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Doreen Saar's Autobiography (submitted 5/17/06)
I committed forgery and changed my life.
My mother, a proud Hispanic woman, believed family was the most important thing in life and women must abandon their needs for the family. By the time I was in high school, I knew I would die if I could not go to college. We were poor and my mother had decided that I, the eldest, must take a job immediately after finishing high school to help support the family. I slyly fought against the plan by choosing an academic track and not gaining skills that would guarantee I would grow old in a typing pool. Miraculously, the high school's overcrowding saved me for only vocational students were allowed to finger the precious typewriters.
Eventually, my desire to apply for college became a guerilla war. My mother discovered her quiet daughter was a wild child, carelessly throwing away money from my job on milkshakes and movies. In actuality, I was hoarding that money for applications. The war seemed won until I discovered no college would give a scholarship without a signed financial aid form. I had filled out the form by looking at my parents' simple tax return (all important papers were kept in "the box") but how could I ask her to sign it? She would never have allowed me to continue. Driven by my deep desire for college, I practiced her signature until I could sign it perfectly on the last line of the form.
My forgery resulted in a full scholarship to college. Knowing that college would cost nothing and that I would pay for myself, I was allowed to go to college and I kept on until I had a Ph.D. My mother never forgave me for my selfishness but, sometimes, some crimes are greater than others.