I believe that life is a story. Mine, like many before me, is one that begins with a fall from Grace. Telling that part of my life’s story is unnecessary for the story I am going to tell you, but it is by no means unimportant. Please keep in mind that the story I am about to tell is one that begins just before the climax and concludes far before the back cover closes. Too many times, it seemed, that teachers rolled their eyes. I had noticed that something was off about the student-teacher dynamic in my traditional Junior-Senior High School when a failing student was a chore for the teacher: Not because the teacher had to try and help him do better but because the teacher had to suffer through having this kid in his class. Also, when the limit of a student government’s authority is to organize and fundraise for dances, it cannot be said that the school’s administration is by the students and for the students. These were some of the reasons I had for leaving my old school and applying to the public school of choice, Monadnock Community Connections. Unfortunately, I cannot claim to have been drawn in by the numerous admirable qualities of the program. At this point in my education, I was rather more concerned with escaping the jagged jaws of academic apathy than finding the ideal education for me. Sometimes the best things in life show themselves to us when we least expect them. I don’t know what kind of person I would be today if I hadn’t made the choice to come to this school. I certainly wouldn’t have become a published reporter. I probably wouldn’t even be working on my novel. Though important, these aren’t the qualities that I am most proud of developing through Monadnock Community Connections. There was something that I got out of my personalized education that extends above and beyond what anyone had expected from me: Hope. When I came to MC2 (Monadnock Community Connections), I was a miserable teen fresh from his first year in High School. I had given up on hope and despaired of the fate of mankind. All I could see was the avariciousness and the loathing that I perceived everywhere. I had no interest in the beauty of discovery, nor did I have any aspirations or sense of purpose. Attending MC2 (a First Amendment Public School of Choice) changed all of that. The stories that would relay exactly how I developed into the person I am today could fill a book. As such, I cannot possibly do my education justice in the few pages I have to tell you my story. However, there is one experience that I had at MC2 that I believe bears the essence of my transformation very well. The Wilderness Orientation Trek (or WOT) is a mandatory prerequisite for those accepted to MC2 (Monadnock Community Connections). It begins with a few days of hiking with 60 pound bags for a total of 19 miles in 3

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