My Journey Through Academia [2]

Perhaps I should begin by starting at nearly the beginning.  When I was eight years old, I came to faith and decided I would one day be the first female president of the United States.  The two were not unrelated, because Christianity gave me a heightened sense of purpose and a mantra of “doing all things.”  My reasons for pursuing the presidency were simple.  One, I wanted to change the world.  Two, I thought it was high time a girl was in the White House, and why not me?  And three, I wanted a candy bar named after me.  My dreams of infiltrating the executive branch faded later in life when I became increasingly disenchanted with politics.  However, it is significant that I felt at such a young age that I had the ability to attain such a high office, and that kind of inspiration fueled my academic pursuits.

My family was one of two families in our small Wyoming town that home-schooled.  I loved to learn and explore.  My parents were patient and encouraging.  Nature became our classroom as we took our schoolbooks on camping trips to all the surrounding states.  I became fascinated with the stories of the past, and I loved to imagine the lives of people who lived in these places long ago.  Subsequent moves to California and West Texas further fanned these curious flames, as more territory revealed more questions.  Soon broader topics like the Alamo, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and World War II all captured my attention.

At age thirteen, my mom took me and a home-schooled peer around the state of Texas to look at colleges.  We developed a complex rating system for each school.  Categories such as conservative versus liberal, Christian tradition, and male/female segregation made up our list.  My favorite question to ask admission officers was whether or not Rush Limbaugh would be welcome as a professor at their university.  Yes, we were thirteen, but we had our eyes set on college and could not wait to start.

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