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And as I began to consider my future, I realized that what I learned in school would allow me to silence that which had silenced my grandmother.
Over the years, everything--even honoring my grandmother--had become second to school and grades.
As my shoes humbly tapped against the Earth, the towering trees blackened by the forest fire a few years ago, the faintly colorful pebbles embedded in the sidewalk, and the wispy white clouds hanging in the sky reminded me of my small though nonetheless significant part in a larger whole that is humankind and this Earth.
For example, I have a specific pair of underwear that is holey, worn out but surprisingly comfortable.
And despite how trivial underwear might be, when I am wearing my favorite pair, I feel as if I am on top of the world.
I write screenplays, short stories, and opinionated blogs and am a regular contributor to my school literary magazine, The Gluestick.
I have accumulated over 300 community service hours that includes work at homeless shelters, libraries, and special education youth camps.
I became desperately devoted to my education because I saw knowledge as the key to freeing myself from the chains of ignorance.
While learning about cancer in school I promised myself that I would memorize every fact and absorb every detail in textbooks and online medical journals.
They covered the precious mahogany coffin with a brown amalgam of rocks, decomposed organisms, and weeds.
It was my turn to take the shovel, but I felt too ashamed to dutifully send her off when I had not properly said goodbye. I refused to let go of my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that an illness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life.