I'm not really sure what to say here. Having been here forever, I feel like I know almost everyone - but if asked, very few people would be able to truthfully claim they know me. I'm like this in person, though, as well. I'm always surprised when people remember information about me, but mostly because I never remember telling it to them. I figure that after four years here, it's time to open up a bit and reveal more (but not all - I'll need more in four years ) of who I am. I'm going to start at the beginning, but be warned: my life story is not one of hardships, catastrophes, and/or losses. At least nothing extremely huge.
I was born on a sunny day in mid-April, 1984. Amadeus had just won Best Picture, and Reagan was going to win his second election. The world was alright. I was not a "happy accident," on the contrary - I was very planned, so I came into a happy family. We lived in the country outside of Green Bay [Wisconsin, duh] for about three years. I don't remember a lot of those years, but if I try really hard, I can see the fireplace in our old family room, the brown Jeep Cherokee we had for a year, the kitchen, and our pets - the cats called Chester and Lester and our dog Hoser. We left that house in early 1987 because I was going to be getting a sister. So we moved to the house in which I was to spend (and did spend) the rest of my youth.
I was, like everyone else here, what one might call a precocious child. My parents love to impress relatives (or anyone, really, come to think of it) with all sorts of stories, but for brevity's sake, I'll only share my personal favourite:
quote:I was three when my mother had my sister. Ellen (sister) was four weeks late, so my grandparents were spending a lot of time with us - we were grandchildren #1 and 2 on that side of the family. My mom finally popped, but it was a long process and I had a cold and an ear infection. Since I was obviously not gonig to be let in to see anything, my grandparents took me out for ice cream. They, being clueless and from Milwaukee, left it up to me to choose our destination. I picked, but they quickly realized they had no idea where to go. I stepped in and gave perfect directions from the hospital downtown-ish to the cafe in the suburb where we lived. I obviously had priorities
I started school at a normal age and at a normal school, but both of those changed. I think it was either when my kindergarten teacher found me counting to 100 via perfect squares or when she saw me doing derivatives that she figured maybe I shouldn't really be there. Having an April birthday, I was already young for my grade, so I was shipped off to Aldo Leopold, the alternative school. For two years, all I did in school were math, reading, and the occasional Spanish lesson. The school's philosophy was "Do what you want, how you want, when you want." Or words to that effect. As a result of this, at the end of second grade, I was halfway through the fourth-grade mathbook and reading at an obscenely high level. At the end of that year, I was given a choice: Stay at Aldo Leopold and go into third grade in the fall, or go to the local public school and enter fourth grade.
That fall, I was in fourth grade, in a new environment, and completely surrounded by people who thought I was a freak for being young. It took a while to convince them - high school for most - but I don't think I totally convinced anyone. Nobody really liked me because I was anywhere from six months to two years younger and I was that much smarter. Trying to make friends taught me at least these two things: 1) how to not study while making it look like I do, and 2) that maybe I shouldn't tell people my age. It doesn't matter anymore, but for a long time I dreaded sharing birthdays.
School was just school. I loathed middle school with all the fiery passions of hell - everyone was changing so quickly and I was still just a kid. This was also where we began to split up based on intelligence instead of being split randomly. I began to lose friends, and it became harder for me to replace them. Obviously I managed, but the real oddity was my relationship to the whole clique system. Normally people would be only associated with one. By the end of high school, I was associated with all but one (the popular jocks), though I occasionally spoke with those individuals.
I am very much not - and never have been - an athletic person. I played the requisite two years of soccer, but the only other sport I did was swimming - nine years competitively (seven for the YMCA and two in high school), but lessons since infancy. I swam every distance in many of my high school meets: 50 and 100 backstroke, 200 and 500 freestyle. I was one of the few people willing to swim either backstroke or long distances, so those jobs were mine by default. I was good enough not to lose every race, but bad enough never to win any. Had I cared enough to try harder in practice, I could have been a lot better.
I maintain that I wasn't an athletic person, even though I swam for that long. I enjoyed it, sure, but it wasn't the primary focus of my life. I split my spare time between three things: extra-curriculars, reading, and piano. I read a lot, but it was mostly the same thing. I went on a mystery kick for a while; that was fun until I could predict the twists. There was rarely a week at school where I didn't stay after every day. From the French Fun Police to NHS to Jazz Band (playing tenor sax), I was everywhere... and it hasn't stopped yet.
And then there was piano. I loved playing well, but hated practicing. Funny how that works. I took just over eleven years of lessons, and several of those were under duress. My protests were mostly superficial, as I really did love playing, but I think I wanted to be talked into it. I was really pretty good, but again, I could have been better. See, I really liked to play Classical and Romantic music, with the occasional Gershwin (though, if I had a harpsichord, I'd play nothing but Bach and love it). This rather limited my playing options. I stopped playing when I came to college due to a lack of access to both new music and a piano. At least once a week, though, I say to myself, "Go play - see what happens." I haven't yet.
I had been trained from a very early to age to say "I'm going to college in Madison." When it came time to begin the application process, UW was naturally at the bottom of my list. I swore I wouldn't be a Badger, so help me God. What did I do? Instead of applying at a lot of places (including my first choice - Duke), I applied to UW and UVa. I was only accepted at Madison. And here I am, a proud third-generation Wisconsin Badger. It is a family thing - grandmother, parents, six aunts/uncles, cousin, and a cousin-in-law. That's alright. The more time I spend here, the more I like it. So I guess it was a good idea to come here after all. Plus the football atmosphere is incredible. I definitely love most parts of this school. Except the hills. I hate climbing the hills.
I came to college with every intention of being a Math major. I'm one of those sick people who think math is fun. A diverse timetable, however, gave me the opportunity to study one of my hidden/repressed passions - Classics. My grandmother, when I was eight, gave me a book on Ancient Greece and Rome - you know, one of those ultra-stylized Reader's Digest publications - and it absolutely fascinated me. The curriculum of the Green Bay Public School District allowed for zero opportunities to study anything vaguely classical, so seeing an entire Classics department made me very excited. I went through Calc III and Classical Myth and wanted to double-major in Math and Classical Humanities (the not-so-language-intensive Classics). I went through Linear Algebra and Civilization of Ancient Greece and decided continuing in Math wasn't nearly as fascinating as the ancient world. I, therefore, am now a Classical Humanities major and loving it. If, however, UW had a major called "Foreign Languages," I'd be in. I can read French and Ancient Greek and am learning Italian. A friend tried to teach me Russian over a bottle of vodka, but that didn't work at all. I do plan on getting my doctorate in Classics and becoming a professor of something Greek somewhere that's hopefully not here. In the more immediate future, I'll be studying abroad in Athens this coming January (for the semester) and hopefully staying for the summer and working at the Olympics.
Hmm... now for some quick facts: I love movies. I have quite a few (okay, 62) DVDs and I collect movie posters. I have three movies to see this weekend: L'auberge Espagnole, Waking Ned Devine, and the Return of the King trail... uh... Secondhand Lions. My favorite food is a good old-fashioned cheeseburger. I have a secret cookie recipe. And I love baking. The books on my "coffee table" right now are American Gods, A Game of Thrones, and The Maltese Falcon. My favorite band is Carbon Leaf, but I'm listening to Frank Sinatra right now. In last Monday's Dolphins-Bills game, I accurately predicted every play the Dolphins ran (including the penalty against the Bills!) in the last two minutes of the first half. I am also a huge dork.
A lot of you probably haven't heard of me. It was recently pointed out to me that I've never posted in a political thread (also true for religion ones). I was surprised anyone noticed, to be perfectly honest. The reason for the lack of posting is simple: my political and religious views are so gavue that I have trouble defining them. I suppose that, if forced at gunpoint, I could classify myself as a Republican and an ELCA Lutheran. I prefer not to lock myself down, however. Add to this the fact that these two things aren't exactly important to me, and we get zero posts in political and religious threads. And that's okay. Fluff is good.
I can't believe I've been here four years. I've seen so many people come and go, and I've been around for all the big/controversial moments. Hopefully I'll be able to meet more of you before I go to Greece, but I think I'll settle for trying to hit 2000 posts in less than another four years
Posts: 3923 | Registered: Sep 1999
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Hi Carrie! First, thanks for the great in depth look into your life. Either this is a universal feeling, or both of us are crazy, but I can definately relate that Middle School (or Jr. High as it was for me) was in fact hell, though probably for entirely different reasons.
In Jr. High, I never did associate myself with a particular clique, unless you can count the clique-less as having their own. However, I did manage to make the basketball team and was able to slightly associate myself with those "popular jocks" that you said you didn't. I think most people are better off not associating themselves in that group. Sorry if I offend anyone, just my personal opinion.
I love collecting movie posters, also. I worked in a movie theater, and managed to pick up a couple of them. Not the kind you buy at Walmart but the actually One-Sheets (official Movie Poster) you see at theaters. I love them, and the cover my walls, and my ceiling, along with a couple of banners (shhhh). I have a huge love of movies. I love watching new movies that I haven't seen that are really good.
Fluff is incredibly fun stuff, so I'm glad you're here having fun with us.
Posts: 9750 | Registered: Jul 2002
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Thanks, Carrie. Now post more. Oh, and sorry you couldn't stick it out and remain a math major, had to take the easy road of Classical Humanities. *humorous dishonest smirk which then converts to heartfelt honest grin*
Don't pay any attention to the sarcastic TomD even though he has been posting here since Reagan was President. I think he might have some Amadeus issues
Congrats on 1000.
I thought this post needed a bump. After I posted a 1000 post thread as Krankykat nobody really noticed. I was so crushed I retired from the forum to better spend my time playing internet backgammon @ MSN Zone. I later realized that this forum truly is a reflection of society and is largly affected by self absortion. So don't be offended because lots of people didn't say congrats yet. Now, when I am in a backgammon slump, I lurk here as saberZedge and stealth post.
Carrie, I'm so glad that I had the chance to meet you.
I think your knack is to fly under the radar: to be brilliant and beautiful, but so well hidden that you are perfect for stealth advances on the world. I bet you are continually underestimated. Likely it's because you don't seem to see the world as revolving around you. I remember you as alert, interested, and involved.
I never knew how much interesting stuff does revolve around you. Cool.
The stealth cover is (partially) blown.
Posts: 13849 | Registered: May 2000
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Wow, after fugu's post anything I can say is going to be rather anti-climactic.
I always love landmark posts, and getting to know someone better. (((((Carrie)))))
The very smart youngest-in-the-class thing sucks. I was never as much younger as you were though -- so it probably was much more of an issue for you. But I do remember not wanting to tell people how old I was, and reactions when I did.
I'm with you on the math-is-fun part too. And it's great that you've figured out what you want to get out of college so early on.
Thanks for sharing, Carrie. Here's to many more years, and 1000s more posts!
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003
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