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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » 1990 Thoughts Thought (Landmark)

   
Author Topic: 1990 Thoughts Thought (Landmark)
Jonathan Howard
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Introduction

This is my landmark post, number 1,990; one thousand, nine hundred and ninety. You'd expect me to write a landmark at just 10 more posts, a nice, round number: 2,000. That’s the norm. People write it at 500; 666; 1,000; 1,111; 1,337; 1,500; 2,000, et cetera. I wrote at 998; 1,600; and not 1990. Why 1990? Because that’s the year I was born in. Besides, ten posts either way makes no difference to me. I didn’t care about 998 or 1,000. I didn’t care that it was 1,600 and not 1,500 (well, it was my fifteenth birthday, so I made sure I hit a hundred-number, at the rate of so many posts a day). Why would I care about these ten posts that will pop-up in no time anyway?

See, I never realised how quickly time passed. I used to post five, maybe six posts a day, sometimes less. I had a night of about 70 posts, I didn’t miss a thread. That was around 400 posts. Ah, the good old days, where I was being heavily criticised for my Christmas Thread – with justice, mind you.

Now days, I post so many that it seems like yesternight I wrote my 2nd landmark at 1,600 posts. It was mid-may, and now it’s a little over two months later. That’s 70 days and 400 posts. Still at a little over five posts a day. But I have the “Haloed Silhouette” ID that has over 300 posts, so that’s over 10 a day. Also, there were days I was absent.

If someone were to tell me during the first days of October 2004 that by July the following year I would have 2,000 posts on a forum that I would be addicted to, that I would have had my share of swearing at an Irish guy named jebus and the King of Men, that I would have a place to discuss poetry, music, cricket, learn forum games, and have a series of 600 e-mails – I’d laugh. I’d say “now way”, I’d be sure that something went even further wrong in my head.

Which is true.

But you are Hatrack. You are an online community I know through my computer. You’re basically 1s and 0s; or rather: you are a bunch of electrons chasing their tails this way and that way, making this wonderful thing happen. This online community has given me so much, taken from me so much [time], and changed my life permanently.

A life which I am about to tell you of. But since this will be a long story, and since I have to go to bed, I will do this in several parts. It’s a step-by-step landmark, so expect the continuation in several hours (my late morning).

Part One: The Early Steps

I was born on the 16th of May in the year 1990 to the incorrect calculation of the birth of the one called Ješu` (commonly known today as Jesus Christ). I was a cute baby, I tend to believe. My parents, brothers and sister all liked me – something that doesn’t happen in all families – and my father always wanted me to be a smart man.

That is, when I was a few months old, he took me into the kitchen and asked me: “Jonathan! Where is the light?” I looked up towards the bulb. My [maternal] grandmother laughed, my brothers and sister couldn’t believe it. My mother probably still doesn’t believe it. My father liked the idea, and he tried to make me multilingual. Had my mother spoken to me Czech, my grandmother Yiddish and my father English – I’d have had four languages spoken natively (with a quick bump over to German). My first colour (and favourite for many years) was red. I don’t know when, what or why.

Life, though, isn’t perfect. My mother spoke to me in Hebrew. My grandmother spoke to me in Yiddish and I spoke to her back in Yiddish; but then she travelled to Australia and by the time she came back I replied to her in Hebrew. My Yiddish is now down the drain. But at least my father insisted I learn the international language, and so my English arose at roughly the same pace as Hebrew – with only a few people to talk to.

I had a fetish for water at age two. That does not mean I got orgasms from watching naked women (or men – to be politically correct) in the pool. I simply liked exploring everything that water had to do with. I don’t know why – I just did. I remember when I knew virtually every car that existed, around the age of three. I simply memorised the logos and associated them with what the car’s brand said (our car was, and still is, an “Ustin Mont” instead of an “Austin Montego”). I loved the idea of my siblings – on the way to the synagogue on Saturday mornings – trying to get me the hardest cars, questioning me about their brands and features.

One evening as my brother Golan and some of his friends were walking somewhere and I was with them, one decided to give me a challenge (so I’ve heard, I don’t recall the occasion). “Jonathan, listen to me”, he said. “It’s all very nice that you know cars’ names and brands, but you’re big enough now, you’re already three.” And he explained: “Until now you could trick us into believing you actually know the cars. But that’s easy – you just look at the logo, and read it, telling us everything about it. But that’s kids’ work. I want to challenge you.”

He took me up in front of a large car. But it was covered. “Now, you see”, he said: “This is the real test. Tell me, what is this car? What is the company that makes it?” Very nice of him indeed. He takes me to a covered car, and wants me to know what it is. Heck, I’d like to see him try! But I just looked around, front and back, checked the shape, and replied with certainly. “It’s a Volvo. An old Volvo”, were my words.

The friends looked at each other. The one who tested me said “okay, let’s check it”. They took off the covers. The car was a Swedish one, and it wasn’t a Saab. It was a Volvo, an old Volvo.

One of the most pleasant things of my youth was going to synagogue, but not for the praying. At age three, you’re not expected to be a great theology-believer. Even my parents didn’t expect me to be one, although they had high expectations of me. I plated outside with the kids, very few were Israeli. Some were French, some were Anglosaxons (mainly Americans), and some we didn’t really know. There were two synagogues I went to: one was Ramban, which was near home, and we went there for the evening service; one was Ezrat Yisrael, which we went to for the morning services. I don’t know why we split up between the synagogues. But we didn’t go every Saturday morning to synagogue, only when we woke up. In good time, we stopped going almost altogether in the mornings because we became even lazier. But the Sabbath, as much as I may despise certain laws regarding it, holds some sentimental memories. At the age of fifteen, it I practically insane to talk about nostalgia; this is how I’ll be senile by the age of twenty, but who cares?

My father had a red cup. A red cup he took to the synagogue. Whenever I wanted to drink, he’d go into the men’s room and fill it up from the sink (“Hey! Dad!”, I used to say, “it’s a big, red Gimmel!” – referring to the letter Gimmel standing for “G’varim”, men). I loved that red cup, I don’t know why. He also brought food so I could eat. And ever since I was three or four I started saying “please”, “thank you” and “sorry”. In both languages!

-----

This is only some of the first part, and there’s so much more to tell! I’ll complete this later on. Feel free to comment, however.

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TomDavidson
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I have no memories at all of my life before the age of five.
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Beanny
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I've read your former landmarks, I like this one the best. The story with the Volvo was very cool!
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Corwin
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quote:
At the age of fifteen, it I practically insane to talk about nostalgia; this is how I’ll be senile by the age of twenty, but who cares?
Neah, it's alright. It's nice that you remember those things and it's ok to miss them. I'm 24 and sometimes when I remember something from when I was younger I think: "Wow, that did indeed happen?! If so, it was in another lifetime!" [Big Grin]

Can't wait for the rest! And I liked the Volvo story too! [Smile]

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Jonathan Howard
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I just opened an account at a bank, so I’m sorry for the delay. I’m glad you liked the Volvo story, but you should have heard my brother (Golan) tell it. Anyway:

I used to wake up very early, at six o’clock or so – almost every morning. I was usually up for about three hours before my parents got up on Saturdays, and I had a lot of time for myself. Don’t get me wrong: my father woke up very early, and he still does so today (mostly), to go to the toilet to have a pee; a little weird habit of his. Whenever I was up, he went to the kitchen and made me a sandwich. Four slices of bread, with margarine and vegemite (using two different knives).

He cut the bread up into two, and I’d sit around the dining room or the lounge room eating it calmly, trying to read newspapers that I barely understood (limited vocabulary). I had time to think, pretend, rest, walk around, and ea a little in the morning. Today I look at those days as blurry ones, days with little worries. But that’s just one other thing you think when you get older.

I remember no memories of my first kindergarten – at age two/three. I remember my fourth birthday, but that was at another kindergarten, one that I barely remember. Roughly at age five I went to the third kindergarten – “pre-school”. It’s the “K” of “K-12”. In Israel there’s requirement to study for one year prior to school, and at least 10 years of school.

One memory I have from my first kindergarten. I remember crossing the railway line (near my home); my father was taking me there that day. We arrived at a location of big rocks that I had to climb. The kindergarten was at the top of that steep, rocky, 20-metre tall plateau – and to get there I had to climb. I remember, reaching the top – my father said “I’ve got to go to work. But I’ll pick you up”. When I asked him what time he will pick me up, he said “one-twenty. Remember to check your watch and prepare on time”. My first digital watch I had when I was eight. That means that if I remember correctly, I read analogue watches at the age of three.

The real funny psychological thing that happened was that years later, when I was shown where I went to my first kindergarten, I saw that the three-metre high plateau (a big lump of boulders) was actually adjacent to the kindergarten’s location. Like two neighbouring houses, those two properties were adjacent, not the same thing. My psychology-teacher last year explained to us that things like that can happen.

I remember back in my little cot I was rolling around. I don’t remember what it felt like being unable to stand, but I remember that all of my memories (I only have visual ones) are those of a side-view, as if my head wasn’t really straight up. I found out that there’s this yellow stuff (the mattress-filling) that’s really fun to pull apart and “crumble”. My sister (Nadine) came into the room, probably routine-checking what’s up with me. She quickly bustled out with a horrified look and called my father. He came in with a disappointed look on his face. I know I’ve disappointed him. (Wait, I remember writing this sentence before…)

Neither my father nor sister remembered this case when I asked them (psychology class homework).

I remember my pre-school rather well. I had several good friends, many so-so friends; and since I was rather knowledgeable by the time (I’m told), and since I knew how to read, many people came to me with questions. For instance: the rascal of the group (extremely intelligent boy, implemented or not, very mischievous, and today he bullies all the geeks – except me, for some awkward reason – though I’m just thankful for my luck) came to me one day after he found a shekel coin someone dropped. He asked me for my opinions on what can be done with it. I think I remember it now as a false memory, but he taught me how to lay traps (dig a hole, then cover it with long stems and small branches, then cover with leaves the whole area).

I remember that I came to (what do you call them? The equivalents of the teachers in pre-school), telling whatever-her-title-is that it was the first day I got dressed completely on my own (I was simply lazy getting dressed, not that I was incapable of it). I had a lot of fun that year, and enjoyed our little Chanukah parties… I had a good [female] friend who’s still my friend and we had a simultaneous crush on each other (look at SteveRoger’s landmark; I think I mentioned it there). She’s still a good friend of mine, and even after three and years and a bit that we didn’t see each other (first three grades and a bit of fourth) – we remained good friends: we kept on from where we stopped, same relation, just frozen for three years, so we kept on three years maturer.

Friendship is one thing that I had abundantly when I was young. I always felt a little bit of a geek, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying life. Those were three years I remember rather well for someone my age. I can’t even imagine what I’d have been had I not remembered my first years. Tom stated he can’t remember his first five years. I simply can’t picture myself in such a case; I know that my moves are very deeply affected by notalgia of those first few years. Ever since I started going to school everything changed. It took a year or two, but it happened. I can’t believe that for most of my life I’ve been in school… But it’s true, and has been for years. I can now look at two different Jonathans: one who was 3, 4 and 5 years old, one who was relatively smart, problem-free and followed the rule of “carpe diem”, and one who’s 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 years old, having got used to having school as a giant chunk of life, finally noticing the giant change it makes in your life.

This is the end of Part One: The Early Steps; I hope to complete another two parts at least, meaning this entire landmark will be a nice little autobiography. I hope to reach October 2004, and possibly contemporary time (July/August 2005, depends when I finish writing this).

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Beanny
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It's kind of scare that you're writing a biography and 15 y.o. - like Mozart died while writing a Requiem. Superstitious, I know, but still...be be hasty to end it!
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TomDavidson
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quote:

Those were three years I remember rather well for someone my age.

You remember those astonishingly well, in fact.
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Farmgirl
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I'm always amazed a people who can remember their pre-school years very very clearly -- I know of a couple of people like that -- who can remember things back to age 2 or even maybe slightly before.

I, unfortunately, don't have that gift, and can only remember snippets of incidents before school time.

someone once told me they thought it relates to language -- the earlier you understand words and language to go WITH the "pictures" in your mind, then you can retain those memories -- but before that you have no reference point for the images.

But I don't know if that is always true. My 19 year old was a very very early reader, yet he doesn't remember much at all of his life prior to kindergarten. (However, that may be on purpose, since those were not pleasant years of his life)

Farmgirl

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Jonathan Howard
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I read all the letters (English, Hebrew) and vowels + some symbols (Hebrew) by the age of 3, I could read sentences and paragraphs too, so I guess I could understand language rather well. I read books by the age of five (20-25 page stories for 7-8 year-olds - I read The Wind in the Willows, not to mention Carroll's books, at 5-6).

My father told me FG's theory of language relating to it, and since at my young age I was completely bilingual (Hebrew and English dominated my thoughts equally, even counting numbers) - that means that I had almost double the ability.

Now, I'm going to watch an episode of Friends, and I'm also going to have a cup of tea before I write Part Two...

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Jonathan Howard
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Part Two: My First School

By the time I reached first-grade, I was six years old. Now a big boy, I was ready for the challenge. School meant work – or failure, so I was told by many people, and you’ve got to work like a big boy now!

So work I did, though it was quite a waste of a year. I met some new people, and I could’ve skipped a grade higher, because I could read, write, and my maths was at the level of roughly fourth grade. I could have skipped very easily – but my parents told me that it’s not worthwhile because the kids are bigger in second grade, and not that it means they’re necessarily better than me, it might simply not adapt – and they have had already a whole year to integrate.

At the age of six, I understood that. I knew my parents weren’t underestimating the fact that I got brilliant grades and was probably able to skip one grade. My father educated me well before going to school, and I’m grateful for that until this very day – I learned how to read early and I read dozens of books by the time I reached first grade.

So first grade was pretty useless, but I had good friends (even a female friend – and who’d think at the age of six the two sexes would be friends?), and I even got married. It wasn’t a very useful period, but there still is nostalgia for the winter of 1996-7. I mean, even with the people I didn’t like – it made that period a little special. I was still physically small enough to see the neighbourhood, the school, and the environment as if they were much bigger and better than they actually were. Then again, we all live in our little illusions of idealism. That’s not to say that I, by any means, felt as if the world was ideal back then. Far from it: I simply didn’t know everything – and what I didn’t know didn’t harm me; yet.

When I entered second grade, two new people came. The first was the son of the school’s rabbi – telling me that he never came for first grade because he knew how to read and write, and his knowledge in maths was sufficient. He wasn’t lying, of course, though I felt it a little weird he didn’t join in first grade because he missed a year adapting to school.

The second one I’d like to refer to as “EF” (those are his initials). He’s Canadian, if I’m not mistaken, and he seemed a rather easily-tempered person. First look he ever gave me was a leer. I wasn’t worrying about him, though. I had enough friends for him to know that it’s not a wise decision to mess around with me. He could hang around with his friends – whom I wasn’t overly fond of, and I would hang around with mine.

The best reference for my thoughts on the social situation can be acquired in what I wrote in my report card (yeah, well, we had or own input). After the first half of second grade I wrote something roughly like: “The truth is that I’m not really friends with my class: that is because I don’t like soccer and they do, and I don’t know how to play basketball but they do. So I play with first grade.” My teacher’s reply was, “Jonathan, dear, you’re a boy who likes friends and sociality, and it’s important for you that your friends will like you too. In my opinion your friends like you even though you don’t know how to play soccer – and that’s because you’re nice to them, help them, and you’re considerate. Try – during the breaks they don’t play soccer – to play with them, and not go play with first grade”.

At the end of the year I wrote “I have friends lately, and during May I played with … and … the games … and …; towards the end of May I played alone the game … and now I play with the school’s facilities”. My teacher’s reply was “Jonathan, I’m glad you’re playing with your friends recently; I think they want to be your friends and you just need to keep playing with them, and not going to play with kids from other grades”.

A small improvement, but that was only one problem that was slightly solved. The following year I was picked on ruthlessly during the rides home from school (like the classical yellow American school-buses, just that we’re talking about 1995 models of Ford Transit), by many people, and there were times I simply broke down. That year many of my friends left (we’re talking about my best friends who left – though some I still saw at the special gifted school I started attending that year), EF and two other kids simply had a victim they could exert their malice upon.

It was a year of disaster. I hated going to school, I became bitter, arrogant, and my family witnessed for the first time my violence – both physical and spoken – against my brothers (who are 10 to 14 years older than me). My father knew eventually that this is an impossible situation; one day when I came back home crying he decided that that’s that. My brother Golan once told me what I was like at the age of nine… In order not to humiliate anyone I will keep silent.

The following year – rather early on – I went to a different school; this one closer to home and not anything that killed me socially. I don’t quite remember everything that happened in my first school, I kept it suppressed. I have one good memory of that year. Early on I remember writing down in my diary the homework (which I rarely did) and “to call evil EF and <friend>”. I can’t remember why, I bumped into tat “friend” many years later, and he was never quite that horrible to me. But he was influenced by EF and that’s probably why he was never pleasant to me either. The only friend I really had towards the end of that year was the third guy of the little clan who also picked on me. I remember that he picked on me once too hard and said something nasty. I waited until he went and talked to someone else, then I went over to him quietly – behind his back – and I called his name, to which he responded by turning around and facing me. I gave him the hardest punch I could in the stomach, to which he replied “Ouch! That hurt!”, and I walked off angrily.

I can barely remember that time, which means that this chapter is significantly shorter than the others. But hopefully the next one will talk about my other school. I’m a little exhausted from writing right now…

[ August 14, 2005, 10:43 AM: Message edited by: Jonathan Howard ]

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Jonathan Howard
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Serious delay, so I'm sorry. I simply didn't think of continuing this; but now I'm dehydrated at 35 degrees outside (and inside!), and I'm fasting until nightfall – hopefully.

Part Three – My Second School:

As I said, early in fourth grade I moved schools, due to social reasons. I remember walking into my classroom and one kid there was early. He was nice enough to greet the new kid on the block with courtesy and we talked for a bit. Apparently, he was (or one of) the best student in the class, and a great person. Great literally, too, he’s 1.85m tall currently, and possibly still growing. He’s one of my best friends to this very day.

Over the year I got to meet new people, new faces, and a less selective school; why did I prefer it to the old one where (almost) everyone was an Anglo-Saxon? I don’t know. You’d expect me – as someone quite geeky (and then unbelievably nerdy) – to be a fan of “good” schools where social needs are less determined by being anti-academic. Apparently, it didn’t work and the next one did. I met some people I knew from kindergarten, one whom I had a crush on later. I kept on going to my special school once a week, and settled in quite easily. Though we were 35 kids in the class, it wasn’t as bad as it seems.

My English teacher was impressed with my work, as my English teachers usually were and are. (Ha-ha, Jon Boy!) Every time the whole class did homework we’d all get a sweet. I hated Torah lessons (Leviticus at age 10? You must be mad), I was bored by maths, and I felt under-excited by others.

In fifth grade, we got a new English teacher – a Kiwi nobody particularly liked – whose only particularly interesting lesson was the one where we saw how many words are either pronounced identically with different spellings (ate, eight; bow, bough) or spelt the same with different phonetics (wound, wound). Mind you, in seventh grade we were asked to define in our own words terms we saw in a story, and I explained “wound” in the meaning of what you suffer in battle, when she meant the past tense of “wind”… I got no points for that even though my definition was impeccable.

In sixth grade we were joined by a new lad, apparently an American who was half Yemenite and whose parents had divorced. His surname was “Ratson”, by the way, though he lived with his mother – their front door had “The Alboim Family” on it, however. He was perverted beyond human recognition, and I mean perverted sexually. He was attracted to very single girl in the class, several boys, not to mention the most horrifyingly-looking elderly teachers. By “attracted” I don’t mean appreciation of looks (or their lack), I mean masturbation during prayer-time; taking his pen, putting his head on the table and groaning into it as if it were a microphone (during his Second Lisa Crush) “Leesa, Shmeesa, love you Leesa Shmeesa” and later on (during his Third Lauren Crush) the name changed into “Lauren Shmauren”.

It took him hours to believe us when we told him what body-organ babies come from (as he was overly attracted to it, and we explained to him that it isn’t always that aesthetic looking); he would walk around the school, being attracted to a mother-and-daughter at the same time; attempt to rape tables; attempt the same, except with a student in the middle (poor tables, none of them deserved to be molested); not do anything during class except play with his Gameboy (who didn’t have one a the time?) and measure his penis’s size.

One time, the time at which he sat next to me, during maths lesson, he measured his penis (“longer than my ruler”, yeah right!) and was trying to compare his to mine by feeling mine. I immediately shoved my elbow into his groin, causing him to call up loudly (in the middle of the scary, elderly teacher – whom he had a great crush on later – ‘s explanation of 3 dimensional geometry): “Teacher! He *pointing to me* hit my whatdoyoucallit!” My reply was “had you not tried to pat mine, you’d have never got your nuts cracked!” and the teacher sent him out, only looking at me with sympathy. Funny she did it.

Aside my horrible experiences with him, that year (or the one before it, I think it was the latter option but whatever) we had a stupid sports’ teacher. He was so hopeless that he didn’t even know our names. He just called them out, and three of we good friends went and talked out of his ear and eye range. We never got caught, and just wandered off while he read his Russian newspaper. I eventually formed “אלפ"א” (Alpha), which in Hebrew stood for “[ה]אגודה למען פיטור אלכס” “[The] Union for Firing Alex” (Alex was the teacher’s name); our slogan was “Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta”.

Of course, when the thing grew and half our grade were “members”, we had to come up with an answer to those who inquired Alpha’s initials; I came up with the answer: “אנחנו לא פוחדים, אֶה-אֶה-אֶה!” (We’re Not Afraid, Eh-eh-eh!) Many years later, I asked my good friend “say, who came up with that stupid answer to what Alpha’s initials were?”, to which he answered “you, of course, who else was that weird?” – quite true.

Not much happened in those years, although I did come up with a joke (that’s too hard to explain now) which occurred when I offered a certain “invitation of “people” to our year’s-end party that year. It resulted that the teacher came to my desk during a lesson in which we discussed the party, inquiring as to who those “people” were and why would I want them “invited”. Two of my friends – as I expected – were on the floor laughing so hard that one of them actually had to be sent out of class because he was so wiped out and laughing so hard that his voice could be heard nationwide. The teacher said: “I see your friend is joyous, can you make me likewise too?” I decided to give him a taste of those two “people’s” deeds, and upon my description my friend burst out ten times louder, and that’s when he was sent out.

That friend one day the following year was at school, and when the teacher called out names, and when he called out my friend’s name and “are you here?”, he received the answer “regretfully”. My friend was kicked out of class, and that day he turned out to be extremely ill: one of his hands was shaking violently and he had to have his other hand calming it down. He was tomato-red, and since he was a giant (the same one I met first), he looked scary. When I was finally was courageous enough to ask him what’s wrong, he said “I don’t know” in a soft voice that didn’t fit with his facial look, and asked me to hold his hand tightly enough to calm him down. He went home that day, and the teacher never realised that the “regretfully” was stated because of illness. Nonetheless, it was an interesting day. That friend was once kicked out of maths – a lesson we all hated – and when he was out he was so glad that he shouted silently to himself “YES!” and made a gesture that hurt both his knee and his elbow… We used hat gesture ironically ever since, with my little elaborations.

This is what I’ve come up with from my second primary school. If I think of more – I’ll tell you; otherwise, I hope to move on to Junior High before the landmark is sealed.

Cheers, and may Australia win this third Cricket Test,
Jonathan Howard

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Raia
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This is fun to read. Happy landmark(s), Jonny! [Smile]
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Jonathan Howard
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Thank you!
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SteveRogers
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Happy Landmark!

By the way, that is why you have more posts than me. I've been gone most of the summer, and I try to limit my posting a little. If I was out of control, we'd be close in post count. But since I retain some self control I am behind. May we declare a post peace?

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Jonathan Howard
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*Bump.*

Remember I post 6 days a week, and several days off. I go on trips and miss them too. But you joind months later, months which got me a hundred posts at most.

Don't worry, I haven't been keeping track ever since I reached 1990 and you didn't gt a 2,000 landmark for while. I don't rival you anymore because I won *fearing Tom might post here*. [Razz]

I accept your armistice, but I might start Operation QuikPost II again if I see a thread to my Post Count. [Razz]

And thanks for your wishing, Steve/Mike; I truly appreciate it, mate.

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Jonathan Howard
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Part Four – Junior High Years:

It takes a while to write these posts. Yeah, sure – I know it can be done in 35 minutes, but it’s still something you don’t want to face writing every other night. This landmark has been stretched out for too long, but I still want to finish it, as much as possible. The third Cricket Test Match ended in a draw, by the way, so I’m waiting for the next two, starting this Thursday. Anyway, to the point:

Three years ago I first popped up in Hartman School. Not that this was an unexpected thing, mind you, I knew I was going to this school ever since I went to school. We were led to our classrooms, a bunch of 12 year-olds all in our little clusters, sorted into classes and starting to study. For the first day we had an introduction to the school, after that we had full-time studying. Sometimes until 5 O’clock in the afternoon. Of course, we are talking about the cool days of the autumn, with some of my most pleasant memories of nature and social integration. I will never be able to express it in any form of words – and take my word for it as a 100% bilingual whose two languages are completely different.

Very soon we found names and uses for all of the little things and places on our “campus”, as I liked to call it and swept a few others with me. We had a serious teacher, fundamentalist but open and comprehensive, serious but playful at times and well-educated. We didn’t pay so much money to be taught by a slob. We were taught by someone who already had big plans and gave us [well, at least it worked on me] new attitudes for life. Especially before our Bar-Mitzvahs (the Jewish adulthood ceremony at age 13), the school had programmes for us.

Very soon into school I verified for the final time that I am a winter person. Bugger the sun. Having to look at the greenery of our hilly campus after the rain and smelling and sensing the Aroma is something I wish every person from a place with a Jerusalemite winter-climate should experience. It’s undefinable, unexplainable, and it would lose of its superior sensation had it been able to be described. It’s what I look at now and realise I wanted to feel for such a long time, longing for the gloomy, overcast days, studying and then going out – having a stroll in the rain with a friend amidst the showers… If any of you know what I mean, you are lucky.

Studies were hard. There was a lot of stuff to learn, and quickly. 40-50 hours a week, 5-6 of those being tests is something we had to quickly adjust to. Going to school a little after sunrise and coming back home at pitch-darkness at times was also something we just had to get used to; I live 10 minutes of walk away from it, but some lads live outside Jerusalem and study from dawn to dusk, and occasionally more. But that’s just something you’ve got to adapt to if you want to go on.

Having a kiosk at school is nice, and I was so popular there that I had my own series of specials. And still have… Though the lads at that kiosk changed annually, it’s something that we enjoyed. By the time summer had some I got used to the fact that school wasn’t as pleasant, and that the atmosphere has greatly changed – we’ve got more tests, less break-time, massive studies and annual summaries. Socially we all got used to one another, but there are still kids in my class I barely know, mainly because we aren’t in the same circles. I maintained a position of someone poised enough not to be a victim of anything, but I didn’t go as far as bully, especially as one of the more educated in the class.

I had a very successful Bar-Mitzvah ceremony and reading (I still read – why only 14 hours ago I had a Torah reading!), with enough friends coming over from my new school. English lessons I had with my fifth-grade teacher – for two whole years! It was nasty, and we never quite liked it. Of course, now that we’re in high-school we’ve got a real teacher; not an apprentice. [Wink]

Eighth grade, mind you, was very similar. A few teachers changed, but not anything massively different. I don’t have time to elaborate more and tell many stories, as I have to go to bed – but I almost assure you that when I wake up you will hear more of what happened in Junior High. It might be delayed, though, as usual. Call me “cunctator”, or “Scipio”, if you will.

Jonny

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SteveRogers
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Wishing? What?
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Hamson
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Whoa. Jon. You were born 11 days before me (on the day I was suppose to be born).

I wish I could take psych this year (or had it last year). I have to wait till Juinior year...

And it's insane how much detail you remember from ages 3-8. The only memorys I have from those times are very broad, or plain random, or just brought upon from times I had visited those same places a couple years after I was required to be there.

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The Pixiest
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You were born on my 21st birthday.
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Jonathan Howard
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Steve - your "Happy Landmark" statement;
Hamson - don't know what it's like not to remember, can't say much about that;
The Pixiest - Mazal Tov.

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