"My senior year of high school, I took a class where, among other things, we had the complete freedom to choose how and what we wanted to write about the things we read. One of the books that we read was “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. It’s a compilation of stories about Vietnam that is based upon the author’s own experiences. What struck me most about this book was the way that it played with narrative and personal “truth,” challenging my own conceptions of historical narrative and the truth in fiction writing. It taught me to trust my own interpretations of literature as being valid, and allowed me to start on a path of continually pushing myself to think and write critically about the things I read."