by Tiana Altman
by Tiana Altman
My numbers will tell you a haystack along with keeping the needle hidden. My numbers will tell you that I am a terrible test taker and that I try, but they won't tell you the process in which I opened my eyes and began to try. They won’t tell you about the hours I stayed up studying or the lunch periods I spent writing essays, solving math problems, balancing chemical equations or learning a third language. I did all this to make sure I was educated enough to state my views on present day society. They won't tell you the break down within my grades. A’s on all homework and C’s on my tests. The two colliding to form a B, when a B is not who I am.
I am being defined by a number that can only tell you the tip of the iceberg. I am not a 3.17 on a piece of paper. I am Madara Tiana Vitols Altman. The problem with society is the fact that numbers define you. To any school, I am known as a 3.17 instead of everything that lies beneath the water.
Schools don't want a “maybe” they want a definite success. They want that 4.0, not some 3.17. Schools have a habit of composing their student body of numbers when instead they should be composing their student body on who wants to be there and who is a good fit for a school. Society also says that you cannot gain experience without having experience, but how are you supposed to gain experience if you don't have any to begin with? How can one prove that one is a good fit for a school when it's all based off of a number or a letter.
I am not a B or a 3.17. I am a human being with my own strengths and personality. I should not be treated as any less of a person due to my 3.17.
When looked at deeper, one will learn that I came to the United States and had to learn English. One will learn that I got bullied and isolated and that I come from a broken household that caused me to run away during my freshman year. It will not tell you about the hours I spent in court meeting with my lawyer to resolve family matters.
Two legal identites that form who I am, Tiana Altman and Madara Vitols. As I embarked out of Latvia, I was known as Madara Vitols but in America I am known as Tiana Altman. Both translating into the person I am today. I spent every summer in Washington learning my Latvian culture. I graduated from Kursa in 2014, a Latvian school located slightly outside of Shelton. Kursa filled in the gaps I missed living in America; it helped me regain my Latvian culture. My summers were filled with dancing and singing along to folk songs and baking traditional Latvian pastries.
If you really knew me, you would know I am bright eyed and curious. You would know that I have spent countless summers going to Latvian School so when the day finally came that I met the face to my genetics, I would be able to communicate all the things I have learned throughout the years.
All these go to prove that I am not a 3.17. I am much more than that. I am Madara Tiana Vitols Altman.