Alexa Proof 006

 Alexandra Paleka

“From now on you’ll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey.” (~The Princess Diaries)

Alexandra Paleka graced the world with her presence in Howell, MI on August 31, 1998. She is the oldest of two, her sister being born in 2001. Her family now resides in the city of Burlington, WI and Wheatland Township, where Alexandra is the reigning Miss Wheatland 2016. Alexandra attended St. Alphonsus grade school in New Munster as a child, where she had a populous class of twelve students (she was one of three girls). She has always enjoyed English whether it was winning the spelling-bee (multiple times), reading, and even language arts.

She continued her educational career at Catholic Central High School in Burlington, WI, where she graduated with a slightly larger class of fifty-two students. This bright young woman was devoted to her education and graduated fourth in her class! She continued her interest in English by taking several AP and elective classes including AP Literature, AP Language, and Journalism. Throughout school, she became very involved in many different school and community organizations. Alexandra won the Critics Choice award for earning gold at the state level all four years of high school, placing her in the top .5% of Forensics participants in the WHSFA. She was the founder and president of the student-run Worldwide Community Charity Club, which fundraised over $1,000 for global charities in just two years of existence and continues its legacy today. Alexandra was also the National Honors Society Vice-President her junior year of high school and moved up in ranking her senior year to President, where she added new communications and additional programming. She was the Co-founder/Current Events Editor for the digital newspaper, the CCHS Post. Alexandra also was the Summer Reading Program Coordinator at Burlington Public Library. Throughout her time in high school, Alexandra received many awards and scholarships. Her highlights include representing as a Badger Girls State Delegate, and being awarded the Better Business Bureau Student of Integrity Scholarship which was presented to her at the BBB of Wisconsin Torch Awards for Ethics featuring the best business leaders in Wisconsin!

Alexandra decided to continue with her private education at St. Norbert College where she is currently enrolled in English 305: Literary Theory and Writing. She has such a love for writing that–even though she did not need to take this class–she felt she wanted to challenge herself to learn new perspectives on the subject. She began her college journey at the ripe age of seventeen! Besides being a full time student, Alexandra also has a job on campus working as a Social Media Specialist for the Honors Program, where she manages social media accounts, writes for the newsletter (the Honors Pulse), and consults with the director to implement new ideas for improving the honors program! In just a short amount of time, Alexandra has gotten herself involved in many different things at St. Norbert College. She is a First-Year Representative on the Student Government Association, as well as a social media specialist and production crew member for GreenKnight TV.

Though it may come as a surprise, Alexandra is not an English major! In fact, she is a Communications and Media Studies major. English 305, however, has persuaded her to adopt an English emphasis along with her original Business emphasis. As if Alexandra does not do enough, she is also pursuing a Spanish language certificate. Her intention is to go into the PR field, where she can hopefully be able to put her communication and writing skills to good use. She is a very bright girl with a very promising future!

A Virgo to the core, it is through things like her OCD personality and very present obsession with Post-Its that you are able to see the many wonderful sides of Alexandra Paleka. When she has a goal, she meets it. As her peer review partner the entire semester, I can personally attest that her writing–which at the beginning of the course may have intimidated some because of how well spoken she is–continued to improve as the semester went on. She excelled at her detailed outlines, making it easier for her to actually put her papers together.  From her first essay on the “Loss of Childhood Innocence in Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” you can see just how in-depth Alexandra goes to fulfill her readers’ expectations. She uses many wonderful and on-topic quotes from the text to truly help pull everything together. In her “Abstract of Iser’s How to Do Theory“, she is able to summarize enough to where the reader is intrigued, but not bored. She makes her intentions clear and answers any questions her readers may have. In her psychoanalytic paper, “Edna’s Discovery of Self in Chopin’s The Awakening: A Jungian Psychoanalysis,” Alexandra gives her readers knowledge on Freudian principles while also focusing in on Jung’s proposed theory of collective unconscious. It is through this writing that we see the true complexity of Alexandra’s writing, and just how brilliantly she puts it all together. We get to see a different side of Alexandra through her writing of “Alice’s Exploration of Feminine Identity in Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass.” In this writing, she shows us that sex itself can affect the psychological development of youth, and that sex should not be the deciding factor of a woman’s life. A quote she used in her paper which was said by Emma Watson was “I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.” This quote truly brings everything together for Alexandra. It exemplifies who she is as a writer as well as a person. She makes her own decisions and takes off with them, not letting anyone bring her down.

~Jackie Herlache