GHP Essay
    Written Fall of 2001

    People who lived and breathed beautiful strings of words surrounded me. Bobbin--the girl with the petite build and gentle southern accent, who somehow towered when reading her work on stage. Fern--a gorgeous blonde artist, her body smeared with daubs of paint from her masterpieces. Frisbee players who also played Schubert on the piano; dancers who spoke a dozen languages. It was everything I could hope for, and better than I expected.
    Without a doubt, the Governor's Honors Program has been the most meaningful of all my activities. I desperately wanted to attend the program and was ecstatic upon being accepted. I spent six weeks of my summer encircled by people as enthusiastic about English as I am. This in itself was amazing to me--at my rural school there were very few people besides my teachers with whom I could discuss literature, writing, and poetry with mutual interest.
    It was from Bobbin that I learned to shed my shyness before large audiences. With that shyness gone, an unknown part of me was set free, and I was serene under the scorching spotlight. I read my work with the emotional depth it deserved. The words leaving my lips were cathartic, as are the tears that cleanse the spirit of the heartbroken and despondent.
    Class discussions were wonderful in that people actually cared about the topics. Fiery debates were common and everyone defended their opinions intelligently and maturely. The teachers were brilliant in that they guided us to make our own conclusions and did not impress their own hypotheses upon us as solid fact. This experience of being encouraged to draw our own conclusions made me excited about the possibility of learning with professors at college.
    Last summer I wrote more eloquently than I ever had before. I am convinced this influence was from the people I met, even more than the texts we read. My open mind was mirrored by the other students at GHP. These people were not so mired in their cliques that they would feel contempt for an outsider; they were not so dogmatic in their religion that the devout ostracized the agnostics. We were different in many ways, but we were all against the hatred and prejudice that plagues so many; we were able to learn from one other, and this made each person great.
    On the last day in class, one of my teachers told us: "Don't just be creative and brilliant people who sit around on the couch reveling in your brilliance and creativity. Make sure you do something." This exhortation made me more impassioned than ever. I have made the most out of the resources I have in my small county. But Governor's Honors revealed that there are people who are passionate about the same things I am. I know that college will give me the opportunity I yearn for to immerse myself in the causes I feel so strongly about.