It is summer and a little girl sits in the grass under a pepper tree humming with bees. She is not afraid. She, like the bees, is too busy with her own thoughts to be a bother, or be bothered by their presence. If this were a home video the bottom screen would tell you that it is the year 1996, and if you asked the little girl her age and location she would probably wrinkle her forehead in confusion and stare at you before replying “I’m six and this is Gilroy, California, where I’ve lived all my life, are you lost?”
Yes, that little girl was me. I started writing in my first journal with gel pens when I was six, right underneath that pepper tree. I still write in journals, but my stockpile of gel pens has run dry and since been replaced by a standard ballpoint pen. I freely admit that being a writer was never a childhood dream of mine, but it has become my passion, and I believe I will always be writing and perfecting my craft. I discovered this passion around the time that I was introduced to the works of the two writers who, to this day, are the most inspirational and influential authors in my life, J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien. When I came to know them I realized that when I grew up I wanted to be an author, a woman of letters, a knight of knowledge, a countess of literature and the written word! Of course, in many ways, I still want to be those things, but it is all a little less romanticized.
I was accepted into Southern Oregon University in 2009 and was resolved to achieve a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Writing in three years. Halfway through my first year I added my Professional Writing emphasis, and a year later as an exchange student, I flew to Spain and had a new adventure. Being accepted into the Accelerated Baccalaureate program helped me to finish in three years, and in that third and final year I was nominated and welcomed into the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program as a Scholar. And now, after three years of pursuing my Bachelor of Arts Degree, the first in my family to graduate from college, I find myself in uncharted waters. It is not for the first time, though, and I find myself excited and terrified all at once, ready to begin this new stage of my academic journey. After the completion of my undergraduate degree, I hope to continue my education with a doctoral degree program in Rhetoric and Composition and a possible emphasis in publishing. I have not lost that youthful dream of becoming an author someday, but it is my hope that the more I learn and master my craft the more I can help others to do the same and succeed in pursuing their dreams.
Dr. Alma Rosa Alvarez, Professor of English and Writing
SOU McNair Scholars Journal Fall 2012 – Vol. 9
2012 McNair Scholar Symposium
Slide Presentation: The Self-Published Author and The Digital Age
2012 Southern Oregon Arts & Research (SOAR)
Amanda in Llanes, a fishing village in the province of Austurias, Spain