Simerly 1 The Expedition of My Life An Autobiography Aleigha Simerly EDUC 111: Introduction to Teaching Professor Eastman September 10, 2009 Simerly 2 Abstract If I had to choose one word to describe my story it would have to be challenging. As I grew up, I had to overcome many tough situations that I never even imagined. I was struggling emotionally and academically; I was given the opportunity to succeed by my teachers and my parents. You learn that little difficulties only make you stronger and learn from those mistakes you have made. Manchester College has helped me grow as a person and as an educator. My life goal is to help students to achieve their full potential. Also, I plan to integrate my students with less fortunate students throughout my teaching career. Simerly 3 Knowing I was going to be born during early October, I was carried by my mother for nine months. Since my parents were not married at the time, my father was not too involved with everything that was going on. On October 5, 1990, he got a phone call from Major Hospital saying that his daughter was born. Her name was going to be Aleigha Desiree Simerly. He immediately rushed to the hospital to be able to hold his baby girl in his arms. It was in that moment that he wanted to change and to become the best dad that he could ever be. My mom finally realized that she could not hold him back from being a part of my life and my future. I was born to Tim Simerly and Dawn Clapp in Shelbyville, Indiana at Major Hospital. The rest of my lifetime is history from there. The first two years apparently flew by; all I know is I have baby scars from some of my accidents that I encountered. I have a scar between my eyes from where I tripped and hit my head on a nail. I have a scar on my hand from where I touched the hot oven at my aunt’s house. At the age of three, my whole world was going to be turned upside down. I had finally figured out why my mommy’s belly was beginning to get so big. I found out that I was going to have a baby sister. I was not very happy when I found this out because I knew I would not be the spoiled one anymore. It was like my whole world was being taken away from me. I just wanted to have my mommy and daddy to myself for the rest of my life without any problems. As I started to dig through my toy box, I began noticing how mommy could not get up to come help me. Daddy was always too busy making dinner or picking up the house. I was beginning to feel neglected since neither of them would play with me. It was on June 4, 1993 when my world became the worst ever. My sister, Chelsee, was born on that day. I was so upset; they made me go to the hospital. I sat in the waiting room while she was being delivered with my aunts and uncles just waiting for the horrible factor to come into the play. Once she was born, the doctor came out to get me to show me my little baby sister. I sat in a chair and he placed her into my arms. At that moment in time, I did not care very much about her; I took her into my arms and was so mad that I dropped her because I knew how she was going to ruin my life. From then on I finally realized that I am going to have to deal Simerly 4 with her from now on, so I might as well learn to be her friend. Beginning the day she came home, I grew very fond of her being around and having someone to play with. Our sisterhood and friendship is really important to me now and I would not change her for anyone in this world. Growing up, I never realized how important my family would be to me. I never really knew that they would be the people that I would look up to for the rest of my life. From the time that I first met my grandparents, my parents, my aunts, and my uncles, I knew that they would be the people to stand up for me through all the challenges that I would experience throughout my life. I got so accustomed to my parents taking me to all of events and helping me with all of my groups that I was associated with. They would be the leaders for all of my activities and the coaches for all of my sports teams. I grew up knowing that my parents would always be there for my sister and me through everything. Also, my grandparents were very close to me because they were the ones who babysat my sister and me. They were like our second set of parents. My aunts and uncles grew very fond of visiting frequently to know that they would always be a very influential part of our life. I just know that I look up to every single family member because they have all helped me through one situation, whether good or bad, and gave me the advice that I would need to help grow and succeed. Just as I would tell anyone, you need to know your family is the most important thing that you will need to get through your roughest times and your best of times. While speaking of family, my mother was one of the most influential women you would have ever met. At the age of twenty-nine, she was involved in an automobile accident and sustained very serious injuries that took her life. I was at the age of nine and was in the second grade at the time of the accident. While waiting for her to come and pick me up from school, she never showed up and I sat in the office. The secretary finally called my grandma to come get my sister and me. We were in the office for two hours after the dismissal; I was growing worried and panicked because my mother had not Simerly 5 arrived to pick me up. It was very odd because if she was going to be late, she would call my grandmother and let her know that she would be late and that she would need to come pick us up. While waiting at my grandmother’s house, it had been four hours since my mom should have been off work. There had been no phone call from her or her boss. We finally decided to call the boss; there was no positive feedback. Finally, about two hours later, we received a phone call from the state police stating that my mother had been in a car accident. She was in intensive care; no one had been notified about the horrible accident. Once my sister and I found out, we could not believe that this truly happened to such an amazing woman. She was the person that you could talk to about anything and would always have the right response to everything. While going through this rough patch, I learned that it would be the hardest thing to ever have to get thru in my entire life. I was in and out of counseling; there was no way that I was going to be able to get over what had happened, still to this day I am not. I just know that this greatly changed the relationship that I had with myself because I did not have that mother figure in my life anymore. I only had my dad; he did not give the best advice about certain topics, like crushes and girl problems. It would have been better to have my mom for that kind of advice. I learned in this challenge that I had to grow up and learn how to care for my sister since my dad was working most of the time. While caring for her, we grew much stronger; we were able to talk to each other about how we were feeling and the mixed emotions we always had. The sisterly bond just began to keep blossoming; still to this day, we still have our bond that we had before. You just have to learn to cope with the problems that you are dealing with. If you cannot deal with them, you need to get advice from someone else. You do not want something to hold you back from everything that you want to accomplish throughout your life. Beginning school was a big change for me, I was not really the outgoing little girl; I was more the shy girl that always wanted to play by herself. All thru pre-school and kindergarten, I was the one everyone made fun of because I did not like them to come near me. As I grew older, I attended Loper Simerly 6 Elementary School, which was where I broke open into a new person. I was able to be friendlier around my peers and enjoyed going to recess with them instead of sitting around doing nothing. During elementary school, I grew to actually enjoy learning and reading. All I ever wanted to was read or practice my math skills. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Kehrt, had the biggest influence of my future. She was the person that helped get through the challenge of losing my mom and helped me stay focused on my grades. She made me actually want to succeed and to push through all the tough obstacles that you had to. She had everyone wanting to come to school every day ready to learn and have a good time with peers and other teachers that we might become involved in. I felt like going to school was a place for me to be myself. Also, it made me feel safe while I was not with my dad. While I was very successful during elementary school, it allowed me to excel throughout the rest of my academic years. During fourth and fifth grade, I began volunteering my time to go into the special education classroom. I wanted to have the experience of working with others. This made a huge impact of the future that I was going to foresee. The big change would soon come when I had to go to the middle school. The transformation from elementary school to middle school was a huge change for me. Shelbyville Middle School was a place I would have to call home for grades six to eight; I was not very excited about it. I do not think I was prepared mentally for the huge change because I was not ready to be around older people who would pick on me all the time. I was too afraid to stand up for myself; therefore, I would just let them talk about me because I did not fit in with them. As the first year drug on, the next two seemed to get a little better. I started to fit in more; I began to wear name brand clothes to begin to fit in. I was starting to get involved with cheerleading, volleyball, and track. I also started getting involved in clubs like student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Students against Destructive Decisions. I enjoyed being part of the school and being able to give my input on certain decisions. The middle school years prepared me for the big change to go to high school. Simerly 7 My long studying nights, my essays, and all the clubs and sports I was involved in prepared me very well for the beginning of high school. Shelbyville High School was the place I would be for a huge portion of my time considering I was involved in so many clubs and sports. I spent more time at school than at home because I would either have practice, game, or meeting. It would soon show that I needed to focus on my grades to make sure that I would be able to stay involved as much as I was. I was a captain for cross country and track. I was involved with Students against Destructive Decisions, Student Council, Future Educators in Action, and Spanish Club. In high school, you learn to focus more on your homework and to study more often than you did in middle school. Throughout high school, we were allowed to go out into the work force and experience the profession that we wanted to do. I went to Mrs.Secrest, who was an elementary special education teacher, at Loper Elementary for all four years. By joining Future Educators, I proved to myself that I wanted to become involved in teaching. I wanted to be able to make a difference in student’s lives. I decided to come to Manchester College because it gave me a portion of financial aid that no other school that I applied to offered me. I also thought that Manchester was a fit for me because I really like the small town atmosphere that it has. I enjoy being able to become involved with clubs and sports at the college level, also. I was not sure if I was going to get along with the people that were going to be here at Manchester or how I would fit in with everyone. I just wanted to be known as a student and not just as a number, like at public colleges and universities. I wanted to get acquainted with my professors and pay for the best education that I thought I could get. I wanted to stop relying on my father to pay for me and to begin financing my education so that I would not have of having that held onto. I have already been given opportunities to grow here at Manchester College in many different ways that will truly influence my future. My family has supported me throughout my whole life; they were very influential when choosing to come to Manchester College. They knew how happy I was when I arrived at campus; I finally realized Manchester College will be my new home.
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