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Contributor

Paulina Woods

I grew up in a small military town in the middle of the desert and knew from the moment I could talk that I wanted to share my views with those around me.

As a young child I picked up the nickname "mama" because I was constantly bossing my older brother around. Not the normal bossing but the "you read this", "you say this" and so forth. When I was ten years old my mom bought me a diary so that I could write down what was in my head without having to boss people around to get a clear picture of what I was thinking.

By sixth grade I was writing plays and producing a small PaulinaTown Newspaper, which my siblings had to read. It ranged from chores that needed to get down to small stories about something that we had talked about. I even had a who had gotten more spankings.

In high school I kind of got away from writing and concentrated more on science. Somewhere along the line I was told that I would never make a great writer because of my learning disability. Being a teenager and wanting to fit in with good grades I did what many students with disabilities do, disappeared into the background.

My senior year I decided to try my hand at writing or at least designing and signed up for yearbook. It was fun but not what I was looking for and so I applied to college with a major in pre-veterinarian science. My second year I dropped out because I was bored and I had more fun writing my papers than dissecting animals.

Deciding to go to community college I took a chance and enrolled in a journalism class. Scared of making mistakes or worse people not liking my writing I sat in the back of the class and hoped we never had to do any oral reports.

Two years later I was Editor-and-Chief of the school magazine and went on to win General Excellence for content and design. By that time I was hooked and my fears no longer ruled my life.

Now about to graduate and enter the world of journalism I again face my fears and know that with all I have been through I am going to make on heck of a reporter. My handicap does not hold me back it helps me do a better job. I have to look over my work more carefully and catch things others don't.

In five or six years I want to be a writer for National Geographic or The Washingtonian, which ever grabs my interest. Now I am trying to build up my portfolio and have fun.

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