Levi wrote this for his Senior English class.
He entitled it "My Life."
He entitled it "My Life."
Walking on a small bridge that stretched over Young’s Creek on County Road 400 South, my girlfriend Hope and I stopped to skip rocks and listen to the flowing water echo under the bridge. It was spring and the water was a little higher than is typical due to the rain the night before. Sitting there on the bridge we had fun imagining that one day we would be sitting on a bridge that I had designed, because in a few short months I would be going to school to learn how to design infrastructures such as this bridge. Why did I want to do this? It is the job the sums up most of my eclectic interests. How did I know this? How did I become who I am today? It is who I am. It is my story.
I was home-schooled by my mom up until my freshman year of high school. She is still my favorite teacher to this day. My parents decided to send me to TCM my freshman year so that I would be able to get involved in music and sports.
Growing up I have always been known as the guy who has sporadic interests and was called the jack of all trades. There is no surprise that I became this way. My dad’s interests are just as sporadic as mine are. My parents have always supported me no matter what I had a desire to do. Well except if it was dangerous, then my dad would try it first to make sure it was “safe.” Personally, I think he just wanted to try it as bad as I did. I know he would confess to that if you asked him.
My interests varied all the way from rock climbing and dirt biking to building hydrogen fuel cells and converting used vegetable oil into bio-diesel. My parents have always supported me, and they have never told me that something was too hard for me to figure out or too hard for me to do.
My house and yard were the best a young teenage boy could ever ask for. It has dirt-bike trails all the way around it and through it with berms and jumps. My dad even bought a quad-axle load of dirt and borrowed my grandpa’s skid-steer so we would build some bigger jumps and taller berms for our corners.
The yard has a one hundred and fifty foot zip-line across it, a home-made fort, and it is full of trees. One summer my brother Joel and I camped in our yard for an entire week.
When I was thirteen I decided that I wanted to learn how to weld. I have lost three pairs of pants and two shirts to fire since that decision. I went as far as to take an adult welding class my junior year at Central Nine Career Center. My classmates, all twenty to thirty years older than me, always offered to rub me down with asbestos before class started.
I have always loved engines. You can probably thank my Uncle Danny for that one. By the time I was thirteen, I had rebuilt three dirt bike engines and a three wheeler engine. Ok, the three wheeler engine had to be rebuilt twice, but that is only because a friend didn’t believe in shifting out of third.
When I was fifteen my dad bought me a 1975 Ford F-100 with a three hundred cubic inch straight six. It barely ran, but after a couple of weekends I was yanking branches out of trees that we needed cut down and roasting tires on back roads.
My parents have tried their hardest to make sure that I was well-rounded. My mom has taught me more than I can write in this chapter. She has taught me about everything from cooking and cleaning to rearranging and school work. My dad has always been there for me as well. He has taught me how to do anything and everything you could imagine around the house and how to stand even when others are falling. Their influences and support has shaped me into who I am today.
When I was eight years old I realized that I was a sinner and I had broken God’s laws. At that moment I made the most important decision in my life. I cried out for God to save me. That decision gave me the desire to change the path that I was traveling.
All my life I have known that I wanted a job that I could work with my hands and use my head. The summer after my freshman year I got a job as a lifeguard at the Painted Hills’ pool. I made four rescues that summer and applied enough band-aids to supply a third world country. I have worked there and at the YMCA pool for the last four years.
This year, my senior year, I have been working with my Uncle Danny at the machine shop where he works. I try to work every Saturday from six am to about noon. I really enjoy the work that is done up there and it seems as if they are always faced with a new challenge. I typically drive the fork lift helping Danny get parts in and out of his lathe. I also deburr a lot of parts (knocking off sharp edges and corners with a grinder or a file). Recently I have been shown how to run a few machines such as the lathe, mill, and the bandsaw.
Working at the machine shop has opened me up to the world of precision and fabrication. That is why I have decided to become a civil engineer. I am going to school to get my Associate’s Degree in civil engineering which will allow me to design bridges, roads, and other infrastructures.
I feel like the experiences that I have gone through and the instruction and support of my parents have prepared me for the world ahead. With God on my side and the support of friends and family, I am not scared to step out into the real world. I am ready to go out, make a stand, and make a difference. Someday maybe you can sit on my bridge.
I love that boy!