Theresa - Windsor, California
Entered on May 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am the black sheep of my family. By the end of my first quarter at Cal Poly, I had contracted strep throat twice. I missed two of ten weeks of class. Over winter break, I had jaw surgery, which led to me getting pneumonia. That illness made me miss the first week and a half of classes that quarter. Spring quarter I did not get any kind of horrible sickness. By then, socially I had missed out on too much, I wasn’t going to miss anything else (my study habits weren’t the best). About two weeks into my summer, I learned that due to being on academic probation for three consecutive quarters, my admissions at Cal Poly had been terminated. My overall GPA was well below a 2.0. I was the first to do anything like this in my family. However, my academia problems ended up being one of the best things that had ever happened to me.

I moved onto my friend’s couch and began to look for a job in San Luis Obispo, as I was financially independent. I stumbled upon a job for a live-in nanny. It was a single mother with two children who worked the night shift as an ER nurse. I decided to send her an email even though I was extremely hesitant because of certain activities I liked to partake in. She called and asked if I could come over and meet her and the children. It was a love at first site kind of thing. Next thing I know, it is two years later and I still live with this amazing trio.

After a few months of living with this family, I decided it would be a good idea to go back to school. There was a possibility for readmission into Cal Poly if I made contracts with the Dean, taking specific classes and getting certain grades. I went to the local junior college for a year. After that my GPA was over a 3.0 and for Spring 2008 I would take classes at Cal Poly again. After taking a break and living with two children who have a thirst for knowledge, school became more of a want than a must. I wanted to learn, I wanted to grow. Drugs and alcohol were not the love of my life anymore. Before, I was overwhelmed with the freedom I had and didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Meeting Alison, Kieren, and Maleah changed my life. I would fail out all over again just so I would have the opportunity again. They taught me things I will take with me for the rest of my life. They reminded my of what school and education used to be. How fun it was and that it does not need to be forced on people. I have since decided to become a teacher. Many situations present themselves as a problem, but they ought to be viewed as an opportunity.