Ruth Miller, Homeschool Alternative Center

Self-paced: Takes computer-based courses at Homeschool Alternative Center to meet math and science requirements.

“I get to choose what classes I take and when. I think last year I did biology in two weeks.” Does the rest of her studies at home at her own pace. Physical education? Walking the dog, Jake, around her apartment complex.

Battles illness: Has arthritis and a chronic pain condition known as fibromyalgia syndrome. The condition causes fatigue, which is one reason she left regular school – she could not wake up in time to go to classes. Adds that “I have to say I was bored in the regular classes.”

Rough year: “This year was an interesting year.” At Everett High School for three months before switching to home school. And spent three and a half months in women’s shelter with her mother. Now in an apartment. “It’s pretty cool. It’s huge.”

High achiever: Teacher in computer lab at the center says Ruth exceeded expectations set for her this fall. Goal was to complete algebra by early November now is into geometry. “I’m going a lot faster than I thought.” Plans to finish 10th and 11th grades this year by doubling the amount of credits she earns. “Next year I want to do Running Start” at Everett Community College.

Heroes: Include her mother. “In spite of everything, she’s … always there for me.” She also looks up to Capt. Kathryn Janeway of “Star Trek: Voyager,” who in the series “even though she got thrown into the Delta quad, she was going to get her people home.”

Trekkie: Loves “Star Trek,” with the exception of the “Enterprise” series. “They got it wrong. Even (writer and creator) Gene Rodenbury’s wife isn’t endorsing this one.”

Hobbies: Loves to read, primarily science fiction and fantasy. “I use it as a way to hide. I wanted to get out of my life for awhile. I’d grab a flashlight and crawl under my bed and read.” Also crochets, knits, sews and creates clay roses. “Without a TV, you’ve got to be busy.”

Wants to be a doctor: “I’ve watched my mom become ill and go through some of the same problems as myself. Maybe if I can help one person, I’ll have done something good.”

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