September 4, 2008 5:18 PM

An Introduction

I figured for my first entry I should introduce myself...

Hi! My name is Maria, but I am also known as Lou. I don't really care which name you use because they both refer to me. I'm a junior transfer fresh in from Ohlone College in Fremont. If you don't know where that is, it's north of San Jose and south of Oakland, and consequently Berkeley. In essence, still in the Bay Area. The first 9 years of my life was spent in Union City which is a neighbor to Fremont. For the most part, much like everyone else's I imagine, my childhood was pretty carefree. I went to school, played with friends, discovered new things in my surroundings...

...On a more creative level, I trained to be a pro figure skater. I idolized Kristy Yamaguchi and had a grand opportunity to meet her at the local Iceoplex where I trained. I also did a lot of drawing and pursued my own youthful attempts to save the world one 'Zoobooks' deemed endangered species at a time.

The following 8 years of my life were spent in New York City, which subsequently is divided into 5 boroughs as, unfortunately, many people aren't aware of. More specifically, I grew up in Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island. I would say I learned the most about myself and about life while living in New York. It essentially shaped me into the person I am today, the good and the bad aspects depending on your perspective of course. And the funny part was I didn't notice this truth until I moved back to California in 2005. For example, I noticed a lot of people here in California leave their doors anywhere from closed but unlocked to invitingly wide open. I grew up having all doors closed & locked at all times, even my own bedroom despite the front door being bolted up several times over. This difference created a bit of initial paranoia for me. Another probably far more significant difference is peoples' reactions to things going on around them. I grew up to observe but ignore (if that makes sense) things going on around me unless I knew that I was directly involved. So, walking down the street, sirens are going off, people are yelling, things are being thrown around, etc. None of that mattered because I had somewhere else to be or something else to do. But in California, maybe more so the suburbs although I do see it in the cities, if a siren goes off or some couple is arguing out loud, peoples' entire worlds just stop and focus on this one particular aspect that essentially has nothing to do with them. I just find it funny to laugh at.

I finished my last semester of HS at James Logan HS in Union City. Although I dearly wanted to go to Berkeley, I moved here too late to apply. And since I didn't want to go anywhere else, I decided to take the community college route and ended up at Ohlone College. In all honesty I would say that this was the best decision I could make because 1. I saved money while taking care of my lower divs, 2. I discovered more about myself and my passion, 3. I met amazing people that have and continue to create a lasting impact on my life. So three years I spent at Ohlone to complete my IGETC & obtain an AS in Natural Science. All that hard work and soul searching has culminated into this exact moment.

I'm sure my journey at Berkeley will be chocked full of excitement, adventure, mishaps and learning experiences. But I welcome it all with open arms as everyone here has done so far to me. And all along the way, I will keep you posted :)

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