# The WallAlissa Bolbat

## Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

The world had no flaws as long as I had markers and crayons in hand. My mother was newly divorced when we moved to the United States from Russia. Upon our arrival to America, my family, consisting of her and my brother, was penniless. I was unaware of all of this, and my mother's biggest goal, aside from providing a better life for us, was to protect me from understanding our financial situation.

Her goal of protecting my innocence was simple to achieve when I was four years old. A pack of crayons was $3, markers were$6, and the printer paper from my mothers job was free. My mother needed less than ten dollars for me to be content. My brother would hand me my supplies and watch me blissfully draw while my mother worked. I drew everything I could think of for hours at a time: fantastic creatures, grandiose houses, and fields of flowers.

I hold a memory of one moment when I became too restless and needed one more sheet for one more idea. There was no paper in sight, though, and my babysitting brother was fast asleep. I had to improvise. I turned around on the couch, and before me was a blank canvas stretching a mile wide. I took a marker and tapped it against the ivory expanse. It worked. My eyes dilated as I saw infinite...