Colorado School of Mines
Topic of Your Choice
My parents served as my first educators. As my mom read to me, she would explain the unfamiliar words. If she was unclear on a definition, we would look up the meaning together in a dictionary. Languages—English and Spanish—became not only tools for communication, but playthings of a sort, and we proudly referred to ourselves as “word nerds.” My dad, likewise, patiently answered my childish questions, never “dumbing-down” his explanations. He pointed out Orion in the night sky and quizzed me on the names of the bright stars in the great hunter’s belt. When I asked, “Why is the sky blue?,” he taught me about Rayleigh scattering. I did not understand the concept as a preschooler, but I learned that asking questions lead to answers, and sometimes those answers lead to more questions.
As I started elementary school, being a “word nerd” was no longer a source of pride. If I used words like “pretentious” with my classmates, not only would I sound pretentious, but they wouldn’t understand me. I wrote a story about how I “careered” around a corner on my bike, and the teacher crossed the word out and wrote “careened.” I wanted “career”—to travel at a high rate speed and out of control—but I was too reserved to ever question a teacher. I...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 765 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 5088 literature essays, 1547 sample college application essays, 195 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in