On School

I, since the day I was born, am Mary Arden Stockdell-Giesler. My parents decided to call me Arden, and when I grew older if I wanted to go by Mary, then I could. Personally, I prefer Arden, even though it causes so much confusion in schools.
On my first day of Pre-K, I was nothing less than terrified. I sat in the doorway, wrapped around my mother’s leg, crying, begging and pleading for her not to leave me. From that day all the way through elementary, I loved every minute of school. I was smart. I stood out. I wasn’t like the other kids. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but I liked it. I enjoyed seeing my parents’ proud faces when they saw my grades. I loved raising my hand in class, acquiring more knowledge. It made me so happy to see my teachers faces when they handed me back successful work or when I answered a question correctly. It just felt right. I belonged in school, where I could be me and fit in with the other kids. I was placed in A.G. classes promptly and words cannot describe the pride I felt.
Entering middle school was quite a different story, for each grade, I attended different schools and different tragedies happened each year. In the beginning of 6th grade, I attended East Cary Middle School for the first 2 ½ weeks, and after discovering a couple things that were not exactly pleasing, I was switched over to homeschooling, Now, my mom had been previously diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, so she still happened to be sick. Let me tell you though, she was the toughest woman I have ever met, and I guarantee no one will ever come close to her standards. Because she was sick, I went with her to her CCNC (Cancer Center of North Carolina) appointments, and I became her little assistant, as well as all the other patients there. My mom was there quite often, typically 2-3 times a week, sometimes more. I got to know the staff very well, and I loved every minute. I felt as if I was a pat of something important, and in a way, I was. She taught me throughout the entire 6th grade year, and when we got my IOWA (homeschooling EOGs) test results back, we discovered that in 6th grade, I was performing above grade level in all of my subjects. My math was 7th grade level, science was 8th (if I believe correctly. It may have been 9th), and my English was at an astounding 12th+, meaning I was performing above high school level in English while I was in 6th grade. I had always loved English, but it was then that I truly realized that I was truly different than the other kids. I had a little spark within me, and I couldn’t lose it. Towards the end of 6th grade, my mom became ill to the point where she could no longer teach me. Although, that was not a problem at all considering she had already taught me my entire curriculum earlier in the year.
In 7th grade, I was transferred to West Cary Middle School. Truthfully, I was scared witless. It was my first year of actual middle school and I did not know a single one of these people. I was so naïve, I had no idea what was coming for me. I still excelled that year, although not as much as I wished to, because it was a smack in the face, to put the shock in words. That was the year when the bullying began. Being so naïve, I got an ask.fm, a website where you can ask anonymous questions and I would answer them! I figured, “Hey, this will be fun! Maybe somebody is shy like me and just wants to get to know me. They can do it through here!” Well, that was not what happened at all. I received so many hate comments via ask.fm, including some comments that say. And I quote “1d would never date an ugly skeleton like you. Do you even know how to put your makeup on? Cause its always bad.” , “oh my god just kill urself” ,“nobody even likes u go die in a hole” ,“I hope ur mom dies” “wow u just hate everyone don’t u. ur just a lying little physco”, and I think you see the basic idea. Those are just a few of the ones that I forgot to delete, meaning those aren’t even the worst ones. Could those girls at least learn to spell, though?
I moved houses in between 7th and 8th grade, so I attended Davis Drive Middle School. I was so incredibly lucky to have found the best friends I could have imagined. I also happened to be reunited with my best friend from all throughout elementary; Gretchen Mackie. My friends were the funniest, most supportive, spontaneous, ridiculous, intelligent, sarcastic, understanding, and passionate people you will ever meet. On December 15, 2013, my mom sadly passed away from the cancer that had taken over her body. It was beyond devastating, considering she was my everything. My friends had my back, every step of the way, even when I was breaking down during lunch and trembled when somebody mentioned a mother. I was so utterly fragile, and they took care of me as if I was their prized piece of china. I did hit one bump in the road with a girl that year, but I am (clearly) not the kind of person to start a fight, or even raise my voice angrily with others. Overall, that was my best school year.
Now, I am a freshman, and it astounds me. Just yesterday I was pouncing through the brightly colored hallways, on my way to Mrs.Anderson’s 3rd grade classroom. Now I am dashing up and down the stairs, compacted with people, and held to the highest standards I can imagine? It blows my mind.
I would not change anything about my school experiences, because they have made me who I am today. If not for those hateful messages through ask.fm, there is no way I would be nearly as strong as I am now. My teachers may have been difficult at times, but it paid off, and they were only preparing me. Because of my past, I am strong, passionate, independent, loyal, and forgiving. I know my mother would be proud of the person I have become.

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