The Life of MAB

A Brief Overview

Back in the Day

My name is Maria Ashley Baker, and I am from Kingsport, Tennessee. I was born on September 22, 1994 into an immediate family that consisted of a mother, father, and an older sister. We lived in a small, one level, three bedroom house with my Granny and one of my aunts and her two children. Luckily, my aunt and cousins were only there a few nights of the week. Her husband travelled, and she did not like to be home alone on a farm in the middle of nowhere in Baileyton, Tennessee. When I was a little over a year old, my mother found out she was pregnant again. My parents decided it was definitely time for us to move out of my granny's house. We moved just before my younger sister was born, and that has been the only complete move in my life. My childhood was full of some good times and some not so good times, like most of us I believe. I went to elementary school at Thomas Jefferson Elementary, and then middle school at Ross N. Robinson Middle School. After that, I went to Dobyns-Bennett High school. I definitely had some incredible teachers and experiences throughout school. I am actually still in contact with my kindergarten teacher because she made an impact in my life.

When Music Became My Life

On my mom's side of the family, there was an unspoken rule or understanding that each of the children would be in band or some musical organization throughout school. None of us really rejected the idea. We actually wanted to be in band. When I was in fifth grade, I really wanted to play percussion. Fifth grade is when students are placed on an instrument for middle and high school. On placement day, I actually did not get placed for percussion, but we were able to work it out because I wanted to play so badly. I had no idea music would impact my life in the way it did.

Middle school band was a pretty good experience. It definitely prepared me for high school, but high school is where it really changed my life. I almost made the drumline as a freshman playing the snare drum, but I didn't. I was completely heart broken. The students who didn't make drumline were placed in the front ensemble or "pit". I completely fell in love with playing the marimba in the pit. The next year few years, I did play snare in football band, but I was able to continue playing the marimba in competitive band. Dobyns-Bennett is a very competitive school as far as marching band is concerned. I was able to have some incredible experiences. As a sophomore, I participated with our percussion ensemble in a showcase concert at an international convention (PASIC). With marching band, we performed in the Lucas Oil Stadium, played a half-time show at the University of Tennessee, and marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the 2012 Presidential Inaugural Parade. We also travelled to many competitions and played at every single football game. It was a lot of work and took up a large majority of my time. I think almost each of us literally poured blood, sweat, and tears into the program. I completely loved every minute of it and would not have had it any other way. I was able to make some unforgettable memories and a few life-long friends.

The Current Chapter

Now I am at Tennessee Tech technically studying Chemical Engineering. I have genuinely enjoyed all of my engineering classes, but I am starting to work on a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. So, what am I doing? Honestly, I just cannot see myself working in a plant at all. I want to teach. I am hoping to be able to teach high school math, but my initial license will be in chemistry because it fits better with my classes. I hope I am able to apply my engineering experiences to help my students. I want to impact students' lives the way my math and science teachers influenced mine. I also love this school so much. I have met some of the most incredible people here, and I cannot wait to meet more.

Most Importantly...

I definitely love where I am, and I think I am doing the right things with my life. I owe absolutely every bit of it to God. He has blessed me with an incredible family and a pretty great brain. I have a relatively large family, and I am super lucky to be very close to almost all of them. I consider myself extremely blessed because I know most situations are not like that. All the incredible opportunities I have had have sort of just fallen into my lap. I know I would not be as successful as I consider myself without God guiding me and my family supporting me. I am very excited about seeing where this beautiful journey takes me.