Olivia Goll | Listen First, Guide Second

Document created by Sara Jo Lee on Mar 20, 2020
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Olivia Goll shares what drives her to achieve more.
My Journey to #AchieveMore
In ceramics, everything starts out with a hunk of clay. It's rough and unmolded. It's put onto a wheel and centered. Then, with patience and love, that potter takes that unmolded mess and refines it, using their hands to guide it into the perfect shape it's crying out to be. In the end, that hunk of clay is a dainty, well rounded tea cup, ready to be used with a defined purpose. This is my story on how I became that tea cup. Much like that clay, my school experience was rough and unrefined. I struggled with testing. There were many years of tears because I couldn't overcome my learning road blocks. I felt like I worked so much harder for my grades, when all I needed was the right mentor to help me understand. After finding that right tutor, she molded me into a shape. Rough as it was, I was at least centered on the wheel. Because of my struggles with education, I originally started as an Art Education major. I felt that students needed to be listened to in order to understand how to reach them and guide them. Then, one day, after working a fourteen-hour shift in the ceramic's lab, sweeping, mopping, and cleaning a seemingly endless amount of clay, I had an epiphany. In this lab I had found my place and my purpose. Just like a student, I taught clay its purpose through guidance. While standing in the ceramic's lab that night, I reflected on children I had volunteered with through SMART kids' literacy and STEM. These students from under-performing schools had art furthest from their minds. What started as constant distractions turned into interests. I brought art into the spotlight as a means of escape and adventure. Soon, my students were asking Why did Andy Warhol choose Marilyn Monroe? Why did Pollock paint like that? They were interested! Even after I made the decision to change my major to Ceramics, I continued to volunteer. Even though they went home to very different lives, we could come together every session and bond over our appreciation of art. I am so very grateful for this experience because it further reinforced my belief that obtaining a major in Ceramics was my calling. I need to be able to teach my craft. I want to mold these minds into something they never thought they could be. Art offers a bond that transcends everything. My desire to learn more in order to teach others, combined with my love of ceramics, is why I am applying to Tulane's School of Liberal Arts. As a Tulane student, I plan to harness my years of hard work and dedication to my studies to achieve my goals. With my passion and joy for art as well as teaching I feel like I have all the tools needed to excel. At the end of this journey, I would love to be able to teach ceramics and art and inspire each hunk of clay.

What Drives You to #AchieveMore?