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My Last Beginning

As I begin my internship at Hippocampus Magazine working in the social media area, and garnering sponsors for their big event this summer – Hippocamp, I am reminded that this is my last beginning at Bay Path University.

It seems like just yesterday that I signed up for my first summer classes with Sister Karol Jackowski and Kate Whouley, and met so many new friends, virtually, through our writing, workshops, and video conference calls. It all seemed so new and wild to me, and for weeks I never thought I would get in a groove of writing my assignments and then commenting on others, within the time frame. After a few weeks, I had it down, and signed up for more classes the second I could.

I read about so many who had the chance to travel to Dingle, Ireland to take part in the field seminar, and I dreamed of that happening for me. Little did I know that the following summer I would be in Dingle, getting prompts from Dinty Moore and Tommy Shea (my idols!) and reading in front of a large group. (my biggest fear!)

When I first began my classes I was also doing biological research, and with the guidance of Sister Karol, I wrote my very first poem. Since then I have had the great fortune of having many of them published, and with each publication comes a tiny voice that says I can do this.

With my biological research came some knowledge of how my life began, who gave birth to me, who my brother is (or half-brother perhaps), and who my father may be. I learned that when I was given up I had a name different than the one I call myself today. My biological mother, Cynthia, named me Monica Anne Dickinson after her mother, with what I think was a way for me to be accepted into her home. If that was her plan, it did not work however, and I was given up for adoption sometime in the first year of my life. My records were sealed, my name was changed, and I was hidden away close enough to be near her, but so deeply that not even she would ever be able to find me.

Somewhere around eight months of age, with only a name, I was to begin again. Looking back, it is hard to imagine anyone coming into this world with less than I had, but I was given a new start, and to loving parents who changed my name immediately to Christine Ann Brooks.

As I write this, in the last class I will attend at Bay Path before graduating in May, a sense of melancholy has come over me. I have made friends that I will have forever, learned how to become a better writer, better listener and better person, in ways that I could never have seen coming when I sat in front of my laptop 1.5 years ago and said, Hello? Can you hear me? My name is Chris Brooks, and someday I hope to be published.