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A Unique Learning Experience

“I’m going around the world!” I would yell across the house to my mom while sprawled out on the kitchen floor, scurrying around attempting to tie my shoes faster because I was in a hurry to keep up with, um, nobody. That was my way of telling her I was going for what I thought was a bike ride. I did this every summer morning, even if we had school. Five minutes of play would have to do for those days. I didn’t know it at the time, but this day would be different. My dad would come home from work later that day and watch me “going around the world,” which in reality meant I was riding my bike around our cul-de-sac until either the sun went down or I got too dizzy to go any more. I guess that was my world at the time. I always loved my single story white house on Shadow Oak Court. I was proud to have that small circle be my world, and I eagerly shared it with anybody who would let me talk.


My dad, an unknowingly strict and intimidating father figure, would pull into the driveway that evening in his minivan with the thought of helping me in mind. He stopped me from my lengthy bike ride to tell me he was taking off my training wheels. Needless to say I was not pleased by my newfound fortune. What was I supposed to do with my pink sparkly tassels if they had nothing to match like they did with my training wheels? My dad didn’t understand my fashion dilemma and promptly sent me inside to put on more “sports like” clothing while he took off the training wheels. Instead of stalling, I ran right up to my mother to tell on my father, of course. Now, looking back on it today I know that telling on someone to their lifelong partner is probably not the smartest idea to get what I wanted. Nevertheless I broke down into a tantrum. This did not last long, considering she didn’t care if I wanted to learn how to ride a bike or not and walked away from me. After a quick reconsideration, I decided on a new approach.


I was going to begin teen rebellion a couple years early except my reason was to get my pretty pink training wheels back on. I put on my shortest, tightest, most ripped up pair of jean shorts and cowgirl boots. Before heading outside, I checked to see how good I looked in the mirror. Usually I’d think, “Alyssa, you look simply fabulous,” but today it was a bit different. I felt inferior. I felt ashamed that everybody, or what seemed like everybody, knew how to ride a bike but me. My conclusion was to cover up my intimidated feelings and tell myself that I’m a grown up stuck in this little girl’s body. I was convinced that I was better than riding a bike and that I didn’t need it. Deep down I still knew my parents somehow would disagree with me, so I, at a snail's pace, moseyed out of my room, down the hall, across the kitchen and out the door to the garage. When I opened the door, I saw my glorious bike on a kick stand. A kick stand! I didn’t even know my bike had a kick stand.
My parents were standing behind my brilliantly bright pink Barbie bike waiting for my arrival. I got one nasty look and knew my teen rebellion was a fail. I was done after one measly look. What a wimp. Words were unnecessary. I turned right back around to put on the proper attire. This time, as I walked out, I knew they were already in a bad mood, so I did as I was told. I tried. I really did but my dad was frustrating me and my knee was bleeding after I had fallen a couple of times. I was fed up, already. He thought he knew how to teach me and I thought otherwise. I then decided I no longer needed my dad to teach me. I sent my parents away as they were even more frustrated than I. Slowly but surely I showed him. I taught myself how to ride a bike in less than a day. This was an exhilarating experience. I no longer needed my parents to show and teach me everything. I could do many things on my own and I proved my self worthy of it.

I guess that stuck with me because I have similar character traits even today. I didn’t want to take directions from my parents when I was five and now I am seventeen. Today the problem has most definitely elevated. My parents will try, let me repeat, try, to be in control of certain parts of my life and some how are surprised every time when I decide otherwise.

I think I’m better when it comes to teachers and other adults who are over me. I try to be more respectful to them because it matters. Even though I try to use a conscious effort to be respectful towards adults, I still have that questioning feeling and resentment when I’m told what to do. Either way I’m the same girl today as I was when I was five years old.





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