Learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom. Those experience shape who we are. Describe your most significant and memorable learning experience. ************************************************************ Contraholics Anonymous Hello; my name is Erin and Im a Contraholic. This will be my fifth year since I started. Actually, my father got me hooked on contra. He picked up the habit from my Aunt and brought it back with him. I had never heard of contra prior to his addiction. Little did I know how this folk dance would impact the course of my life. My Dad used to drag me to the contra hall every weekend but I refused to participate. Id sit on the sidelines and watch as everyone else enjoyed themselves. But my defenses and excuses gradually began to weaken as a result of the persistence of my father and his contra friends. In the end it was too strong for me and before I knew it my feet were moving by themselves. In a short time I found myself allemanding and gypsying all over the floor. I was hooked. It would be a lie if I said I didnt enjoy it. It was relatively easy to do once I learned the basic steps. Everyone did the same thing at the same time so there wasnt any of the self-consciousness that comes with freestyle dancing. The contra hall became my second home and I felt a connection to not only the contra community but the larger family of mankind. I began to use contra on a regular basis to escape the drama and boredom of everyday life. Contra didnt judge me; it was my best friend. I didnt experience any peculiar symptoms leading up to infection but my family began to notice changes in my personality. They were puzzled by my new self-confidence and positive attitude. My self-esteem increased and an appreciation for the differences in myself and in others began to surface. Individuality and understanding became my goals in life. The diversity of people I encountered compelled me to develop social skills and patience. I also made good acquaintances over a wide range of ages. I found the eldest Contraholics to be the most insightful. They had good advice for every situation and listened with compassion. As the disease progressed I began to experience spontaneous bouts of toe-tapping and rhythm counting. Complications arose as the addiction spread to other branches of dance. I soon began to show symptoms of Latinism, Ballroomism, Swingism, and Zydecoism. My horizons broadened as I became more aware and receptive of other cultures traditions. This pursuit also became one of my goals in life. I have come to accept my condition. It will affect me for the rest of my life. There is no cure for my particular case, nor do I wish to be cured. Contra is who I am, and I am proud to be a Contraholic!
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