University of Oregon
How Not to Fit In
What was the environment in which you were raised? Describe your family, home, neighborhood or community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.
I sleep in on Sunday, I stay home on Wednesday nights; I don’t belong to any youth groups, and if you walk into my house there’s not a single cross to be found. Instead a big blue candle bearing the star of David is perched on the mantle, and two small menorahs sit comfortably on their shelf above the wine glasses. I was raised to stand out from the very day I was born in a tiny living room in Fullerton California. It was on this windy September morning that my young, first-time, parents decided to name me “Dream”. My chances of a simple suburb and a golden retriever didn’t look too high. However, despite the weird name and my many unconventional living arrangements, being Jewish was never something that I thought would set me apart from my community.
My parents had itchy feet and weren’t keen on settling down in one place. Therefore, growing up it became a routine to pack everything I owned in one suitcase and move every two years. I lived everywhere. In a tree house near Grover Beach, a cabin in the mountains of Paonia Colorado, a rather large tent on the big island of Hawaii (which by the way, lacked electricity and running water), and most recently a standard brick house in a nice neighborhood up in East Texas. Now one may...
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