Well... finally, I've hit 1000. Its almost a year since I signed up and I've finally hit it. Took me long enough didn't it? I've spent the last few days trying to come up with a proper landmark topic. I didn't want to skip the thousand post landmark, but I've been having great difficulty coming up with a topic fitting of a landmark. You wouldn't think I would have so much trouble, being a senior in high school and close to graduation, which is such a landmark time in one's life. But I am. Then it occurred to me, that I've been here for nearly a year, but I never really had a proper introduction. Most of you don't know the first thing about me RL, and probably only have vague impressions of who I am from my posts. So allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Daniel.
I'm an 18(almost 19) year old high school senior. When I was entering kindergarden I missed the birthday cut off for when they allowed people to enter and had to wait another year. I entered kindergarden as a six year old. I've always been old for my year, older end of my class. Its never bothered me though. If anything I took pride in being nearly a year older than many of my classmates.
I've considered myself to be a geek for a long time. And in many many ways I am. However I don't quite fit the stereotype geek. I'm pretty socially inept (yep fits), but I'm also fairly athletic. I was on the swim team for 4 1/2 years (2 in middle school and 2 1/2 in high school) and wasn't bad. Not great, but not bad. I'm also quite a bit of an outdoors person. I hike, backpack, camp, climb, about the only outdoors activity I won't do is cave. But then, that doesn't really count as outdoors now does it? Recently I've also fallen in love with Ultimate Frisbee. I have every intention of joining the Skidmore Wombats Ultimate team.
I'm one of those odd people who is decent to good at most anything I put my mind to. But not really amazing or the best at anything, nor really terrible or the worst at anything (save perhaps singing). Most of my friends I can pin down a niche for them among each other, this one's an amazing dancer, that one incredible at math, the other one knows history backward and forward. Me... I tend to fill the computer geek niche where it isn't already taken. But there are many a better computer geek than me. Here you've got fugu for example, kicks my sorry rear
I've been accepted at Skidmore College and I enrolled. I'm looking forward to moving there. Currently I'm considering double majoring in Computer Science and Physics, thought that is subject to change. I dunno if I can really handle a double, I'll be the first to admit I'm lazy as all get out.
Its been a long journey to end up here.
My earliest memories are all a mish mash. I can't really tell which ones are the earliest and which came later. Heck, I can't even tell which ones are actual memories and which were created from what people later told me.
One of the earliest is when I learned not to steal I think. I was probably about 3 or 4. I was at a local college football game with my mom. We went to a stand to buy paraphanlia for the college. My mom asked me if I wanted a hat. Being the contrary totler I was I of course said no. But, I had now become interested in the hat. I picked it up and began playing with the little band thingy at the back. It facinated my little mind, I've always been a bit figgetty, and as we left the stand it didn't even occur to me that I was supposed to put it back. Having told my mom I didn't want one, she hadn't payed for it and she hadn't noticed I was still carrying it. Neither apparently had the stands owner. I quietly and obliviously remained in my own world, attaching and reattaching it at the back. Facinated by the way the little pegs fit the holes. When we reached the car my mom finally noticed I was still carrying it. Boy did I get reamed out. She was already in a bad mood as I recall, and was probably mightily embarrassed to have to take the hat back to the stand and explain she hadn't noticed her four year old walking off with it. Her reaming out left me extremely embarrassed myself for having done something wrong. To this day I always make sure I've paid before taking anything. And I never take a free refill unless I know for sure they're offered.
Most of my early memories involve BDLC, where I went to preschool. Bloomington Developemental Learning Center. Trust my college professor parents, my dad an experimental psycologist no less, to find a place like that as my daycare. And bless them for it. I loved BDLC. It was devided in to many different age groups. Lambs I think was the youngest, then Fish, then... Dolphin maybe? Finally it was Cubs. The place was heaven. Toys were abundant, outdoor play time was there aplenty, and the food... ok, never mind about the food. I'm told I was quite the socilite back then, always starting 'clubs' and friends with nearly everyone in my class. Parents words. Never trustworthy those when it comes to your history.
It was at BDLC that I met Tristan, who would end up one of my best friends for years to come... until middle school anyway. It was also there that I came to know many of the people who remain my friends now. It was something of a repository of professors children. There must be something in the genes for academics, either that or BDLC's teaching methods really did work. Out of the 9 National Merit Finalists at my school, 3 of us went to BDLC. The school's Wells scholar was included in those three, as well as myself.
I seem to have a way of blocking bad memories. Apparently, there was a huge bully at BDLC who picked on me a ton. My parents tell many a story of how I tried to make my peace with him rather than fighting him. I have no memory of any of it. He left fairly early on I guess, being a year or two older than me, perhaps that has something to do with it. But there are many other bad memories I'm told I ought to have, but don't. My mind is strange like that.
Another of my BDLC memories comes from the only time I've ever needed stiches. I was standing in line, waiting to go inside from recess. I was standing next to a chain link fence. Someone, I don't remember who anymore, hit my head with a basketball and slammed it into the fence. I remember crying a little, but getting over it fairly quickly. Apparently the BDLC people assumed I was fine becuase I got over it. There was some initial pain, but it quickly vanished. The memory jumps there, to the end of the day. My mom arrived to pick me up and spots clotted blood in my matted hair. A quick examination revealed a massive cut, still seeping blood. I felt nothing. I ended up being rushed to Prompt Care and being stitched up. The stitches probably hurt more than the cut, and as I recall I cried quite a bit during them.
I went to Rogers Elementary School after BDLC. Many of my friends from BDLC followed me. I have little memory of Rogers. I remember kindergarden was amazing. I have two memories of kindergarden that jump to the fore of my mind. They both deal with tornados. I'll save the second for a stormy day, and tell only the first here.
There's a Children's Museum in Indianapolis that my dad used to take me to. One day as we were leaving it the tornado sirens began blaring. My dad promptly stuck me in the car and we began driving off. He turned on the radio, which began sounding off the usual "If you are in a moving vehicle, get out of the vehicle and hide in a ditch by the road." "Dad, shouldn't we be, you know, getting in a ditch?" I asked. Or something like that. His reponse was no. He pointed to the horizen and said we could see it forming, we had time to leave Indy. I looked where he pointed, and sure enough the clouds dipped down to the ground in the standard pre-tornado anvil shape. I could see them solidifying into a funnel on the horizon as I watched. The sky was vivid green. We drove on. We drove through rain that was coming down so hard I remember dad barely being able to see out the wind shield. Then hail almost as bad. Finally we were clear of the storm and had a peaceful drive home. Then next day we read in the paper about the tornado that slammed Indy. And I got to brag in kindergarden that I'd seen the twister. Few believed me.
First grade. The one and only time I've ever been sent to the principle's office for punishment. Also the year Tristan and I attempted to "break out" of school. My teacher was one Mrs. J that year. Few fond memories are ascociated with her sadly. The principle trip was for fighting with Tristan. We arrived in from recess 10 minutes late. Mrs. J demanded to know why we were late. Neither of us knew what to say. We didn't want to admit we'd been attempting to beat the snot out of each other. She sat there and glared at us for some time. Mrs. B (a very sweet teacher, I'll never know why she was such good friends with Mrs J), came by and asked what was up. Still we held our tongues. Mrs J, if I recall, threatened us dearly if we didn't tell her why we were late. At that point I lost it. I giggled. I couldn' t help it, I've always had a bit of an urge to laugh in situations like that. She turned bright red, roughly grabbed the both of us by the arm and forced marched us down to the principles office. "Nice going Daniel" Tristan glared at me behind her back. Yea, nice going Daniel.
Second Grade. I start becoming a geek. My teacher decided to place me in a second level reading group that year. Until then I'd been top. I started turning in spelling tests blank. I was bored. I'd sit in my desk during them and imagine dinosaurs invading the class room. I'd shoot them FPS style with my pencil, while everyone else was furiously trying to remember how to spell 'food' and 'good'. I was never any good at spelling anyway. My parents were suspicious. They convinced her to give me a reading placement test. I blew it away. Majorly. Apparently, according to that test I should have been in the absolute top reading group, a pull out class of about five kids. My parents said to just put me in the top in her class. I started doing the spelling tests after that. It was probably about then that I fell in love with being smart.
Third grade. I move to Binford Elementary (across the way from Rogers) and I meet Sean. Sean is, to this day, one of my best friends. He was an odd kid, quiet and eccentric, but a genius. I was one of his few friends that year. He and I would climb trees (solidly not aloud) and leap from the swings in while they were in full motion (also solidly not aloud) at recess together. His dad would never let him come over to my house, and my parents wouldn't let me go over to his. So the limit of our interaction was school. My teacher that year was Mrs W. She was an amazing teacher. She told stories about holding on to electric fences and playing hide and seek in corn fields when she was a kid. She read us Redwall out loud, she gave mad minute math tests and... amazingly enough... introduced me to computer games. She had a game called Castles Seige and Conquest on her computer in her room. It was a stradegy game and it was great fun. I was hooked in no time (I probably still have it somewhere). I used to stay after school in her room to play it, when she'd let me.
Fourth grade. I remember little of the first part of fourth grade. I was invited into ALPs (the Accelerated Learning Program) and I jumped at the chance. I was invited cause I was smart, going would make me smarter, wahoo! Oops. Remember how I block bad memories? I remember little to nothing of my time in the ALPs program. Apparently the teacher was new, and it was her first year teaching (her first year teaching and they giver her "gifted" students? Yikes!). She was terrible. Amazingly disorganized, assigned projects she didn't collect, tried to collect others she hadn't assigned, lost projects she'd collected. Bad. The second part of the year I moved back to Binford. Gooooood... I had Mrs. C, and she was an amazing teacher. I read Jurrasic Park as an independant reading front to back while in her class. I was rather proud of myself, becuase that is one massive book.
Fifth grade. Daniel decides to learn to program. My interest in computers really took off that year. My fifth grade teacher Mrs. T was one of the tech coordinators for the school. We did all sorts of stuff on computers, with hyper studio and power point and many more things. She also taught me something that, for as long as I live, I will never forget. We were doing a unit on stereotyping and descrimination. The day started like any other. We had presentations to give that day. She made everyone with blond hair give their presentation. She reamed them out, and made it clear it was becuase they had blond hair. Many of us realized what she was doing, we were doing a unit on descrimination, after all. We thought she'd stop when we pointed it out to her. She didn't. And she denied doing it. Oh well, whatever. I had brown hair. The day went on. She did more and more things. I got hit a few times, for various features. It began building. Finally, the thing that cracked me. Everyone with brown eyes (damn) had to take a math test. A really hard one. Everyone with blue eyes, she took outside to play. Now normally I don't mind math tests, the harder the better. But when they came by the windows and looked in at us and laughed, I cracked. I scribbled something along the lines of "This is stupid and goes against everything you've been teaching us." on the back of the test, got up, tears streaming down my face, and slammed it down on her desk (she was outside with the blue eyes and wouldn't see till she got back in) and then went back to my desk and cried. I will never forget the feeling it left in my gut. Ever. She eventually came back in with the blue eyes and told us what she'd been up to. By that time a large portion of the class was crying or had cried during the day. She showed us a tape of it being done to another class. She said it was supposed to last two days, but she thought we'd learned the lesson. I had. Any type of descimination, will to this day, bring that feeling back to my stomach. Something as simple and harmless as guy only and girl only parties brings that awful feeling back to my gut. The thought that someone is being excluded for something as basic as being male or being female.... Yeah, you get the point.
Sixth grade. I start to notice girls. I had my first crush on a girl that year. Oops. Remember how I block bad memories? Yeah, I don't remember much of sixth grade. After that year I clammed up. If I had a crush on a girl, I wouldn't have admitted it under torture with hot irons. I became utterly disinterested in girls, at least on the surface. I developed an anti-physical contact bubble. If a girl touched me, I got away from the touch as fast as possible, lest anyone read into the touch. Rough housing was different, if there was violence involved then that bubble disappeared. Violence couldn't be misinterpretted right?
Middle School is a happy blur. Despite clamming up, I found a niche for myself. I met again all the friends I'd left behind in the ALPs program. I met many new friends who had gone to a different, but near by elementary school. Many a good times were had, and most of the friends I made then I remain friends with now. My friends also began to crack my, until then sheltered, existance. Up until I met the people I'm friends with now I didn't know such a thing as homosexuality existed.
Middle School and High School blur together quite a bit. Sean went off to North, the other high school, while I went to South. We remained good friends though. His parents had divorced, and his mom was much more easier going than his dad. We could do things outside of school together now. I had developed a crush, unadmitted even to myself, during middle school on one of my friends. My freshman year, she went out with another girl. It didn't bother me, I hadn't even admitted to myself that I'd had a crush on her. I have horrible gaydar. I didn't figure out that a great deal of my female friends were in fact lesbian for a long time. Despite the fact that some of them were pretty flaming. Learning it now, it doesn't really surprise me.
Sophmore year my parents went on sabatical in Scotland. My brother and I went with them. Looking back on it now, I think they were probably making a last ditch effort to save their marrige. Or at least my mom was, my dad was either intentionally oblivious to the problem or actually oblivious to it. I still can't tell which. We didn't go till third trimester. During the first two thirds of the year, the girl who I'd developed a crush on, developed a crush on me. Apparently, she was bi. Armed with this knowledge I can look back on that year and see quite clearly that all the signs were there, and I must have been blind as a bat to miss them. But I was blind as a bat, on purpose. That and I still thought she was a lesbian and totally disinterested.
Scotland pried my clam shell open. It was a new environment, with new people. People who were much more open about relationships than my friends back home were (at least around old disinterested, asexual me). I began to think that maybe they did work out sometimes, and could happen. I opened up once again to the idea that I had feelings for girls.
Junior year, all hell broke lose. I developed a crush on a different girl, one I actually admitted to having. And, amazingly enough, I acted upon it. It didn't go well, but it wasn't a mistake. I learned from it. And next time I asked a girl out the relationship lasted ten months and every moment of it was wonderful. It ended not long ago, it was bound to eventually. We were dead set on going completely different ways to completely different places.
Junior year also saw my parents divorce and what had always been my home shatter. My brother and I had no idea it was coming. Sure my parents faught, but we'd always been told that the fighting was good, it solved problems. Sure the fighting had gotten worse, but divorce? Our parents? No. Surely not. But they did. In April I came home from an Academic Superbowl competition to find my mom pacing about in the kitchen and my dad no where to be found. My mom told me she'd asked my dad for a divorce and then collapsed in tears on the floor. The next few months were hell. My mom was a labor lawyer at one time, and knew what she was doing when it came to divorce and lawyers. The divorce proceded at high speed and by the end of summer my family and my home was solidly destroyed. I was left with my brother being knocked back and forth between homes like a bloody ping pong ball. My parents went from being gods, even if gods I kept at arms length, to very very human. How could they not when I was hearing both sides of the story of their continued interaction in every... gory... detail. I now have two houses, and no home. I'll have a home again in college.
quote: quote: Also the year Tristan and I attempted to "break out" of school.
O_O Is this the same Daniel who I remember turning down a piece of gum in organic chem, because it's "against the rules"!?!
The very same. I didn't start to be rule abiding until middle school. And even then it was rules that weren't too hard for me to not to break, such as chewing gum in the class room since I don't really chew gum
It wasn't much of an attempt really. It was more we spent weeks planning it and what 'weapons' we'd use to work our way out. The weapons being things like nerf balls and nerf guns. It never amounted to anything more than Tristan standing up in class with a nerf gun one day and half heartedly saying "Nobody move." and then getting glared down by Mrs J. I was frozen in my seat and never even made it to a standing position.
Yep.. we were real trouble makers once upon a time
wow, daniel, I learned a lot, lots I already knew, but wow. Who got Wells and National Merit (I apparently missed this in the paper, I think I know a few of the national merits though). I have known you so long, but didn't ever really talk to you till like last april or so. I do know you changed and grew up a lot in Scottland, when you came back you were very didfferent.
Posts: 5362 | Registered: Apr 2004
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quote:Originally posted by Elizabeth: Good luck at Skidmore. You will be in a beautiful area of the country, perfect for exploring by means of hiking boots.
Thanks. And I definately plan on doing just that
quote:Originally posted by twinky: That's rough, but you seem to be taking a healthy attitude toward life. My guess is that you'll manage just fine. And have a ball at college.[Smile]
Thanks. Stuff happens, and worse stuff has happened to better people. I'll live Sides, once I'm out and on my own, it doesn't really effect me that much any more Which is why I'm looking forward to college so much.
quote:Originally posted by breyerchic: I have known you so long, but didn't ever really talk to you till like last april or so. I do know you changed and grew up a lot in Scottland, when you came back you were very didfferent.
The not talking till recently would be in large part due to the fact that I wasn't the nicest person to you until recently You were a very... commanding person when I knew you in orchestra and I tend to react to that by telling said person to go to hell in every way I know how. I'm getting better about it, but you've also gotten much less commanding now that we don't have orchestra together
Posts: 3295 | Registered: Jun 2004
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