Hey, I’m Erik Dohe, a junior at Walla Walla High School in Walla Walla, Washington, and yes, that is the name of the town. “The city so nice they named it twice.” It’s always a struggle trying to convince people who don’t live nearby that this town actually exists, but that’s beside the point. For the rest of the year, I’ll be blogging about my experiences with high school life as well as the processes of applying for colleges and taking the ACT exam in April. It’s going to be a long and interesting road. But first, here’s a little bit about myself.
I’m 17 years old and have lived in Walla Walla my entire life. I play the B-flat clarinet in the Wind Ensemble, and have been playing for around five or six years now. I have worked for about a year as the Webmaster for the school’s website, and I’m currently training to become the editor-in-chief of the online edition of the Wa-Hi Journal, our school’s student publication. I’ve been a part of the Journal class for two years now. I also play tennis, and I’m a member of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance. In my spare time, I love to watch movies, specifically those directed by Stanley Kubrick. Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, and 2001: A Space Odyssey are some of my all-time favorites. I also really like listening to music. I don’t really have a favorite genre, but I can listen to pretty much everything. My favorite bands are always changing, but right now I really like Streetlight Manifesto, the Foo Fighters, and the Mad Caddies. I also enjoy all things relating to computers, from gaming to social media to photo and video editing.
This year at Wa-Hi, I’ve been able to keep myself pretty busy with schoolwork. I’m enrolled in AP Language & Composition, AP United States History, AP Biology, Honors Pre-Calculus, Wind Ensemble, Online Journalism, and Spanish 3-4. It’s been an interesting year so far. I glided through my freshman and sophomore years very easily, without having to do much work. However, starting junior year, the rubber really hit the road. Things became much more difficult overnight, and I’m finding that I have to do much more work than I’m used to if I want to succeed. Junior year so far has been both eye opening and at the same time worrisome as I find out what I can expect in the near future during my continuing academic ventures.
Above all else, however, I’m here writing this for one reason: the ACT. Throughout my career in public education, I’ve taken quite a large number of standardized tests. Ever since the third grade, I’ve been practically bombarded with bubble answer forms and more acronyms than you can shake a stick at, and I’ve always done pretty well on them. However, this one is probably one of the most important that I’ll take. For the first time, it’s not about proving that I’m meeting state standards for learning. It’s about college entrance, something that will play a big part in my life for the next year or so. It’s quite the daunting task, but that’s where this blog comes in. I’ve made it through the other tests without studying or really preparing, but this time I’ll be ready. I’m going to go through review books and materials, and I’m going to strive to do as well as I can.
I know that it’s going to be a very long and demanding voyage for the next few months leading up to the test, and I know that the processes of applying for scholarships and colleges won’t be very easy either and that there will probably be a lot of stress along the way. However, I’m not going to give in. I’m going to be ready and prepared, and I’m going to show life who’s boss.