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1Alexander Hayner

TE 302
Autobiography

“I came to shed a little light on this darkening scene.” This is a quote from Dave
Matthews’ Band’s “Christmas Song”. It is also a very deep-rooted mentality that I live every day
by. Though not every situation I find myself in is indeed darkening, I strive to always bring
positiveness and energy, or “light”, to wherever I go. My name is Alexander McCauley Ignatius
Hayner, and I am so pumped to soon be a teacher.
I am a brother, friend, son, teammate, boyfriend, mentor, role model, and apprentice. I
like to live my life through always looking through the positive spectrum, though in many cases
this proves to be quite a difficult task. I am outgoing and friendly on most occasions, but there
are situations where I feel insecure and shy–mostly situations where I am confused or unfamiliar.
I love to be challenged, even though I usually express my love for a good challenge once I have
already completed it. I enjoy reading. I am like every other person in the world in that I love
laughter. I am always excited to meet other people. I have a bit of a pride issue in that I rarely
will ask for help (even when I desparately need it). I enjoy school, with my favorite courses at
MSU undoubtedly being in the TE department (because of the people). I love sports, especially
soccer. I value hard work. If this were a business application, the three words taht describe me
would be optimistic, passionate, and approchable.
Personally, I am at most times an out-going person. I enjoy people more than most other
things, and I truly appreciate every differing perspective that each individual can uniquely call
their own. I try not to judge, a character trait I adopted when I was 17 upon reading F. Scott
Fitzgerald’s line, “Before you judge anyone in this world, remember that few have had the
privileges that you’ve had”, immortalized in the great American novel (The Great Gatsby). This
mentality speaks volumes for my upbringing, because I know that I have had the advantages that
a minuscule few are lucky enough to be blessed with in life. My education, gender, social class
(middle), and nationality give me such an unfair advantage in life, and through understanding
and being aware of this, I make my best effort to treat every single person I interact with as an
individual, trying hard not to take a thing for granted.. I am also a believer in Jesus Christ,
though I know my spirituality needs a great deal of improvement. Despite this, my faith plays a
major role in my approach to life.
Greatly risking being viewed as cocky, I used to be the absolute life of the party. My first
few months as a college student were lived with few rules, and I was as socially prominent as
they come. However, through a few years now of maturity and focus, I am not the “party-guy”
of previous years. I have a serious girlfriend whom I love, and on most occasions I prefer a quiet
evening with her opposed to a reckless East Lansing evening (insert snicker here). I feel that she
has helped shape my identity, as well as allow me to whole-heartedly relate to another person.
Another valued aspect of my character is my devotion to academics. I come from a
family that strongly values the worth of a good education, with my father, grandfather, and many
other relatives being professional teachers. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of
reading with my parents, as well as having them check my homework before I went to bed. My
parents put such powerful emphasis on the education of my siblings and me that we were sent to
private schools throughout grade school and high school. I remember arguments I would have
with my mom, involving me staging a protest about why we could not go on a vacation or buy
expensive shoes. The rebuttle my mother always countered with was that the money she and my
father had was going towards my education, and that I would thank her later. I thank her every
chance I talk to her now, because having a solid base for education is, in my opinion, absolutely
essential for being a good citizen and person. Because of my roots in education, I have a godo
work ethic in the classroom, as well as a genuine thirst for higher knowledge. I have made the
Dean’s List at Michigan State University every semester I have been here (something my parents
are naturally very proud of), and I credit that to my parents’ commitment to my academic
growth.
Number one: God. Number two: school. Number three: sports. These were the list of
values that my dad would go over with my brother and me during our adolescence. I can
remember many car rides when these values would be repeated to me, and I not until now do I
question why family was not included in this list, while sports were. I feel the answer comes
through examination of my father’s roots. He grew up the second oldest (like myself) of nine
children in Detroit. He attended catholic schools throughout high school and grade school (like
myself) and was always involved with sports (like myself). His father was a teacher (like
myself), and he made sure that my dad gave his best effort in the classroom as well as on the
athletic field. Because of such similarities, it would make sense that I turn out to be exactly the
same person as my father. However, the x-factor in this equation is my mother, who is a very
caring and loving person. Because of this combination, I would re-evaluate my list or values to
the following: 1. God. 2. Family. 3.School. 4. Sports. This list of my personal priorities reflects
that I am my father’s son, as well as my mother’s.
Though I grew up strongly appreciating the importance of education, I never wanted to
be a teacher as a child. I remember wanting for the longest time to be a judge, which was
influenced by my love for the character of Phillip Banks on the televsion show The Fresh Prince
of Bel Air. I admired Uncle Phil’s authority, occasional glimses of comedy, and, most
importantly, his house. Phil had a big house, and I wanted one just like his. However, I really
started to change my outlook on my professional career as I entered high school. I attended
University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, a prestegious all-male college
preparatory institute. Though I went there for seventh and eighth grade, it wasnt until my first
day of high school that I started to see the importance of education in the world. The teacher that
inspired me about teaching others was Brother Jim Boynton, a Jesuit brother, and one hell of a
guy. Br. B was not like the teachers I had had before. He was funny, energetic, charasmatic,
passionate, and social. He was just like me! Br. Boynton taught Freshman World History, and
he was extremely pasisonate about his subject. He had stories about every sinlg place we
studied, and he made class exciting and fun, as well as educational. Upon completing his class
and observing other great teachers that U of D Jesuit blessed me with, I made the decision that I
would rather enjoy what I do and change lives, rather than live in Uncle Phil’s house.
When encouraged to ponder what profession I would pursue if teaching wasn’t an option,
a few different ideas come to the surface. When I was a child, I remember telling all of my
relatives that I wanted to be a ghostbuster when I grew up. The problem with this aspiration is
that I have never actually seen a ghost, nor does MSU have a prostegious college of
ghostbusting. I also dreamed of being a professional soccer player when I was little. The
problem here is that I don’t think America is ready for a pro soccer player who is even
handsomer than the beloved David Beckham, so I will be generous and put that dream to rest as
well (For the record, my mother has told me I’m better looking than Backham, so it must be
true). In all seriousness, however, I have though about two professions I feel I would excel at
other than as an educator. For about six months now I have been working at a Marriott hotel,
and I have enjoyed the experience thoroughly. In soem way I could see myself being the
manager of a hotel someday, seeing as I am very godo with customers. However, I do like the
job right now, but I know that I would not want to deal with strangers my whole life. Another
field that I put more serious though into was social work. For a while I was closely torn between
social work and education. What drew me to social work was the idea of helping people in need,
thus bettering the community and world. However, as I looked more closely at the profession, it
looked to be an extremely tough road, with social workers telling me that seeing progress ro
rewards to hard work was rare. Though I am confident I can excel in the hospitality and social
work realms, I know my calling is to teach.

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