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Big Man on Campus This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The day had come! After waiting years for thisglorious occasion, I had arrived at a new plateau, both physically andspiritually. I had been through this exercise many times, yet today something wasdifferent. I had a feeling I would be victorious. I gasped one large breath andinflated my lungs. With the inhalation came confidence. I envisionedcongratulatory pats and a wide smile on my mother's face.

My name wasannounced and a strong sense of calm overwhelmed my body. My mom whispered a fewwords of encouragement and wished me luck as I ascended the platform. Aftermomentarily pausing, a familiar maternal hand nudged me forward. There it was,the machine I'd been battling for 17 years, and here was my chance to conquer it.First with the left foot, and then with the right, I stepped onto the scale. Thechill of the metal on my feet was startling, but my attention shifted as thenurse approached and it became apparent that some adjustment was necessary. Thenurse prodded the black measurement indicator to 97, 98, 99 ... it didn't looklike the scales were tipping. I shrieked, "All right!" for never beforehad two nines appeared together when measuring my weight. The nurse moved theweight from the 50-pound position to, dare we say, the 100-pound mark. A hushfell. Could it be? Was it possible? Yes, he did it! Jason Roffenbender topped 100pounds!

While some people are vertically challenged, I am challenged bothvertically and horizontally. Since my introduction to this world through thePlexiglas windows of an incubator, I have always been "the little guy."I cried in kindergarten when my mother had difficulty locating corduroy pants inmy size sans the embarrassing snaps between the legs. When I was old enough foryouth basketball, the elbows of other players found their ways to my eyes, orworse yet, rested on my head during team meetings. I had a short career in LittleLeague, in part due to my almost non-existent strike zone. Pitchers pretty muchwrote me off as an automatic walk, which was helpful to my team, but detrimentalto my morale. Although my height has come to a halt, and I find my clothing inthe children's section of most department stores, I am still growing ...

A successful college essay! Jason now attends James MadisonUniversity.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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