The Miller Kitchen: The Backbone of my Maturation

There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised—your family, home, neighborhood or community—and how it influenced the person you are today.

Everything happens in the Miller family kitchen. It’s here that we celebrate birthdays, cram 40 Thanksgiving guests (even though there’s plenty of room to spread out), endlessly listen to the Eagles, and most importantly have the serious family discussions which have influenced who I am today.

At six years old, the kitchen was where I wore a chef’s hat and apron while baking cookies with my mother. The hat always fell into my eyes because it was too big, obstructing my view; however, I was a chef, and a chef must wear proper attire. At eight, the kitchen was where I pretended to be a waitress, scribbling the menu I planned on a small pad of paper. At twelve, the kitchen was where I practiced for my Bat-Mitzvah, keeping beat to the sound of my mother chopping vegetables. It was also where my father recorded my Bat-Mitzvah speech over and over again on his thirty year-old tape recorder: “Again,” “slower,” “better eye contact,” he’d say, until it was perfect. And this is where I developed my love for public speaking.

At fifteen, I’d come home from a long day, eat dinner with my family, then disappear upstairs to complete homework (and escape from doing the dishes). The kitchen is also the place where we fight over the mail - and...

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