The two most sleepless nights of my childhood were a yearly occurrence. Fueling my insomnia was anticipation. One night, Christmas Eve, was for the surprises Santa Claus would bring, and the other was the night before Easter, for the hidden colored eggs I would soon search for.

Both are exciting to a small child, but I took a particular fondness to searching for Easter eggs. It’s a completely ridiculous exercise and to this day I still have no idea what the meaning of an Easter egg hunt is, but it was the perfect activity for the completely ridiculous child that I was. Because in my mind, I was the best Easter egg finder there ever was.

My strategies were methodical. My system was infallible. Every inch was scanned, every closet opened, every drawer checked, every room meticulously covered until the two dozen colored eggs had emerged. It didn’t matter where they were hidden: behind all of the soup cans, in the microwave or on top of a lamp twice my height, none of them could evade my egg-hunting prowess.

Even outside of colored eggs, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find things. Trying to find things is a lot of what education is. I discovered that when given an equation, I could find ‘x’ pretty easily, and before I knew it I was in college studying engineering, trying to find more things.

But finding things is tiring. Eventually finding the eggs becomes a laborious task, done to prevent a forgotten egg from rotting away in its hiding spot. Some can live a fulfilling life of finding things, but as I went on I continued to think that maybe the “finding life” wasn’t for me.

As the oldest of four siblings, I had mastered the art of pretending to believe in Santa and the Easter bunny. Even though they would leave out the best cookies they made for Santa, it was still slightly depressing to eat the cookies, tricking them into thinking it was the jolly old man. But far less depressing was hiding Easter eggs for my youngest siblings.

Finding the most ridiculous spots to hide an egg was a blast. It was the same enjoyment I once experienced when uncovering the eggs was flipped, and scheming to find the craziest hiding spots and thinking of the laughter my siblings would have when they uncovered it. The same laughter of my own childhood. The contentment in being the egg hunter had been replaced with that of the egg hider.

Just like the eggs, one thing I’ve found out from my years of education is that I’ve always loved watching and helping others find things. Learning material is wonderful, but explaining it to others and watching them understand is much more enjoyable.

I’ve spent much of my time at school volunteering with high school students as a tutor, a mentor and someone to help them not just find ‘x’ but their own path. And the chance to help them find these things, the chance to perhaps inspire them, is why I do it. The excitement of seeing my siblings find the Easter eggs, the lightbulb moment of a student when he or she figures out a solution, is why I want to teach.

For now, I’m still on the path of an engineering degree that my application out of high school put me on. Perhaps I have more things to find for myself, but one day I’ll find my way back to the classroom, to teach students to find their own way.

David Harris is an Engineering sophomore.

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