When I was a senior in high school, my government teacher suggested I should go into politics.
Let me back up a bit. I went to a small Ukrainian Catholic school from kindergarten through the 12th grade, located in the Metro Detroit area. I wore a stylish uniform every day; well, that is if you discount the two years before high school when the principal and school board replaced the shirt-and-tie look in exchange for a bland white polo with the school’s crest (a Bengal, the school’s mascot). The community was very close, sort of like the search party in Saving Private Ryan. The people I met on the first day of first grade, I would end up graduating high school with — and I still am close friends with a chosen few of those people today.
(My high school consisted of 82 individuals who all knew one another, partied together, knew the intimate secrets which destroyed high school reputations, and walked by each other in the one long, narrow hallway which made up the architecture of our lovely little institution.)
Anyway, back to my teacher’s recommendation. Apparently she really enjoyed my thoughts on American history and my take on government’s role in a democratic society, and she based these thoughts off paragraph-form answers I had written on exams. I would start writing, reach a second level where my disdain towards politics would sprout and then go off on some wild tangents — but it all somehow made sense. With English being my favorite class in high school all four years, it was a bit of an escape, a change, to write about something other than Achilles or a Shakespearean play.
And while I went through college and avoided most political-based classes, my interest in politics has grown exponentially since that day my teacher offered that suggestion. A thought went through my mind as if to say, Maybe I do know what I’m talking about. It’s exhilarating to realize you are well-versed in a certain subject, you know? You begin to understand that barriers can be broken if you really want them to come down.
And this is why I write. Being true to one’s self is the first step to being true to others, and putting all the words on the paper is a way of laying it all on the line. So, this is the first line of many I will hopefully cast.
But it was only fantasy.
The wall was too high,
As you can see.
No matter how he tried,
He could not break free.
And the worms ate into his brain.
– Pink Floyd, “Hey You”