My name is Allison Lee. I am from Woodbine, Iowa, which is about a 3 hour drive on the interstate from Lamoni. My mom and dad, Curtis and Lynnette Lee, also attended Graceland along with most of my relatives. My dad graduated with a Business Administration degree and my mom became a Registered Nurse through the Independence campus. My older brother Nathan graduated from University of Northern Iowa last year and is a successful business salesman in multiple products. Most recently, insurance. If you need any, he can hook you up. Even if you don't, he's very persuasive and will more than likely get you to buy anyways. My younger brother Kevin is a junior in high school this year and is crazy busy helping my dad and grandpa start planting and running track. We have one dog, a brown Australian Shepard name Cocoa. She's friendly to most people as long as they're not men, do not show fear, do not come too close to her, and they're not bigger than her.
I have a large extended family that I grew up with, and though we don't get to see each other as much as we did when we were younger, we are all still close. My family, being my parents and brothers, were kind of the odd balls of both sides of my family. We lived in small town Iowa where our rush hours consist of tractors, grain trucks, and various livestock trailers. Everyone else live in the Kansas City/Independence area where most people don't know the difference between corn and soy beans. Yet, for almost all holidays, family time was set aside for both my dad and mom's side. Major holidays would be alternated, so if I had Thanks Giving with the Lee's then I would have Christmas with the Jenson's. Some of my greatest memories come from family holidays. From nearly deadly games of cards (which I wish I were exaggerating), to broken bones, fireworks making b-lines for faces, amazing food, laughing, crying, sometimes on top of the world, sometimes in the deepest, darkest valleys. My family is always there like a safety net: it doesn't matter if you fall, they'll always be there to catch you.
But my family extends beyond blood. Woodbine is a small town, small enough that most of the people you meet in preschool at 4 years old, are more than likely going to be the same people you graduate with 14 years later. Over the years, you get really close to these people, whether you want to or not. Some you know better than others, but you still know everyone, and everyone knows you. After years growing up and basically all sharing the same childhood we all became really close. We all participated in the same sports and activities generally. During school, we all shared the same classes. We didn't have much of a choice to get along with each other. After graduation it's hard to say goodbye. Of course we all move on and are just fine, but people I was used to seeing everyday for most of my life are now scattered across the nation all pursing their dreams just like me. Sad, but awesome to see where we all started and where were all going.
During high school I ran Cross Country in the fall, and track in the spring. During the winter I'd play basketball. I mostly enjoyed cross country because of the runners themselves, not necessarily the running itself, though I will have eternal respect for anyone who runs cross country because its crazy hard. Basketball is by far the most rewarding and challenging sport I ever took part in. For ever a decade Woodbine Girls' basketball had not seen a winning season until my senior year. Those wins were a reflection of long hours in the summer lifting and open gyms, and early mornings with late practices in the winter. Track was socially and physically one of the most fun sports. I only ever ran relays, which to me seems like the perfect balance of individual and team competition. You have to run your leg of the race well, your relay team depends on you, but you it's only you who is running your leg of the race. In addition to sports I participated in theatre and choir. I had one of the best teachers in the world as my director. I participated in three years of theatre and competitive speech. I'll be honest, my freshman year I thought speech was kind of dorky, but that's okay because I tried it sohpomore year, I loved it and I'm a dork anyways, so it all evens out. High school was a very fun time of my life, but I was definitely ready to graduate. My high school experience was only great because of my friends.
In college I attend Graceland to study Computer Science and Mathematics. My room mate, Heather Smith, and I are members of the hall Shalom. I am a member of the ACM branch of Graceland and Math club. Previous to Graceland, I had absolutely no programming experience. I decided to study computer science because I wanted to be the wizard behind the magic that computers are capable of. There are days where I wonder if I chose the right major because computers can be really tough. But at the end of the day I will always stand by computer science because it truly is really fun. It's hard, and frustrating definitely, but SO rewarding. I have a long ways to go, but I cannot wait to join the computing community as an equal.
Beyond school, I have many hobbies and interests. I love to play piano, and used to play competitively until my teacher passed away my junior year, prematurely ending my formal piano career. Though I still play today, it's not even close to the way I used to be able to play. I actually earned my second degree black belt along side my best friends Meagan Andersen and Melissa Sherer. If you need any half in boards broken, ask any of the three of us, we would gladly break it for you with a variety of kicks and elbow strikes. I'm a certified lifeguard and water safety instructure. I have worked at Woodbine's pool for 4 years, but my last year of lifeguarding will be spent at Guthrie Grove Retreat Center in Guthrie Center. My career in lifeguard has taught me that pools are the weirdest places to work. I drive a cute 2003 Taurus that has a lot of great dents that give it character. My favorite color I think is yellow. Not the yellow that practically smacks you in the eye-balls, but a nice pastille yellow that can be seen at sunsets. I absolutely hate spiders because they're the devil's idea of a joke. I have a bucket list I have every intent to complete before I die. I love dogs and will one day own a Sharpei.