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Community Voices

This I Believe: Chalk

Jatin Dhamrait midshot
Beatrice Bonner
/
NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS
Jatin Dhamrait - Springfield High School

Chalk is what I believe in; I believe in the dusty, white, annoyingly porous material that nearly every teacher despises. Chalk has been intertwined in my life for a multitude of years, from laying on the ground near the street to understanding Java code in the classroom, I have grown to fully appreciate the importance of chalk as an analogy for life. 

Chalk is so dear to me because of my mom, who aided me in time of need. Due to physical impediments, I was unable to speak until four which forced me to learn faster than the average child. My mom always told me to imagine a “mental chalkboard,” with which I would imagine writing down words to aid my learning. She emphasized the importance of chalk: you can erase what you wrote, but there is always going to be a speckle of dust or an impression of rock on your chalkboard. You can erase what is on your chalkboard to make room for more information, but you will have been impacted by the knowledge preceding your changes.

To this day, I still imagine a chalkboard if I am trying to memorize a statement or imagine a complex equation. This is not just relevant to me, but also any person. As people grow and learn, they remember information from past experiences and events in their lifetime. In this way, a chalkboard is like a brain, people remember knowledge in their brain, writing information on their chalkboard as my mom once taught me. 

Chalk is greatly associated with life. As I observe people’s actions, I realize life is just like a chalkboard. Some people remember an event, but there is not enough space on their chalkboard, so they have to move on past that memory. Alternatively, some people attempt to forget a memory because it causes them harm. But as much as they try to erase it from their brain, the imprint, or dust, is still there -- the remnants of the memory still exist. Chalk is a source of understanding for my life. When I act or make a decision, I think about how it will affect me in a grand scheme. I understand that every decision I make creates an imprint on my life just like chalk on a chalkboard. I believe in chalk to influence my decisions when I face problems. I believe in chalk to be a metaphor for life. I believe in chalk. 

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