned that I didn’t have drug or alcohol addictions but I liked mind altering substances maybe a little too much. I learned I had self -discipline, even if my environment didn’t. I met a mentor who remains a great friend. My mentor helped me get my first steps into the career I wanted. I left that career path because I had my son. My first husband’s addictions forced me back into the workforce. Back to the nature center where I first worked and I met my present husband. I walked all of these paths because I was able to choose my learning environment. I preferred a place called Baltimore Experimental High School far more, than any of the traditional options.

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