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Elledge 1

Ayla Elledge
Professor Campbell
UWRT 1101-059
August 21, 2014

Hi, Im Ayla! (As is evident in the above name). Ill start out by saying that
I feel very old to be in this class, so far. When we were going around the
classroom and describing ourselves, you made us tell our birthday. Though it
shouldnt have, it shocked me when I heard nearly half of the class saying they
were born in 1996. Thats crazy to me! I just turned 26 in June, so I was in 3rd
grade when a lot of my classmates were being born. Ill move pat that though. I
took English last fall at UNCC and didnt pass it (though Im sure being on
chemotherapy at the time didnt help, which Ill breach later in this paper). I
wont say that English isnt my thing because that is so clich and I Love both
reading and writing. However, I will say that in the past English CLASSES
havent been my thing. Im really trying to change this fact though because in
life, there are going to be things that I dont particularly like or want to do, but
I have to succeed either way.
I wasnt really sure what to put in this letter to you because we humans
are so dynamic and there are so many things that can be told about one
person. Ill start with the basics. Im a junior here, I transferred in from AB
Tech (in Asheville) last fall, though I was only going online there and was still
living in Charlotte the whole time. Im a Charlotte native, born and raised here;
Im one of the few. Im going to school for Developmental Psychology and I
should have my Bachelors by the end of NEXT fall if everything goes to plan. I
was previously a Sociology major, but decided to change it because I Love both
disciplines and I figured there would be more job prospects in Psychology.
Upon further critical thinking of what I liked, I decided this year that my Love
for children is something that I want to incorporate into my career. I think it
will make me happier.

Elledge 2

Theres so much more, but Ill talk about my past for a little bit. My
parents are both from North Carolina. They were both also roofers for the first
eighteen years of my life; yes, even my mom. I grew up pretty poor and havent
always had the opportunities that some of my friends have, but Im incredibly
driven to succeed. My father had many substance abuse problems my whole
life and succumb to them when I was 19. I only included this because his
death had a fundamental role in shaping the person I am today. He wasnt a
great man, but just because someone may be lesser or hurting, it doesnt mean
that they should be treated any different. In my early twenties (when I should
have been going to school like everyone else in the class) I was finding myself in
some of the worst ways possible. I wont go very far with that, but know that I
learned some valuable lessons that make me a better person and much more
empathetic to those with substance abuse problems. After I got my head
together, I started back school at AB Tech and went there from May 2012 until
May 2013. I found out in March of 2013 that I had over 20 tumors in my lungs,
though they didnt yet know the cause of them. I was put on steroids for two
months until I was admitted into the hospital under a suspected case of
pneumonia. They decided that chest surgery to obtain a biopsy of the tumor
would be best to understand what was going on in my body. After a horrible
procedure (seriously, dont get chest surgery if you can avoid it), I was told that
the biopsy tested positive for Hodgkins Lymphoma, which sucked!! I had just
been admitted to UNCC around the same time and I was going to have to have
all sorts of treatment and procedures. But oh well. I went to school full-time
last fall while I was on chemo. It was probably one of the hardest things Ive
done, due to the exhaustion. I finished Chemo in December and then found out
in early January that it wasnt fully effective. I started Radiation therapy the
second week of this past spring semester and finished it around the beginning
of March. I was officially declared in remission at the end of April. I wrote so
much about that because it has been a very big part of my life for the last 18
months. Im slowly trying to navigate what its like to not be sick anymore and
its very strange.

Elledge 3

Ill end the paper by including my interests. I like punk rock, folk, metal,
soul, British pop, garage rock and tons of other awesome music. I can kind of
play the guitar, but not that well. I love to swim and I feel more comfortable in
the water than out. I really enjoy drinking wine and cider with my friends on
the weekend (I think you, me, and the guy who is a senior may be the only
people in the class that can legally drink). I very much enjoy reading and I feel
like I dont get enough time to read non-academically. I Love re-reading The
Alchemist, any Sherlock Holmes, The Great Gatsby, The Harry Potter series,
and To Kill a Mockingbird. I miss the time I had when I was younger where I
could stay up all night reading a book and not have to deal with the
responsibilities that come with being an adult. Oh well. We all have to grow up.
I will say that I am looking forward to this English class more than I have any
other previous one taken. I hope it is a great semester.