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An Interesting Start in Life
She started her life on May 22, 1988, and was born to a homemaker and industrial worker, both of whom had grown up poor and worked hard to create decent lives for themselves.
From the time she was born, little Antoine was quite special, and it was pretty obvious. For one, she was the image of her mother--dark hair, big brown eyes (which would later become a lovely almond shape) and becoming complexion. She was also extremely vocal for an infant and would cry without fail every night. Each night her parents would have to cradle her until she, at last, fell asleep. Not that they really minded--Antoine was their first (and would also be their only) child, and from the day she came into the world both of them were extremely happy and jubilant.
When she neared the age of one, it was realized that she was also autistic. This surprised her parents, who could not believe it themselves, and it was recommended that she go to a special school upstate which specialized in educating children with learning disabilities. For the next few years her parents would tote her back and forth without fail, and when she grew older, they told her stories of how she would be asleep when they took her to school, how far the school was, how they got there.
The school did wonders for Antoine, and she had plenty of fun there. There would be Christmas pageants and field trips and many things to do, and she was never bored. Antoine got along with her classmates and adored her teachers, and there were no negative effects whatsoever from attending the school.
Gifted and Talented
When she started regular school for the first time, Antoine was also revealed to be an excellent student. Being autistic she was obviously mainstreamed, but that had no bearing on her academic performance whatsoever. Her report cards reflected being on time, cooperation, As and Bs and the occasional C, and at each parent/teacher conference her parents were graced with stories about how Antoine behaved in class and what a wonderful joy she was.
Her best subjects were English and Social Studies, although she also did well in Math, Science, and others. Besides being academically gifted, she was also talented in music, and later it would be revealed that she was also proficient in writing. Music was a passion of Antoine's--she joined the school choir in the third grade, and choir was something she stuck with until she was done with high school.
As she progressed from elementary school to middle school to, ultimately, high school, it soon became obvious that Antoine no longer needed to be mainstreamed, and sure enough, while she was in high school, she was taken out of the program. By that time she had a general idea of what autism was, and she was glad that she was no longer going to be in the mainstream program. Her parents were happy about it, too.
In high school, Antoine had many interests, among them choir, writing for the school paper, and her grades were excellent, resulting in high GPAs each semester. The few times she got a bad grade were more or less in math courses--but that did not necessarily mean she sucked badly at the subject. In her first semester of senior year she had already been offered a place at university, early admission, and was also a member of National Honor Society. She herself was surprised at the latter; she had no idea that she would be invited to join, as the majority of NHS members were top echelon, involved in more activities than she was, and generally got straight As. (Antoine was more of an A/B student.)
A month or so after graduating from high school, Antoine officially began studying at university. She had already picked a major of psychology (after long deliberation, she had a bit of trouble deciding if she wanted to major in English or music), and started off her studies with a general psychology course.
Antoine worked harder in college, and learned her lesson after a few bad semesters. By the time she was a senior she had sharpened her academic and study skills and by the time she graduated, she had made Dean's List both semesters of her senior year and finished her degree in four years with a 3.0 GPA, which was her original intent.
What helped Antoine to do so well academically was that she was curious, and aside from that was an avid reader. She read a great deal, and her mother would groan inwardly whenever she bought a new book (more or less because they took up room). She was also observant, and paid attention to detail.
And when she grew into an adult, her ability to learn and being educated would be major assets for her.
College was basically a time of change and growth for Antoine. She was involved in a few student organizations, loosely, but it would be her involvement in Greek life that would be the most defining. In her freshman year she joined a community service sorority, which would become part of Greek Council the spring semester of her junior year, and in her junior year she joined another sorority, this time Christian. Antoine was deeply proud of her sororities, and did not regret joining them one bit.
In her junior year, Antoine became a well respected figure in the Greek community. She was Vice President of House Affairs for her community service sorority, as well as Social Chair, and on top of that, also Vice President of Public Relations for the Hamptons Housing Association. The Hamptons, as it was called, was the second Greek Row at her university, because the main Greek Row had no room left for more houses. The Hamptons was prestigious--once you came in you did not want to leave, and offered several amenities such as a golf course, country club, and obviously, parties.
At the start of her senior year, things began to really get big for Antoine. She was made the Alternate Officer for Greek Council and was obviously popular now, since she was nominated for Homecoming Queen and other Greek superlatives. She lost the bid for Homecoming Queen to, of all people, her rival, Catherine, who was in another sorority; this loss was indeed a blow for her, but eventually she got over it and as an end result got even more popular in the Greek community because most people deeply despised Catherine. In her spring semester, the tables turned and Antoine delivered a crushing as well as humbling blow to Catherine, who was deposed as Greek Council President and lost to Antoine during Greek Week. Antoine graduated from university with a gold Greek Council pin and an equally sparkling Greek Goddess crown.
When she graduated from college, Antoine found herself using her degree in the least expected of ways: working in customer service. She had hoped to go on to graduate school and pursue a Masters in Social Psychology, but that never happened. Instead, she found herself behind a counter, ringing up purchases, handling consumer complaints, answering their questions, and obviously assisting them. She did that for two years before moving onto insurance, where she learned about Medicare and Medicaid, how to present insurance products to people, particularly seniors, and last but not least, how to develop patience with individuals. Antoine had never been too much for patience--it wasn't one of her virtues--but she realized she had to learn.