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Lessons Learned Unwillingly

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Allie McCloud

on 6 November 2009

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Transcript of Lessons Learned Unwillingly

Lessons Learned Unwillingly Moving to Pennsylvania 11/98
When I was almost four years old, my family decided to pick up and move from Minnesota to Pennsylvania. My Mom's family lived there, and my Dad was going to go to seminary in Lansdale. Being so young, the move wasn't extreme for me. I had't been in school yet, and I was used to spending a lot of time with my parents and older sister. Truly, I was excited for the move. Obviously this has heavily impacted my life. I've grown up on the East Coast; a culture quite different than that of the Mid West. I've also had the opportunity to spend time with my Mom's family, something I wouldn't have been able to do if I had grown up in Minnesota. It has affected my entire family, and I consider it to be a positive life changing expcrience. Learning to Read 2/01
Living with my grandparents in Pennsylvania,
with my Mom working full time, my Dad decided
to homeschool my sister and me. I was in kindergarten,
and I had been excelling in most of my subjects. In fact,
at the end of my kindergarten year, I had already completed
first grade math. But for some reason, I couldn't understand language. My Dad had me on the program 'Hooked on Phonics'. I remember crying while my dad tried to teach me because I would get frustrated when I couldn't understand something.Then one day, it suddenly clicked. I remember my Dad telling me I couldn't read; that I had only memorized the story I'd just read him. So a couple of days later, I tried to show him again. I pulled out two previously untouched books and read them to him cover to cover. Soon enough, my Dad had me reading for the rest of my family. I believe this to be a mental breakthrough for me. Something that had held me back for months was now achieved, and I then loved to read; and I have ever since. Changing to Private School 9/01
Changing to Public School 9/03
Being homeschooled in kindergarten, I only had friends from my family's church. Since our church had its own private Christian school, my parents decided to send us to this school, Faith Christian Academy. It was a pricey tuition, but since my Dad started teaching a Bible class at the school, our cost was considerably less. My sister had some pretty horrible experiences during our two years at FCA. Being that I was only in first and second grade, I didn't experience the seclusion and just plain nastiness that my sister did, being in sixth and seventh grade. Also, neither my sister nor I were being challenged enough in school. So my parents decided that public school would be our best option. I guess I've learned that no one school is right for everyone, and that change is completely necessary in life. First Getting Sparky 4/20/01
Honestly I could go on for pages about Sparky. He was my first dog, and despite his emotional problems, he still has a piece of my heart. My sister and I had been wishing for a dog for years. So my parents got in contact with a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier rescue up past the Plymouth Meeting Mall. They had owned this type of dog as newly weds, but had to give it up when my sister was born. We were all anxious to own a dog, except for my Mom who knew she'd end up taking care of him. When we first brought him home, he was perfect. But literally the next morning, we immediately had problems. He couldn't walk, and we found out he had Lyme's disease. But this was the least of our worries. We were told when we got him that it was suspected he had been abused by his previous owner, who is unknown since Sparky was a runaway. He began to get frightened by the simplest things; from thunderstorms, to the vacuum cleaner, to the dryer buzzer. He would immediately poo because of this, or whenever we left him home alone. He got progressively worse, and after a little more than three years, my family could no longer take it, and honestly, neither could I. I loved Sparky because he was my first dog, but I couldn't deal with his emotional problems. We gave him back to the rescue we got him from, and he now lives on a farm in Maryland where his new owners have named him Lord Virgil of Open Gates Farm. It seems he's doing much better now with his new family. From my whole experience with Sparky, I have learned that selfishness isn't an option when looking for the greater good of others. We couldn't give Sparky what he needed, so we had to give him up. I still miss him a little bit, but I definitely don't miss cleaning up after him. Getting into the Gifted Program 6/05
While entering into public school, my Dad was pretty confident that I was gifted. He pushed for me to get tested, but the school just thought he was an overly proud parent. To please him they decided to give me a portion of the test to see how I would do. I did well. They then promised to give me the full test the next year, when I was in fourth grade, but it ended up being the end of my fourth grade year. The test they give you is the IQ test. You have to have a certain score to get into Gifted, and my score qualified me to be in this program. I was very proud, as were my parents. Since then, I have embraced this and challenged myself educationally and on a deeper thinking level. I may not always act incredibly smart, but to be frank, I really am. I'm very grateful for having a high IQ, and for having that motivation at such a young age of discovering I was gifted. Learning To Ride My Bike 8/06
Like any normal child, my Dad began teaching me how to ride a two wheeler when I was around four or five. Unlike any normal child, I never mastered this skill. I remember having a dream one night where I saw myself riding a bike. The next morning I wanted to go out and ride, but we didn't own any bikes at the time. So that summer my Dad set out to find me one at a garage sale. We ended up finding a pretty nice one for just fifteen dollars. I began teaching myself in my driveway and garage, and one day I just started doing it. I was so excited. I called my Dad to come outside and see. He watched as I raced out of our driveway into the parking lot of Alderfer Glass. I began descending downhill, rapidly gaining speed...and I crashed right into one of the huge garage doors of a warehouse. To this day, there is a black tread mark dented into that door. Luckily I wasn't hurt. This seems rather silly; an eleven year old learning to ride a bike. But it was an enormous accomplishment for me. It taught me that you're never too old to learn. I feel like this will mean even more to me when I am much older. Getting Boo 12/18/08
Boo is one of the most important people in my life. Well, he's actually my dog, but I consider him a huge part of our family. After getting rid of Sparky, my Dad promised to get us another dog. So almost three years later, he finally did. He brought him, our puppy, home on an artcic December night, tucked under his coat so we couldn't see him. We walked into the living room, and saw a tiny white ball, a.k.a. Boo. He was only 4.5 pounds when we got him, and almost four months old. He only weighs 6.5 pounds now. Honestly, when we first got him, I felt guilty, as if I was betraying Sparky. But I soon grew to love Boo, and have learned to care for him; something I did not learn with Sparky. Cassie Going to College 8/08
Having just one sibling, it was very hard watching her move to college. We had grown closer over the past couple years, and at home she was my best friend. I literally became an only child over night, which isn't something many people experience. I now had the spot light solely on me, without anyone to confide in. That school year was very difficult for me, something I believe to be connected to my sister's leaving. My grades weren't suffering, but my attitude was. But I have now come to grips with this change. I learned to be an individual in my home, not relying on the influence of my older sister. It was a hard transition, but something I needed to go through. Dad losing his job 4/15/09
This past spring my Dad unexpectedly lost his job. I was in a state of shock for approximately one hour, because honestly I did expect something like this to happen. My dad saw this loss as a sign that he should go back into the ministry. So right now he is in the process of finding a real/permanant job as he does some part time work. This is a pivotal time for my family, because we are planning on moving away; moving anywhere. I have lived in Telford for the past nine years, so this will be a huge change for me. Through this my family is learning to rely on God instead of ourselves. It's going to be a long process, but we are all very excited. Getting Married sometime/in my future
My wedding day will not be the best day of my life, as many people say it will be, but being married will be the best years of my life. For me, I need to get married when I'm older. I'm already anticipating it. I couldn't really tell you who I'll be marrying, but i could say who it will NOT be. Quoting from Our Town, "…people are meant to go through life two by two. " And although this isn't true for everyone, I'm almost positive this is right for me.
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