Storyteller: Anonymous (he/him/his), 25, Texas
"I remember vividly the first time I took a high school level biology course in a historically underserved school. Our textbooks were at least 10 years old, pages missing, and messages from past classes that were more pronounced than the actual text, and how could we forget that musty old page smell. We were young, and had that desire to learn, at least to some extent, but the lack of resources made it difficult to connect words and ideas in a book, to our everyday life.
Thankfully, our teachers were always trying their best to educate us, whether it be through videos, or trying to explain to us in layman's terms the intricacies of oxidative phosphorylation, population genetics, and even chemistry! They understood that, although our school funding was low, and not everyone would be a graduate, they continued to do their best to engage us.
One of these teachers was Mrs. S., for anonymity. Mrs. S was a fascinating educator. She had gone through her education in Mexico, and had obtained her PhD in Madrid, Spain! She was engaging, and didn't move on to the next topic until we ALL understood our current topic. She didn't care about the state-required exams, she only wanted us to think critically, and support our rationale, something that was much more advantageous than obtaining a perfect score on an exam.
It was this drive and passion in her, that planted a small seed of inquisition in myself, that I didn't quite pay attention to, until I began college. Thanks to Mrs. S., I eventually decided to pursue an education in Biology, with the help of another catalytic experience in Introductory Biology.
I now, find myself here, writing what seems like a story with no direction, no plot, no resolution, and that's perfectly ok. What Mrs. S taught me all those years ago was that it's alright to be lost and directionless, or feel as if the world is stacked against you because of who you are, or where you live. As long as you keep going, ask questions, and surround yourself with people who motivate you, you'll one day turn around, look back, and see how far you've come.”