It is said that “home is where the heart is,” and I never truly understood this quote until I moved to Arizona. My family moved several different times, before finding the place we knew, and felt would be our home for the rest of our lives. Whenever we moved, we lost intimacy with the land and the house. A house was just a house. I have now lived in Arizona for 8 years and it has become my home. My heart now resides in Arizona. My soul belongs to the warm summer days, kindling my passion of education, culture, and beauty.

It is in Arizona where I met the professor that inspired my character and educational beliefs. On the first day of school, this wise professor quoted Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the a strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

This is my core belief of education. I could have possibly received a 4.0 GPA, however, I wanted to challenge myself, and I wanted to expand the knowledge in my mind. I took classes determined on what I would learn not how many ranking points it would give me. I took a full schedule for my senior year in hope that I would learn something new every day. In Arizona, the professors are determined to help all students learn, blind to race, religion, or intelligence. Teaching is not just a job, but also an art, and no one knows this better than the teachers of Arizona do.

Arizona flourishes with culture. Most of Arizona was received in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after the Mexican-American War. The sweetheart state was admitted into the Union on February 14, 1912. Arizona is known for its warm summers and mild winters. The culture of Arizona is also very diverse, there are several Native American tribes scattered throughout the state. The Native Americans bring a sense of tradition, and originality that not many other states have. The art and jewelry brought by the Native Americans add an originality that flourishes in Arizona. We also have an eccentric Sheriff Joe that is known throughout the world for his creative prison tactics.

Arizona has a unique beauty, not trees, water, or forests, however, a desert wonderland filled with a plethora of cacti and a piercing scar, piercing through Arizona. Better known as the Grand Canyon; we are proud to call these unique aspects of our own. The beauty of Arizona is hard to deny. With several National parks, it isn’t hard to see the beauty of Arizona.

Arizona is a diamond in the rough, and not many have noticed its unique beauty, or experienced it proliferating education system. I have, however, and from my first-hand experience, I am proud to call myself an Arizonian.