What is an issue that has shaped your life, and why?

In the fifth grade, I touched a human brain. The children in my enrichment program clustered around the sterile table with little regard for the stench of formaldehyde that engulfed us. Granted, much of the interest we showed can be attributed to the sheer morbidity factor of the novelty before us. However, a sizeable faction, including myself, relished the chance to find the brain stem in person, to feel the ventricle that hollows upon death.

My peers and I certainly were no neurologists. We were normal, albeit bright, kids who later pretended to be secret agents with the notepads given to us on the bus ride to the UT Health Science Center. Yet our school district saw fit to allocate funding to the weekly gifted and talented program. Increased educational opportunities open one’s eyes to that which he or she is interested in. Exposure to different areas of study is of the utmost importanceIn a country with a trillion dollar budget deficit, government looks for easy cuts. Sadly, education is often under-funded and maligned. We should not herald as an easy fix something that will endanger the success of future generations. It is imperative that we maintain, if not increase, our rates of school funding.

Touching a brain was a...

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