English 11 Honors
I-Search FINAL draft
May 21st, 2013
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“You will never be able to do it Charity, no way.” “You don’t even know what it is like! You will die in training!”
“Look at you; you are way too small Charity!” These negative thoughts have been echoing in my ear for the past five years. All of these condemning statements have only sparked my imagination and longing to see if I actually could make it in the Air Force. “Survival of the fittest” is a common phrase used today and I feel like it pertains to my perseverance for a way to prove them wrong. When my exuberant honors English teacher told us about this massive research project, calling it the I-Search, my mind went in a million different directions. She said that we had a few weeks to decide on a question that we wanted to spend the next couple months delving into. “Oh goodness,” I thought “does she know I have the attention span of a four year old?!?” I didn’t have any idea about a topic that would be able to hold my attention for five minutes, let alone the next few months! So, me being my usual indecisive self, I went home and asked my mother and father what they thought I should do about this daunting assignment. My dad right away said, “Well, what is your passion?” At that moment, I had it narrowed down to two options right then and there. Choice one was women’s role and evolution in the Air Force, and the other was dealing with how children with mental disabilities make it in this discriminative and judgmental world. Both mean everything to me because I have always considered the Air Force as a career, and I have loved and had a passion for children for a long time. I was stuck so I put the deciding factor on the back burner for a while and just prayed about it for a couple days.
Push came to shove the day before my topic was due. Through prayer and careful consideration, I chose to research into the Air Force avenue. “Okay great”, I thought to myself that next day, now where do I go? I have always had an interest in the Air Force, ever since my dad was a fireman in the Air Force Reserves. Contrary to most people’s thoughts and beliefs, only 1% of Air Force jobs involve planes and flying and that was not my father’s calling. He always tells me these fascinating stories of his journey throughout all the bases in Europe. One of his stories is when he had the opportunity to drive down the Autobahn in Germany, going as fast as he wanted. My dad recalling these stories throughout my entire childhood sparked my imagination from a very young age. This idea about entering the Air Force has been a smoldering thought for a very long time.
The Air Force has been in my family for many generations, my dad, as well as my grandpa that I call Grumpy. I would be the first girl in my family to join the military. My interest in the Air Force has gone on for so long that I am determined to get into the Air Force.
Well great! I had a general topic; I just had to narrow it down. I went to my computer a while back and was about to get on Facebook, but Google news was pulled up and I saw a funny picture of a dog so I stayed to look at it more, just smiling, and then the next little scrolling headline was talking about how women in the military were going to be able to join in combat situations. “AH’HA!” I thought. If imaginary light bulbs really did pop up above my head when I get good ideas, this light bulb would have the brightest it has ever been. Women in the Air Force, a great narrowed idea, but still not specific enough. I was so excited about this topic that I told all my friends and family. But what did I want to really delve into?
I have been oppressed a lot in grade school for various reasons; religion, academics, sports, and my dreams for my future. Lots of negativity stores up in a little girl like me. I have learned to tune them