Personal Connection to Characters

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Early on in my life I learned that life is not easy and that there are bumps in the road that may throw you off track, just like Tess did. My family moved from Michigan back to Ohio in 2004. At first, things went smoothly and we were figuring things out. But after about 8 months, I wasn’t so naïve. I was walking to school with my older brother, who was in 7th grade at the time, and I was in 2nd grade. He was fruastrated because my parents had a fight. Being the curious 8 year old I was, I asked him, “Why were they fighting?” Troy snapped back at me, “Because we’re poor!” I immediately became confused. How could we be poor? We had food, a home, and clothes. Did poor people have homes, food to eat, and clothes on their back? Troy continued to explain how Mom and Dad were still paying for the house in Michigan as well as the one in Oakwood. “But we don’t live there anymore. Why do we still pay for it?” I asked, still very confused and becoming more concerned by the second. Troy told me he didn’t know. It took my family 18 months to sell our house in Michigan and it has impacted us financially ever since. That was a speed bump we weren’t expecting. Financial issues aren’t the only things that can be unexpected and difficult. There are emotional speed bumps too. When my family moved back to Ohio I felt like my world was collapsing in on me. I was 3 years old when we moved to Michigan, so everything that I really knew and remembered was in Michigan. My house, my friends, school, parks… everything. I was seven years old when I was told that everything that I knew was going to change in less than a month. That’s a big change for someone of that age.

My first few days at Smith Elementary were rough. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know my surroundings. After a year of being at Oakwood I was familiar with the school and town. But I still felt out of place. I made friends but I didn’t make any strong connections with anyone. As the years went on I moved from group to...
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