Hey there Hatrack! This is my 1000th post, and, following in the tradition that Papa Moose set a while back; this is the story of my (kind of boring) life. A few things before we get started, a lot of you know me for my prolific smiley hype; so you would assume that I would have smilies throughout this post. Unfortunately, only 8 smilies are allowed per post, and I would far exceed this limit. So consequently, I donít have any smilies in the main body of the post, but have 8 at the bottom that you should feel free to place in my post mentally (here for instance, you could insert a big grin).
Also, for those of you reading, I havenít gone through any real major events, be it positive or negative, so unlike some (or all) of my predecessors, you wont be shocked or saddened by what I write. As a further consequence of this fact, most of what I talk about is what has happened to me generally (over a period of time), as opposed to life changing events. If you get bored, feel free to skip any or all of my post. Iím using this opportunity to really sit back and think about myself (a ďstop and smell the rosesĒ situation) so if I go on to long about something, thatís why.
So lets Begin! The beginning is, of course, my birth, so Iíll start there. I was born in Boulder Colorado (at the community hospital) on June 2nd 1985 (to save you the calculation, that makes me 17 years old as of now). I came into the world blue, literally. Apparently I could not breath properly, and so for a short period of time I was put in an incubator (no, I donít know why that would help me breath, if you do, feel free to tell me). Aside from that, my birth was perfectly normal; this event seemed to have no physical or mental impact on me. I became your typical baby, only (Iím told) a LOT louder. My Mom would put me on one side of the house, close the door, go downstairs, go to the other side of the house, and still couldnít hear the TV over my screaming.
I also hated water. No baby likes to get a bath (or not many) but my Mom was force to stop giving me baths because of the incredibly violent reaction I had to water. She ended up just toweling me down with a wet washcloth. To this day I do not go swimming, and while Iím not afraid of water, I try to avoid it.
I started walking late, maybe 1 year or more after I was supposed to. But I was one heck of a crawler/climber. I could get out of cribs that were supposed to be totally secure and would always be climbing the bookcases and trying to get out of the windows. When I finally did learn to walk, I became almost immediately ďup to codeĒ compared to other children my age.
I started talking late too. Around 6 moths to a year after average; but once I did, I was a ďbetter talkerĒ (larger vocabulary, better grammar - though the latter doesnít seem to appear now *grin*) than kids twice my age. Almost as soon as I learned to talk, my Dad started teaching me math. By first grade I had learned the basics of algebra. But I couldnít read. First grade was the time at which we were supposed to learn to read, but I could not. I tried hard the whole year and became more and more frustrated. I was not allowed into the honors math program because I couldnít read (figure that one out) which set back my math development by a full year. So over the summer my parents hired a tutor for me. She went over the first grade curriculum with me, exactly the same material as had been previously presented to me, only I learned it this time. Once second grade had started I was reading at a fourth grade level, and when it ended I was far beyond that.
At this point, I had made a significant number of friends, some of which I still have. I was a very good athlete (top in my class) and that didnít hurt my popularity. After the reading incident I was at the top of my class in just about everything mental as well (spelling and handwriting excluded). And that was pretty much my life through elementary school. I did well and I had fun; I considered myself unique in the sense that I realized that what I had was special, that most people didnít do well in class and on the playground. Of course that means that I lost it (anyone who appreciates water before the well runs dry is doomed from the get go *wink *).
In middle school I started to slow down. I was no longer the fastest person in my class, and no longer the most athletic. In sixth grade I could still hold my own, but by eighth grade I was easily below average and falling. This didnít bother me as much as it could have, after all, there wasnít recess in middle school, and studentsí lives didnít focus as pre-dominantly on athletic ability. I wasnít (nor am now) seriously over-weight, in fact, Iím within the weight range specified by my age/gender/height/frame size. However, a lot of my weight has been transferred from muscle to fat, and it doesnít help that I live in (this is true) the thinnest city in America (more on my home town of Boulder Co later).
My physical strength wasnít the only are in which I slowed down, seventh grade saw a surprising dip in my morals. The following story is one of the most (if not the most) embarrassing stories of my life. I donít know how many of you are aware of a game called ďMagicĒ; it is a card game, but not with the traditional 52 card deck. You collect cards that represent different things, for instance a ďcreatureĒ card will have a certain power and toughness and special abilities. You then use these cards to try and defeat another opponent who is (hopefully) also collecting these cards. I (and a friend) became addicted to this game, and made trips down to the local card shop a routine. This was not an inexpensive game, and soon I ran out of patience waiting for my meager allowance. So I (remember, this is the worst thing that Iíve done in my life, and it was in seventh grade, *gulp*) stole money from my parents to purchase these cards, my friend doing like-wise. We were caught (I wasnít caught since I was much to compulsively secretive, but my friend was caught, and he told his parents that I was doing it too) and punished. My friend had his ďscreen privilegesĒ revoked for some amount of time (I donít remember what), which basically means that he couldnít watch TV or use the computer. I was given a very stern lecture and a second chance (they didnít know that I had stolen any money, just that I had lied to them about buying cards). Being a stupid seventh grader, I wasted my chance. I didnít steal again, but I lied about doing an extra credit assignment for math. I was grounded for two months.
So, what effect did this have on me? This punishment worked, for a year afterwards, I was so scared of lying that I never did. Then, I began to realize that not only was not lying a good idea from a punishment view of things, but a morally good idea. So I have always tried to tell the truth since. Iím sure I havenít succeeded 100 percent of the time, (telling only the truth is very difficult) but Iíve never told any harmful or major lies since.
Seventh grade was also when I peaked in reading ability (peaked from a performance outlook, I havenít lost reading skill, I just havenít had the time that I did then to read). I read 512 books during the school year (thatís about three books a night) with the average length of the books being about 350 pages. I also read War and Peace in seventh grade, so one happy memory of that year. The final important thing that happened in seventh grade was my realization that I wanted to be a Civil Engineer.
In Ninth grade, my physical abilities hit rock bottom, I was one of the very worst in my class, and I was incapable of doing even one pull up. But by high school, physical ability only mattered if you wanted to date, which I didnít, so it stopped being an issue. Another event of note that took place during my freshman year was my joining Hatrack! *big grin*.
In tenth grade I started rock climbing. I began at the beginning of the school year and continued until well after the semester break, but then my friends started to drift away and stopped asking me if I wanted to go. Left with no one to climb with, I stopped climbing. Iíve done it a few times since, but only about once every three months at best. By sophomore year I had begun the ďteenificationĒ process, by which I mean I started to take on many characteristics of teenagers. I grew more and more separated from my family (except for my Grand Parents and Aunt) and began to stop telling them what I did in my life. This is not to say I lied to them, but I just stopped voluntarily giving them information.
Tenth grade is also the year that I had my most depressing experience. My Grand Parents lived about five minutes away (walking distance) and I would see them probably once a week, sometimes more. The Thursday before my semester finals, my Grand Mother passed away. It came as a total shock to everyone in my family. She had (a few months before) undergone surgery to fix a problem she was having with her shoulder. After the surgery she had to wear a huge arm brace that made it difficult to walk (she had to stop hiking up mountains and such). So she spent a lot of time just sitting in front of the TV, eating. No one thought what this would do to her heart, until right after my family (just my parents and my sister) returned from Disney World (before we got to talk to her) she had a heart attack, and died minutes later. I was shocked by this, I loved my Grand Mother dearly, and she had played an integral role in my life as she lived so close to us. I continued with schoolwork the very next day, trying as hard as I could not to think about it. Excluding the first hour after I learned of it, I havenít hadnít any real chance to think deeply about her death, a self-imposed decision.
The summer between 10th and 11th grade I got a job paying minimum wage to do manual labor for the County. Not too much fun, but it gave me real job experience, and taught me that manual labor is both rewarding, and something that I donít have much interest in. Junior year I plunged head-long into school, taking the most classes possible, leaving me without any off periods (even for lunch). I didnít crash and burn until the last month of school, and even that was a small crash (though it did cause a significant drop in my GPA).
Junior year was also the source of two new ideas for my future. The first was my decision to go to Harvey Mudd (which has been repealed). I decided that that was the best school for me, and I wanted to go there. Ironically, at the same time, I decided that I wasnít sure about being an engineer (why then, you may ask, was Harvey Mudd the best school for me? It wasnít, I was being foolish). I decided that while I still had definite interest in being a Civil Engineer, I also wanted to pursue directing. That decision has also been repealed; I want to be a Civil Engineer. Why then do I bring up two decisions that I have discarded? Because they are indicative of my attitude, and clearly represent my fear of myself. I made two decisions, not made on sufficient information, and was determined to carry them out. I decided not to go to Harvey Mudd, not because reason prevailed, but I found it to be impossibility.
This is my senior year in High School. Not much time has gone by yet, but two significant events have still occurred. The first is rather depressing, my failure to ďobtain for myself a girl friendĒ (Iím not sure where that phrase came from, just flow with it *grin*). I had decided that I was going to ask a girl out (a specific girl, not a girl in general *wink*), and waited for the right moment. I had known her for about two and one half years prior, and even asked her to Junior Prom (this was an actual friend asking friend date, not a desperate guy asking friend date). So I decided on a day that I would ask her, and got ready. Of course, being a coward, I was very, very nervous, so I decided on a day a week after I had made my decision, for once cowardice helped! The day before I was going to ask her out, I was talking to her when she happened to bring up the fact that she had a boy friend. Apparently someone she meets over the summer at a Spanish camp has asked her out. He lives in Chicago. This was not a good development, if you have a long distance relationship in High School, its not going to break up very quickly. After all, when can they get annoyed with each other? So that was my attempt at getting a girl friendÖ ahhh well.
The other decision I made was to seriously consider Purdue University (as in 90% chance of going there at this point). Thanks to some very helpful people here at Hatrack (big BIG thanks to Celia) I discovered that it was both a top-notch engineering school, and decently affordable. Big Hatrack hug!
So that is my life in chronological order. Iím going to touch on one other thing before I let you return to your lives. What has happened to me mentally. I was a bright child through most of my life; I like to think that I still am. But I have defiantly changed. Freshman year I became much more annoying, much more irritating to the people around me. My friends started to become interested in ďbeing coolĒ and as a result, I was left with few friends at school. I improved sophomore year and junior year, and I have many friends now (most of whom are female). But I know that Iím not fully adjusted emotionally. I live in Boulder Colorado (mentioned above), which is off the charts liberal. I am not conservative, but Iím not liberal either, as a result I have felt persecuted my whole life and I have been unable to express my opinions, even at home. The last time I brought up something that I believed that my family did not (I like Full Metal Jacket) my sister began to cry, my Mom appeared shocked beyond belief, and my Dad quickly assured me of how stupid a thing that was. So I havenít been able to speak about anything at home that contradicted them, and if I do at school, I am ostracized. As a result, I have felt confined and repressed, and my emotional health has never been all that good. I no longer think like this, so no one panic, but in the past couple of years I have come very close to suicide. What stopped me? Well besides the self-evident fear of death and my love of life, I have to say that Hatrack has been a huge positive influence on my life. When I though of suicide, I thought of Hatrack, and what you guys have gone through, and that at least here I was accepted. After all, nothing all that traumatic has happened in my life, why should I end it?
Well there it is, thatís my life. I havenít told you every thing (like the fact that in sixth grade I was the All Star Pitcher in my district, starting two games in the playoffs *grin* *shameless self plug*) but what I have said here in this (very long) post is the essence of my life distilled into writing by someone who isnít very good at that sort of thing.
[EDIT: To add better spacings]
[This message has been edited by Hobbes (edited October 24, 2002).]
I always had more female friends than male friends. In my experience, at least one of them always wants to date you, you just don't know it.
It would take me close to 18 hours to read 3 350 page novels. How much do you retain from reading that quickly? I freaked out my friends during a period in 9th grade when I was reading a new novel every day. Reading that much was awful for my grades; I can't imagine what it would have been like to read three times as much.
Well, I have insomnia, so that gives me a lot of time in bed to read. Also, I had read many of the books before (Like LOTR and OSC stuff) that helped a lot too. I hope to see you too! I'll becoming on a visit to Purdue November 9-11, maybe I'll see you then.
Kama, you're right, he does sound very mature (especially now that his spelling has improved ). It's just that, when I joined, he was pretty much the youngest guy here, and for some reason I thought he was younger than my brothers. I guess, like Katharina, I still think of him as a brilliant young'n. Which he is, of course, just not as young as I've been thinking.
Posts: 3801 | Registered: Jan 2000
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Football game that weekend, so expect absurdly heavy traffic! Email me when you have a schedule. This is a busy time of year, but I can probably make time . Heck, last year it was so busy that I wasn't even lurking here.
[Edit]We don't observe daylight savings time, so Purdue will be in EST during your trip[/Edit]
[This message has been edited by celia60 (edited October 24, 2002).]
Great story, Hobbes (even if in some parts you may not be inclined to agree ). It's goo to know what shaped you into the Hatracker you are today.
Posts: 1744 | Registered: Jul 2001
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PS--when you add Highschool (not known for sturdy relationships) and Long Distance Relationship (not known for sturdy relationships) together, you get a very short relationship. Don't give up on the girl.
Man, I can't imagine being able to read 1000+ pages in a night. I have a hard time reading that much in about a week and then only if it is something that really grabs my attention.
Posts: 1332 | Registered: Mar 2002
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Indeed I was in EnderCon Trivia (I won the 4th round and came in 4th in the final round). Wow, thanks guys *feels loved*
Celia - Yah, I know about the football game, Ohio right? Almost all the hotels were booked Saturday night because of it, we almost didn't get in I'll be with my mother (I'm slightly worried about that) but we should certainly try and meet. Sunday I'll just be hanging around campus (getting "a feel for it") so thats proabably best. Monday we're taking the tour and then leaving, so no time then
About the girl freind "issue"; High School relationships are indeed very fragile, but this seems pretty permanent. She's going to Chicago College mostly because of him, and it seems to me that if they know they'll see each other in consistently in under a year they wouldn't break up out of convience problems. We'll see though *crosse fingers*
Icarus, I just looked back at one of your posts (about how one of them always likes you, you just don't know which one). I've just been put in that dilemma; someone has recently informed that I have (and I quote) a ďSecret AdmirerĒ, apparently someone who I know. I have no idea who it is though. Itís making me a bit anxious, Iím not sure what to do about it (except maybe *grin* )
Relax and enjoy it. There's no pressure on you--if she's admiring you, she ought to come out and tell you! But if you get good vibes and you think you know who it is and you feel the same way, go for it!
(Actually, you could probably have the person who told you pass on a message for you. Something like, "She should tell me--I might be interested, too!" On the other hand, if you think it could be someone you don't want to go out with, then a little more delicacy is called for...)
Hobbes, that was a great post! You know we all love you here. It makes me so sad to know that you were feeling bad and we didn't even know about it. Don't forget your friends want to know how you're doing! Best of luck in college and for the next 1000 posts! Don't worry a bit about the girlfriend thing. Some lucky girl will snatch you up soon; I have not the slightest doubt!
Posts: 5509 | Registered: May 1999
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Hobbes, what a lovely post! I especially admire your own honesty about the times you behaved in ways you later regretted. It speaks well of you that you still think about these times and face up to them yourself, much less in front of all of us.
(We all accumulate them, you know. Some people just don't ever face up to them.)
So, if I could, I'd grant you a special lenience on the max of 8 smilies per post. But since I can't, just a warm congratulations for your 1000th post and many thanks for spending time here.
When I was three years old my Aunt gave me a stuffed tiger; I liked him at first, then forgot about him.
In the third grade I started reading a lot of Calvin and Hobbes books. I decided that that was a life-style that was worthy of immulation (though not in those words ) so I pulled my tiger out from the box he had been put in, and named him Hobbes. We grew very close, until we became almost the same person. Whenever I had to register for anything, I called myself Hobbes. But the transformation went farther then that, online I would take Hobbes's more subdued mannerisms and "level-headedness", so in a way, I really am Hobbes
Is immulation similar to imolation? If so, I suggest you not try to do such a thing to any lifestyle, as it can lead to arson charges. Just joking around, I saw the word and couldn't resist.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001
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Hobbes sounds older than he is when he posts, but he looks about 14.
Great post, Hobbes. I enjoyed reading about your life, especially your early childhood anecdotes. And it was great meeting you at Endercon. Keep sticking around Hatrack, and keep up those smilies. I like them, even if some people don't (looks pointedly at Moose ).
You went rockclimbing??!! Scary! You won't find me hanging off no rock on a rope!!
Good luck with your future endeavors, and keep up the great posts.
Ela, I know longer look 14, since Endercon I've grown several inches, so I'm now over 6 feet tall! I'm not sure how tall exactly as I don't really want to know, besides, if I measure one day, I'd have to measure again the next
While I remember, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Papa Moose. In the final Trivia Round, I raised my hand before the question was read (by mistake), but got to answer it anyways; Papa Moose's hand was up first after the question had been read. Sorry.
[EDIT: Since this is an apology to Moose, I took out all of my similes within the apology]
[This message has been edited by Hobbes (edited October 28, 2002).]