Hello Portola! For this week’s edition of My Turn, I’ve been asked to introduce myself to the readers since few know who I am.
To start from the very beginning, I was born in a busy hospital in San Francisco on April 25, 1997 as the second and last child of two lawyers.
When my parents got leave to bring me home, they brought me to our medium-sized gray and white home at the end of a long driveway in San Rafael which we still own to this day.
From the age of about 2 to 9, I attended a small Montessori school five minutes from my house where I acquired an eclectic collection of skills, including a knack for writing pseudo-comic books about superhero worms and evil rat kings.
At around age 9, my parents shifted me over to a Catholic school called San Domenico which I didn’t much care for, but which plugged some of the holes in my prior school’s curriculum.
When it came time to apply for high school, I opted to get as far away from San Domenico as possible and ended up all the way at Drew School in Pacific Heights in San Francisco.
Attending Drew School turned out to be one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, and during my four years there I discovered my deep passion for history and American literature.
In junior year, I became one of two captains of the school’s badminton team, which earned me more than a few jibes from my family members.
Also in junior year, I began the daunting task of applying for college, and in senior year, I managed to clinch a spot at Tufts University in Boston.
At age 20, I am now a proud Tufts Jumbo Junior and have recently declared my major in history.
I’ve also started to get into long distance running and am hoping to run the Boston Marathon in two years when I’m a senior.
Over the last school year, I have also been writing as a staff writer for the news section of the Tufts Daily and have been working on a sprawling investigative story that I brought to our paper’s investigative journalism team.
Last summer, I attended a summer program at University College Cork in Southern Ireland where I got the chance to study the history and literature behind the Irish revolution during the revolution’s 100-year anniversary.
Next year, I am excited to announce that I will be going to Pembroke College in Oxford, England, for a year abroad in which I will mostly focus on studying European history with a special focus on Britain and WWII.
I have long held a passion for studying politics and foreign affairs and I am very much looking forward to delving into some of the many old tomes preserved within the walls of Oxford’s libraries.
I also hope to be able to work for one of the papers at Oxford to further develop my journalistic skills and to engross myself in English culture.
Yet though I am very excited about going abroad next year, I also must say that writing for the Portola Reporter over the last few weeks has been one of the most interesting and enjoyable experiences of my life.
Even in just a short few weeks, I’ve met a firefighter who daringly braved a burning house to save another firefighter, a new restaurant owner from Mexico who worked for decades to achieve her dream of opening up her own restaurant and an artist out of Calpine who found a way to make beautiful works of art out of railroad spikes.
I have also been treated with nothing but respect and decency by the people I work with and interview, and for that I am truly grateful.
I have also been very impressed by the practical and surprisingly inventive nature of Portola City Hall and the ways that they have tried to keep Portola running smoothly.
I have spent almost my entire life thus far in big cities and universities where people often look in disdain at small town America, but now I am beginning to see the benefits of country life.
When I cold-call someone over the phone or shoot an email to an event organizer, people are always willing to respond and provide as much information as possible so that the community at large can understand what is going on.
Compared to my experiences at the Tufts Daily, I must say that people in this area really care about the local news and go out of their way to help reporters out.
There is also level of honesty and integrity, which loom large above Portola, and as a reporter, there is really nothing more valuable to me than that.
As of right now, it looks like I’ll be working here at the Reporter until early September, so if you see a young, red-haired kid walking around town be sure to walk over and say hello!