I thank my dad for bringing out the skill and mindset of an athlete. I not only use my competitive nature on the field but I also utilize it in the classroom. When I was younger, I would despise the person who got a higher grade than me. T wouldn’t actually hate them, I would hate that they beat me. But when I would get the highest grade in the class I would feel like I had won the championship football game. Now onto where I am from. I am from Laguna Hills California but I say I am from Mission Viejo since most of my friends and all of my schools were in Mission Viejo.
Mission Viejo is located n South Orange County, otherwise know as the “OC Bubble. ” It is referred to this by people in the “real world” for its lack of crime and violence. I could see what these people meant, for I had several trips to Long Beach with my dad and I could say it was a very different world. But in Orange county cities like Santa Ana and Anaheim have high crime rates and human trafficking. Enough with that. Mission Viejo is virtually crime less and is the city that has the perfect pretty planters along main streets and in every center divider.
The beautiful birds of paradise, lavender, and palm trees are always perfectly maintained. This place was and is truly beautiful. I used to think, wow I live in a wonderful wealthy city that is perfect. Now School. I went to de Portola Elementary school which was a beautiful school with a pretty garden, well maintained soccer fields that run for hundreds of yards, brand new playground sets, and wonderful big classrooms. But you take a step into the restrooms, you find yourself running out gagging and gasping for air. I was in 3rd grade when me and my fellow students decided to speak out and petition against our horribly disgusting bathrooms.
Naturally we got hushed and were told we are a public school. What the heck did that mean? In 4th grade I asked a teacher why the drinking fountain doesn’t work and she said “we are a public school. ” In 5th grade, I was third to last in line to get a class set library book and they happen to run out of books when it was my turn to get one. “Sorry sweetie we are fresh out of Jonny Tremain. You’ll have to share off someone else. ” The sweet librarian said to me. I replied, “its okay, I hate reading anyway! ” Yes I hated reading and still do. Cannot stand the stuff.
My hate started in 4th grade when I was REQUIRED to write a book report for a book called the Whipping Boy. I didn’t want to be forced to read something I didn’t want to, but my mom FORCED me, let me tell you. I was in big trouble if I didn’t read this book and write a great book report. So from that point forward I felt like I have been force fed paper and have to vomit it back up and rearrange the text into my own words and call it an essay. In 7th grade at La Paz Middle School I was introduced to “Reading Counts/Comprehension” aka RC points.
Each trimester you were REQUIRED to gain “X” amount of RC points by taking a series of 10 question tests on the computer on a book you chose to read. Each book varies in RC points epending on difficulty, length, text font size, etc. This made me hate reading more and more through 7th and 8th grade. I despised it. I would jump through every hoop possible to gain all the REQUIRED RC points. I even went as far as letting girls take the Twilight Series tests on my account because every girl had those books imprinted into their brain like a map. Yes, I cheated.
I admit it. I cheated to get my RC points. Please don’t tell on me. Why did these girls do this for me? I have no idea. Maybe they liked me. I didn’t always hate reading. I used to love it actually. My mom would read to me every night as a baby, young child, and oy. We would take turns reading. I loved it. I would read the Magic Tree House series all the time. I would tear through like one a week. Sometimes one a day. Those were the best books ever. If you’ve never read them, its never too late. Jack and Annie will take you on adventures that you’ll remember forever.
When I wasn’t reading the Magic Tree House series, I found myself losing focus and re reading lines or even paragraphs while reading other books. I think I had a slight undiagnosed reading disability, because I read extremely slow and would lose focus very easily. Often times I would need help from my mom when reading a high level book. When it came to high school, I went to Mission Viejo High School and can say that I did not read a full book in my four years there. Spark notes and Cliff notes were my best friend. They summarize books perfectly and concisely.
I hate being forced to read but, I love reading things that I love. I’ll read any surf article, any interesting autobiography, or any piece of music. My mom’s father was a pianist, my mom was very musical, and I was as well after them. I took piano lessons when I was about 5 years old. I cant remember the exact age. But I picked it up quick and became really good. I had a piano teacher that would ive me a dollar every time I played a piece correctly or perfect. Kinda weird right? Well come to find it, this guy went to prison because he was a child molester.
So my piano playing quickly went to a halt. Soon I was introduced to the violin in 5th grade and I was in love. It was amazing and reading music came to me like riding a bike. It jus flowed and you don’t really forget it. My friend Blake Hansen, who used to be my best friend, was my “music buddy. ” We were the best violinists in the school. He was a guitarist and he semi taught me how to play the guitar. Blake and I would play music for hours on end. He taught me so any things in regards to music its crazy. He inspired me.
But I knew I would never be as good as him. I could feel that music was making me smarter. I was always tapping beats on my desk in class. Always having music in my mind. I still do. I find myself full on kick and snare drumming with fills and everything in class today. All these things that I have learned and people I have learned through have molded me into the person I am today. I find that my family, music, sports and most of all my thrive for competition has influenced my life as a whole. They have influenced how I speak, act, and how I view the world.