WTE Personal.docx - During the 2011-2012 school year I was eleven years old completing my first year of middle school at the Fulton Science Academy

WTE Personal.docx - During the 2011-2012 school year I was...

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During the 2011-2012 school year, I was eleven years old, completing my first year of middle school, at the Fulton Science Academy. Prior to entering middle school, I would often hear my fifth grade teachers remind indefinitely, that middle school was nothing like elementary school. “Teachers will no longer hold your hand”, they would say sometimes. “This is when you start taking responsibility”, at other times. These phrases rang in my ears as I walked the hallways, rode the bus home, or ate in the cafeteria. However, now that I am eighteen and have a chance to reflect on my educational experience, I know that these phrases were exaggerated to a degree. But eleven year old me didn’t see it as an exaggeration. He saw middle school as a coming of age moment. A three year experience that, should he struggle with, would deem he unworthy of moving on to the strange place we call the “real life”. Indeed, I was held accountable for more tasks, regarding school work and extracurricular activities. But the educators in my elementary school never made reference to the idea that other students and I could grow through real life experiences during our time in middle school, not just through academics. Important aspects that I paid attention to in middle school, were self- reflection and awareness. I did build a lot of self-awareness academically in the 6 th grade, such as realizing how big of a procrastinator I really was. However, one of the most important life lessons I learned, was loyalty and the importance of friendship. This was a lesson I didn’t hold with me until the end of a two week school trip in Turkey. Fulton Science Academy Middle School, was a place that was nothing like I’ve ever experienced prior to 6 th grade. My elementary school consisted of the vast majority being African-American students such as myself. As a result, relating to my peers and understanding them was something that came naturally. Because I lived in the south of Atlanta Georgia since five years old, the presence of people other ethnicities never sat in my mind. In my small world
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at a young age, all I knew were people of my race. Fulton Science Academy, on the other hand, was located further North, and hosted students and faculty far more diverse than my previous school – consisting of mostly white kids, then equally, students of Asian and Turkish or Arabic descent. Getting off the white van that took me an hour north, I walked through the large doors
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  • Fall '15
  • Eric Martin
  • Educational stages, Dru

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