I. Early development
B. Parents, siblings, and significant others.
C. Childhood experiences.
II. Adolescence years
C. Relationship with peers
III. Adult Life
A. Adult family
1. Sexual Influences on my development
IV. Relationships and perceptions
A. Relationships in terms of quality with male/female friends
B. Perceptions of me
C. My personality
V. Interests and influences
A. Recreational interests
B. Other likes and dislikes
C. Role models and significant others
A short autobiography
On 15th July 21, 2009 my mother was driven to Hutzel Hospital by my father after realizing she could give birth anytime. Why my mother decided to deliver in a different hospital from the one she was working as a nurse still perturbs me. She has now worked as a nurse at the Henry Ford Hospital for twenty two years but decided to give birth to her child in the Hutzel Hospital. After my birth, my mother Denise Gholston gave me the name Brandon Gholston. My brother, Tommy Gholston (age 24), is my only sibling. When I was born, he was barely two years old and used to hide under the table from me. He recently graduated from Michigan State with a B.S. in business management. Tommy was a sweet child who would do almost anything for me but like all siblings we fought like dogs and cats when we were young. When my parents were not around, Tommy would come up to me and kick my back for no apparent reason. I still love him and he loves me back because we are the only siblings in the family. My father, David Gholston, is currently deceased. His death brought our family closer to each other and motivated us to work hard so that we can meet our dreams. He worked as a General Motors machine operator before passing in December 1999 due to multiple sclerosis. I grew up around an urban environment in the inner city area of Detroit’s west side, not too far from Highland Park, Michigan. My father always liked to drive us around to show us the city and talk a lot about Henry Ford and his enormous legacy in the city. ‘No Ford no Detroit’ is a phrase he often repeated especially when any issue relating to the city came up. Though my brother and I had little interest in the city’s history, my father always enjoyed every free moment he could get to tell us Detroit stories. One day when we were on holiday, we went for a bicycle ride with my father and brother. Since the day was so hot without a cloud on site, we decided to stop at the park and rest a little. I went to the swing at the park and asked my father to push me. My father always enjoyed playing with the two of us and did not hesitate to push me. After a couple of minutes I got bored and my head started hurting. Dad did push me one more time and when I tried to slow myself down, I caught foot and fell hard on the grass and then onto hard concrete. Though I did not sustain any serious injuries, I began crying and screaming instantly as the pain from my body shot up into my brain. My brother was so amused by this that he spent the he spent the rest of the afternoon making fun of me.
Below are the schools I have attended:
· Durfee Elementary School (grades K-8th)
· Martin Luther King Jr. High School
· Wayne County Community Colleges
Growing up I attended Durfee Elementary School (grades K-8th) from 1994 until 2002. During my first day at school I was terrified. I cried on my way to school but refrained when we arrived. I still don’t quite understand what led to my outburst because when I was informed that I was going to attend school, I was overjoyed. My brother would repeatedly make fun of me because of my outburst. When he joked about how school terrified me like a jungle in Africa, my parents would find this amusing. I worked hard in my elementary school and achieved modest grades good enough to book a place at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. I started school at the age of seven at Durfee Elementary school. Because of my perfect school attendance, I won an award in fifth grade at Durfee. My dreams of going to a community college started early in my life when I was still at the elementary school. My parents, especially my father, took high interest in our education. I am currently attending Wayne County Community Colleges mental health program. My careers aspirations are to one day obtain a masters degree in social work (MSW). A couple of months ago, I met up with some of my high school friends that we hadn’t seen each other in years. As we shopped from mall to mall, we reminisced about our life at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. We talked a lot about where we were and what we were planning to do with our future. I realized that I had achieved a lot in my life that day and this inspired me to yearn for more in the years to come. At the age of twenty one, though I am still very young, I feel good about my life and I know it has been great so far.
Through my teenage years I was really happy but like any adolescent, I had my bad days. I had more than enough friends to look out for me during the bad days and to have fun with when everything was okay. Summer is everyone’s favorite time of the year. It is holiday time, no school, and one can always relax with friends whenever one wants. Though I am a one girl sought of a guy, it is always nice to see girls during summertime. The summer of 2002 was different because I now had a new girlfriend. I had my first ‘real date’ when I was fifteen. I had just joined high school and looking forward to an exciting high school life. The Detroit Lions had just started playing in the state of the art Ford Field and I was on my way there when we met at an ice-cream parlor. We picked up immediately and the first two months of our relationship were relatively the happiest in my life so far. My first girlfriend Diane also helped me heal any negative impact that the death of my father might had on me. Our favorite places to go included movies, dinner, and we once went to an amusement park. Though I am now single, I don’t staying that way is good for anyone. Having someone special for a soul mate fulfills life in a way that I can’t quite describe. After being together for almost four years, we finally broke up during the prom night at the end of our senior year. We had a lot of similarities between each other but differences started to increase as we grew older. I guess adolescent transformation contributed a great deal to our relationship challenges. Our respect for each other though never wavered and we managed to work out our differences in a very mature manner. I planned to hang around after high school but Diane had different ideas. He wanted to go to the East Coast and to New York to be exact. We therefore decided to let each other go and the right moment for that happened to be the prom night.
Ever since I joined elementary school when I was little, I took a keen interest in arts and languages and got good grades in them. It was always As and Bs on my report cards. Though I remained committed to achieve good grades, I didn’t study that hard for subjects I thought I was good at. I believe that I developed more socially, emotionally, and intellectually during my Martin Luther King Jr. High School years more than any other time in my life. Martin Luther King Jr. High School attracted students from every part of Detroit, and this helped me meet personalities from every walk of life. The school provided a rigorous academic environment and set my basis for the future. I also managed to learn invaluable lessons on how to deal with others, authorities, peers, relatives, ‘in-laws’, and family too. It was in Martin Luther King Jr. High School that I learned the extent of my academic and social strengths and got the tools to pursue my dreams to the fullest extent possible. Martin Luther King Jr. High School also taught me how to make the best of any situation. My parents were also instrumental in shaping my beliefs and personality. My brother Tommy also helped and inspired me to take education seriously and base my aspirations on education. He recently graduated from Michigan State with a B.S. in business management. I love almost every sport I know of. At Martin Luther King Jr. High School I played football at tight end and outside linebacker during my second year. I also like to keep fit so I attended the gym consistently especially during winters. For the few months I played football our coach was terrible but I later understood his stern attitude was only meant for our success. We would run the perimeter of the practice field everyday for at least an hour and later do a workout while he watched every minute of it. I didn’t play any other game in high school but I guess playing football was enough for me.
I’ve always been a shy kid and very selective of friends. I’m currently single. My best friend’s
name is Donald. Though I have been very selective of my friends, I like meeting new people. My mother always told me to overcome my shy personality and be more outgoing. It was hard to heed to her advice but it paid to try. At least I can say that I managed to meet a lot of people who gave me their insight on life. Sometimes I get vivid pictures of my childhood. I then feel as if these memories are projected in front of me. Tommy and my parents and I would go to trips together and I remember my father joining us in our games while my mother videotaped every instance. Those are some of the happiest memories in my life. My mother tells me that I was energetic, affectionate but shy and that I always said hi to anyone with a big grin.
During the summer of 2005, I did my first job as a busboy at Fishbone Restaurant. I cleared dirty dishes, took them to the dishwasher, and assisted the waiting staff. I would take water; serve initial drinks and introductory food such as bread to customers. Occasionally, I will refill the customers’ water or get them more bread. I also cleaned up spills in the dining room and the kitchen. I helped the waiting staff carry extra food and always reset the tables when the customers left. I didn’t have any clear feeling about the busboy job. I can’t say whether I hated or loved the busboy job. I did however hate some of my working colleagues and some customers. Some of the waiting staff would try to be condescending to the only people below them in the hotel business hierarchy. Some customers enjoyed tormenting their servers with all manner of weird complains and behavior, others were angels. I don’t like being stationery but it came with the job. I would be assigned a certain station or an area of tables which I will serve until my shift ends. My mother would say that I was destined for great things if my first job was that of a busboy. She told me that Martin Luther King and actor Al Pacino were both busboys and they turned out all fine. I used to tell her that Martin Luther could have been a busboy at some point in his life but definitely not Al Pacino. He looks very gangster or Mafia like, I would argue but mum would remind me that she was an actor. It was a nice feeling to be doing something on my own and getting a little cash for it. I will receive an hourly wage and also receive tips whenever the wait staff felt I should. I got my second job in 2007 after completing my high school. I worked at Cadence Innovation as a
machine operator for the whole year of 2007. This was a very decent job compared to my earlier occupation. My job usually entailed final product inspection, confirming the requuired color, dimensional and other impact characteristics. I was supposed to make sure that all the customer’s requirements were met and that he or she was satisfied. Other responsibilities included plastic injection, trim, packaging, light assembly, and product labeling.
Currently I am attending Wayne County Community Colleges mental health program. I am single but I am planning to get a girlfriend as soon as I find the right one. My mother did not like the idea of me breaking up with Diane but I felt convinced that it was for the interest of all of us. I have not started dating yet though it is not among my priorities. Though I have been in a number of relationships, I cannot claim to be exactly an expert on relationships. I am not exactly sure how I will go about the business of identifying the woman who would give birth and raise our children. I plan to get married one day and start a stable family just like the one my father and mother established and nurtured. If I meet a lady who has the same plans and hopefully likes me then we will start a family. I don’t plan to tie the knot before I attain the age of twenty six. I plan to concentrate on my studies for the next few years and get my masters in social work.
All my life I have had the desire to help people and that is one of the reasons why I aspire to do masters in social work. I have been involved in organizations that involve themselves in volunteer work to support those in need. I make regular donations to charitable organizations whenever possible especially if those it targets to help do not have any other source. For instance I donate any amount that I can afford to Oxfam and its projects in Darfur. Watching the people in Darfur on Television and reading about their situation in Sudan made me wonder if life is in any way fair. Knowing that I could contribute to the alleviation of suffering of the people in Darfur even in the tiniest way makes me feel better. I am also a member Project Volunteer, a Wayne State University student community service organization. We participate in volunteer projects with an aim of improving the Detroit Area. We work with organizations from the Detroit locality such as Blight Buster, Volunteer Impact, and Environmental Vision so as to make a positive impact on the Detroit area. I believe deciding to work for a non-profit organization or a voluntary outfit in ones community is a worthwhile method of spending my spare time. This is why I am willing not only to work with such organizations during my spare time but make it my life career. Apart from fulfilling my desires when I work as a social worker, I will also get the chance to travel the United States and the world as well.
The China tour
During the summer of 2008, my mother and I went to the republic of China to travel. I preferred to go to Europe but my mother would not change her mind. I was amazed at the sheer size and number of people in the country. Our first stop Beijing, a huge city and the capital of the most populous nation in the world. The weather was hot owing to the warm and humid summer. When my mother told me Europe was out of question and our destination was China, I got bored. I didn’t know that I was in for a major surprise. It was Olympic year and everything looked hectic. The sheer size of the city startled me. The free talking cabbie who took us from the airport to the city center gave us a brief overview of life in Beijing and I couldn’t help laughing. His strange sense of humor coupled with an odd accent left me in bursts. My mother was too tired to care for the Chinaman satirical description of his motherland. He told us to make sure we visit the Tiananmen Square, the most important landmark in Beijing, after we got our rest. We heeded to his advice and toured the square. My mother told me that it made no sense to go to Beijing as a tourist and fail to visit its most important landmark and the world’s largest public square. Other places we visited in the city include:
· The bird’s nest. This was another must see. It is today the national stadium of the Republic of China and also the symbol of the 2008 Chinese Olympic games.
· The CCTV building
· The Forbidden city
· Beijing zoo. I was excited when we visited this zoo because I got a chance to see pandas.
· The Palace Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Forbidden city in Beijing.
· Fragrant Hills
Our visit in China was limited to the city of Beijing but we managed to visit The Great Wall of China, a one hour train trip away from Beijing. One of the things that struck me as strange with the Chinese is that they don’t tip. The Chinese consider tipping as something of an insult and rarely accept them. I wonder how I would have fared as a busboy in China. I immensely enjoyed my short time in China. The only disappointing thing that seemed to spoil the visit was air pollution. It was terrible to the point that it sometimes blocked the otherwise beautiful Beijing scenery.
I find it a little hard to describe my personality because other people and especially friends tend to understand ones personality better. I am a relatively reserved person to others but I consider myself to be outgoing. The reason why other people find me reserved is because of my tendency to be choosy when it comes to friends and acquaintances. However, I am a very sociable person in the company of family members and close friends. I also feel that I have a generous personality and this might explain my love for helping people and doing charity and social work. My best friend Donald tells me that such a character sometimes fades away as one gets older and faces different challenges in life. I usually tell him that I will welcome any life challenges and deal with them but make sure they don’t take my aspirations away. Other personality character that I feel I have include:
1. I feel that I have an independent personality. I am not easily swayed into doing something by peers. At the age of twenty years, I feel proud that I still have not abused any drugs and I plan to stay that way for the rest of my life. My independence personality has also something to do with why I am very selective when it comes to friends.
2. I feel that I am disciplined and at times somber. My brother Tommy is more adventurous and when we would go out with my family, my father used to challenge me to cheer up. I am very poor in feigning interest in something I consider boring or is of no interest to me.
3. My friend Donald tells me I am soft hearted and trusting but I don’t always agree with him. He cites my relationship with my first girlfriend Diane as proof of this fact.
4. I am calm and secure and rarely will you find me anxious. My mother has always taught me to prepare myself for any situation. She has taught me to work hard and always be on time. This helps someone to be calm and secure.
5. I believe I am a very hardworking person and I am committed to achieve all my dreams.
My favorite place is the Detroit Lake. Whenever I get free time, I like going fishing, camping, or hiking especially during summer. My father was the first person to take me hiking at Detroit lake together with my brother. Detroit Lake is a wonderful place to cool off and fish while enjoying the spectacular views of Mt. Jefferson. I make sure I visit the Lake whenever I have time to. A visit there offers me a full package of most of my favorite recreational activities. I once invited my former girlfriend Diane to go with me. She was so excited by the magnificent views, excellent wildlife and bird watching. Maybe I will take my kids to visit and enjoy all the fun at the Detroit Lake at least once in a year. I feel grateful to my father for introducing me to the beautiful lake.
I like playing many games including baseball, football, and basketball. I am not particularly great in any of the above games but rather an average and dedicated player. I also learnt how to play table tennis at Martin Luther King Jr. High School but played for only a year and a half. A friend of mine recently told me that it is similar to riding a bicycle, one never really forgets.
Likes and dislikes
As indicated earlier, I love fishing and hiking. I also like almost all types of sport but I only follow the major ones such as basketball, baseball, and football. I listen to different types of music including rock, rhythm and blues, rap, and other contemporary pop music especially the ones made for entertainment purposes. I love watching movies and going to the cinemas. At a personal level, I like travelling and meeting new people although I feel I have not quite explored this interest. When I complete my studies and found a good job, I plan to tour the world. I would love the idea of having an international job that would enable me tour the world and at the same time help people from any corner of the globe.
I don’t like cooking very much. What I don’t like more though is the fact that I don’t like cooking. I love and enjoy having a good meal and if I can myself one the better. I guess I got my dislike for cooking from my father. He rarely paid the kitchen a visit. I also do not like wasting my time or having someone else wasting my time. Time is a very valuable asset given to everyone. I believe time is abundant only to idle people so I try to use all the time I have in a productive way. I can’t stand friends whose idea of a perfect time is to engage in activities that have no useful outcome in the end.
As I indicated earlier, I have always highly regarded education and I believe it is one of the most important things to help one excel in life. I would like to have a stable family of two or three children. I hope that my personal and professional experiences will provide my family with a good foundation for success. I want to base my life and the life of my future of my family on five principles or virtues that I consider absolutely essential in life. These pillars include:
3. Hard work
5. Self belief and commitment
I would also like to be meeting my elder brother and his family regularly. I hope he will forget that I once cried on my first day in school. It will not be funny telling this to my future family and I guess I should have the privilege of doing that. I also hope that my generous virtue will not fade way as my best friend Donald claims. I believe my journey to obtain a masters degree in social work has already begun and I will achieve my goals.
Osborne, Brian D. Writing: Biography & Autobiography. A & C Black, 2005. Pp 6-19