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It’s 2002, homecoming at Polytechnic High School. Yours truly is the A track Princess, in the running for Homecoming Queen. Oh, I’ve got it in the bag. I’m walking across the gym floor as my name is announced, Efrain Estrada is on my arm to my left. The crowd is going wild saying my name, whistling, screaming, and cheering with glee. Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the announcement. The Homecoming Queen is, dun dun dun dun, Miriam! Eerrkk!! Hold up, come again. The crowd begins to boo, and groups of people say “we love you Alicia!” ” I love you too!” I yell back. Flabbergasted, I smile for the yearbook picture with a look of false humility and confusion written all over my face.

People were outraged. The following week of school was insane. People were convinced there was cheating involved. The culprit, Tanya Madrigal. At the voting both, which she was responsible for, she told numerous amounts of  people they couldn’t vote unless they voted for Miriam, according to various reliable sources. The by laws state that the counting of the ballots must be in the presence of an adult.  Well, that never happened in this case. Here’s the cold part about everything, we were all in Leadership together{Miriam, Tanya, and I }, and Leadership is responsible for Homecoming and everything that comes along with it {e.g. voting}.

I, being the person I am, couldn’t just sit silently watching this all unfold and do nothing. At the same time, any rebuttal from me will most definitely come across as me  being a sore loser. Let me tell you I can handle losing, I was a toddler in a tiara for crying out loud; I’ve dealt with far more important defeats than this. This is a drop in the bucket for me. I have crowns and sashes that easily put these to shame.

The tension in the leadership class is thick. There are several people in my ear telling me things like, “this isn’t right Alicia. Somebody has to do something.” Of course I’m the one nominated to complete the task of addressing the situation. So I do. Ugh! I look and sound like an idiot. It doesn’t help that I’m emotional about the whole thing because an injustice has been done to me. It’s all around Humiliating. Fast forward a few days and I’m painting a banner and Mr. Le Clair, the B track leadership teacher, comes up to me, its just the two of us, and he says something to the effect of, ” Alicia, you are so RESILIENT. Do you know what that means?” “No,” I snapped back slightly annoyed that he was even talking to me.  He recommended that I look it up in the dictionary. Luckily one of my favorite things to do is look up words in the dictionary, and No I am not being facetious. The dictionary is one of my best friends. Funny, I still looked it up reluctantly just because the directive came from him. Oh, but once I read the word, learned the definition, and integrated it into my being, I had a new found respect for him.

Resilient: Returning to the original form or position AFTER being Bent, Compressed, or Stretched{One of my favorite definitions of the word}. Did you catch that? AFTER being Bent {visualize it}, Compressed {pressed into less SPACE, condensed, pressed together, flattened by or as if by PRESSURE},or STRETCHED out { do you see it?}.  A runner up; Re Covering READILY from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; Buoyant {tending to float in fluid, Cheerful or Invigorating}. THIS IS AMAZING ! I AM Resilient. I love this!.

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