Apparently you have stumbled onto this average and boring profile based solely on the life of Nick Ingram, a boring and average person, who is 14 years old and was born on the date of September 2nd, 1997. Due to being born on a date so close to the deadline that I had to repeat preschool and for a very long duration I assumed it was because I was stupid, although it ended up being solely for the purpose that I was too young to graduate.
The preschool I went to was St. Patrick's Catholic school, and I have very fond memories of days like "Coloring days" and "Bring a pet day" however within the second year, full of repetition and boredom, my teachers tried to keep me back saying I wasn't fully mature enough (while the reasoning behind my misbehavior was my boredom), but I managed to get through, which leads to the fun and exciting year of kindergarten.
I: The Kindergarten Struggle:
Kindergarten started out horribly. I was in the morning classes with Mrs. Gensive, and my dad always packed me oranges as a snack. I hate oranges. I vaguely remember bursting into tears on the first day that the incident occurred, but eventually, throughout the year I became familiar with the fact that I would simply not eat until I arrived home, feeding the food to a readhead named Thomas, or Tom as I called him.
I remember the designated group that I would spend time with every day in those classes. There was Jackie, Jake, Thomas, and myself. We all sat at the same table, and we were all academic superstars at the time. While we wrote out our letters, I was renowned for having impeccable penmanship! Then the day happened, the horrid day in which my academic record was forever flawed (for that week) and my reputation tarnished.
The day seats changed, I blatantly forgot that the situation had occurred, and I approached Emanuel's desk, and from that moment until the next week, I was furious with myself. I had messed up most of the letters on the worksheet to my knowledge. I didn't even answer some of them! I grabbed the paper, and after a few minutes, I remembered to head back to my seat, and since Emanuel and I both forgot, we had grabbed each others' papers.
Over from his side of the room, I heard a cheer, "Yes!" and if I remember correctly, he explained how he had gotten a perfect score. That looked so much like my handwriting! I figured it was coincidence, and was furious for the next week, until the event which forever altered my kindergarten experience occurred.
Suddenly, I heard Mrs. Gensive call over Emanuel and I. We stood there, and I remember that her glasses were slanted and I hated her haircut. She said that our sheets had been mixed together, and it made so much more sense. I had done a fair job on my work, and Emanuel had not, and from that point on, I learned an important lesson. Slackers will slack.
Another time when the seats were moved, a new student had arrived, Jared. We were the only ones at that table, and at that time, Jared looked hard core. He wore tee-shirts with no writing on them, and he was taller than the rest of us. The manliest of all, he didn't even drink milk at snack time.
I remember, the first day that we were assigned a group project, I was intimidated. If I got the question wrong, would I be beaten? What would happen to the poor innocent soul that only strived to learn and have fun for his first year of education in the public school system?
Even without speaking, Jared had converted it to a silent group effort. At that point, he would work on his work individually, as would I. I had no problem with that situation, but Mrs. Gensive did. She questioned our motives, and I didn't know what to do.
Suddenly, I had to make a decision. Get killed by the intimidating Jared by working with him, or insubordination by not obeying the desire of the teacher. Apparently, he was making the same decision as I, but it were either get in trouble or work with me. Apparently, he intended to stay out of trouble for that part of the year.
That concludes the eventful year of kindergarten, and I think that even though I had my fair share of struggles, I learned a lot throughout the year.
II: The 1st Grade Experience:
It was first grade. I was now in the digits of the educational system, and I was prepared to show that I was. Our group of friends, however, was separated. Thomas had been shoved into the remedial classes as I figured, and Jackie was put into the classroom next to mine, and Jake had mysteriously disappeared over the summer. I still wonder what happened to him.
However, it took no time at all to fit in. The other stellar students and I quickly bonded and eventually the classing was the same as the previous year, the lesser performing students together, and the better performing ones together.
When we were in our groups, I found myself with Raul, who always fell asleep, and Eduardo, the intelligent mastermind who was always up to something devious, and also Roberto, who was in a sense a mastermind when it came to manipulating the ladies.
I remember the day of recess like it was yesterday. I was out on the playground, and Roberto and some of the girls were playing jump rope (from his motives then, I thought he was a chick magnet, but I have started to think that he was gay instead of a chick magnet), and he offered for me to join them. And there was Sammantha over playing jump rope. The one I liked at the time.
Back then, I'll admit it. I was the quiet and shy kid. But jump rope? I was a pro at that game! I wouldn't turn down an offer, unless it involved my embarrassment. Unfortunately, my nerves got the best of me, and I refused. I looked next to me, and Eduardo and Raul were up to no good.
They were both using the chalk and writing swears all over the sidewalks. I quickly tried to hurry away, but it was far too late. The lunch lady bellowed and yelled at us to stay where we were, and I knew I was in for trouble when that happened.
Eduardo and Raul stayed cool, but I was shaking. I hadn't been a troublemaker at that point, and I didn't want to be. Raul and Eduardo explained that they were deliberately writing the curses on the sidewalk for their own pleasure, and I denied that I had anything to do with it.
However, the teacher guessed that I was in fact lying. At that point, the teacher grabbed my arm, and dragged me inside to the lunch room as everyone else hurried in to grab their milk and sit with their lunches and eat. I was in the back of the lunch room, my heart pounding, as the teacher asked over and over again if I had done it, and I denied it every time, but she was persistant.
I was getting tired of it, and worried, too. I had never been down to the office for trouble at all in my life prior to that (and still to this date I haven't - shoot, I killed the story), and she let me go, and I was supposed to see her later. I ate the whole lunch, worried, and then I made a bad decision.
I sneaked out of the lunch room and escaped to my class as nothing happened. I continued through the day, and nothing happened, and Eduardo and Raul explained what had happened to them while I was gone. Apparently the situation was not as good as I thought.
Nevertheless, I managed to find myself in more trouble throughout the year. There was an empty table at the end of the lunchroom for students that misbehaved. The table labelled those who sat at it as rebels, and no one ever desired to be over there.
One day, while we were eating lunch, a kicking war had erupted between the boys and the girls. I joined in, and it faded for the most part as the teacher approached. I was caught up in the situation as well as Mikey and Marisa, and we were sent over to the table.
The whole time I was over there, I was filled with shame. What trouble had I caused at that point? I remember the look of disappointment my teacher gave me at that point, and as I tied my shoe, she hit my leg and scolded me for what I had done. Then, I was in trouble, I thought.
We all were required to return to our classes. I walked down to the classroom I was supposed to be in, trying to avoid detection. And it was there that I had been labelled by my peers. I was no longer the "Well-behaved and smart Nick," but instead the troubled boy who struggles to keep himself well composed. Or at least I thought that from all of the looks I was getting throughout the classroom.
That wasn't my only troublesome moment of the day. After we came back, we were told to take out our workbooks. I grabbed mine, and opened it to the page that we worked on earlier that day, assuming we were going to check it, and we were going to. I managed to go through it perfectly until the point in which I remember that changed grammar in my life forever.
I volunteered to answer the question, something about a boy, a bear, and a clock tower, and I said, "Because the boy wanted the bear to stay," and then the teacher shouted her displeasure at me, saying it was wrong, yet providing no reason as to why it was wrong, and she wanted to depend on another student to correctly answer the question.
Finally, after most of the class answered the question incorrectly, it was my nemesis, Danielle, who raised her hand as she had the answer. "The boy told the bear to stay BECAUSE he wanted the bear to stay." I had never heard such a horribly structured sentence in my life, and I scoffed as I thought she answered it incorrectly, but to my memory, the teacher praised her for getting the question correct.
Overall, first grade was the trouble filled year in which I struggled to hold a constant reputation, and I was constantly at harm due to my friends from then, and only now do I realize that it's a good thing that Raul, Eduardo and I all were separated after that year.
Second Grade: The Creativity
Second grade was going to be amazing, even from hearing the name of my teacher. His name was Mr. Kaiser, the teacher that was known for having an obsession with aliens beyond our belief, and at the time, since I was not familiar with the basics behind extraterrestrial life and whatnot, that year was full of confusion towards Mr. Kaiser and my fellow students.
That year, I started out by sitting next to Mikey Kuzimicki, or just as we called him all yet he hated, Micky. He was on the somewhat smart but he was directly a comedian for the beginning duration of the year, and I had met him the previous year, and witnessed his humor (although nowadays I question why I thought that anything he said was funny, I guess kids think that anything is funny).
I looked around the room, and saw Mikayla, Mikey, Billy, Diego, Dylan, and Kyle, and those were the main people I recognized. Mikayla lived fairly close to me and rode the same bus as I did, I sat next to Mikey and had talked to him during prior events, I heard that Billy was an extremely nice kid, and Diego was Hispanic but that didn't stop him from being hilarious, Dylan was your stereotypical nerd (glasses, freckles, etc.), while Kyle was your typical athlete (strong, always wearing sports clothes).
I guess even through the seating that the stereotypes were in place again. However, throughout the year, I noticed that instead of there being a trend of separation throughout the classroom, all of the students seemed to be in a huge group rather than out in small groups.
Mr. Kaiser had an interesting method of governing his room. He would allow the students to conduct anything they wished within reason after the students finished classwork. Being a little devil and working my way through classwork with Mikey and Dylan, we often finished first, and that means that we could head to either of our favorite spots, the four apple computers, or over to the lego stash that Mr. Kaiser had placed.
On the computers, strict rules of conduct were held into place but Mikey, Diego, Dylan, and myself were all bored by them one day, until Diego showed us a website which involved using keys and timing to play a star-wars based game, and that had grabbed our amusement for a while, as the other students sat around all of us thinking that we were amazing at the games, while we were actually horrid at them and were actually only passing through the first level of the game.
The first fond memory I have of the year although probably one of the least significant is the finding of the lego pile, where all of the "cool" kids gathered at the time, even though it was only Mikey, Dylan, and myself at the time, but eventually everyone began congregating around that location, and joining us through the systematic hierarchy we had constructed.
The hierarchy may sound complicated through detailed explanation due to it making no sense at all and having no reason behind it, so I will put it in child language. "Since we were here first, we are the best." And that childhood logic seems to stand true for many different aspects of our world, but in the world of legos, we ran by that one.
Yes, so within the first month, we found a gigantic building constructed out of red legos and made into a pyramid, which we called the "Home base" and our little toy lego ships would depart and ship and gather all around the home base, and now that I think of it, it really served no purpose at all. However, it looked cool to the other students, so they appreciated it as a main area.
Then, one day, without knowing it, I had created a religion for the little clan of lego people, by creating a "temple" as Mikey called it, and it was simply a small tower with window holes throughout it, and now that I remember it, it took no architectural skill at all to create, yet all of the people around me considered it to be a massive success.
(Now that I realize that it is a "Temple" as Mikey had called it, that means that it was associated with religion in the slightest which means that any lego person who visited the Temple was a religious person).
The lego process ended up evolving throughout the year, and I will inform you as I lead through the events of the year as a whole how progress was going for the lego builders. While it is interesting as a whole, the project sometimes influences the events of the year, so I must go in order.
The group I was usually in was with Mikey, Dylan, and Diego, so when we were doing rotation activities, it was usually with them. Then, one day, my lack of knowledge about the rest of the world lead me to unfortunately being incorrect for the vast majority of a worksheet.
But right before that, we were at the microscopes, examining the surfaces of some coins Mikey had since we had finished early, and then I was struck by a sudden wave of interest that has changed me since then, and I'll never forget this question that I asked Mr. Kaiser (which unfortunately, I learned that two years later, was incorrect).
I asked Mr. Kaiser, out of sheer curiosity, "What is everything made of?" and after that, he replied with "These tiny things that we call molecules." I was curious about those, I hadn't heard about them before, and little did I know that atoms (or possibly strings if you want to go that far) were even smaller than molecules even though they're incorporated with each other.
I did my research, but I couldn't understand it. Websites explaining such objects such as molecules were poorly explained and overworded, and the fact that I knew nothing about what made us up made my childhood as interesting as it was. I was curious and wanted to find out, but I guess that element of mystery sparked my creativity, too. I was left to create a solution in my mind.
But then, we got our language arts sheet after the rotation. I looked at the sheet, and was immediately perplexed by the words on it. What was a "laundromat?" And why would it affect me in any way?
It turns out that I was the only one lacking the ability to tell what a laundromat was. Apparently as I lived in my house with a washing machine up until that point, I did not even know that a laundromat used a coin. As we were required to fill in the blanks, I put something like "You need to put (water) into a laundromat for it to start."
Apparently my response attracted the interest of everyone, and since I had no idea whatsoever what a laundromat was (except for the fact that it functioned similar to a laundry machine), and I did not understand what everyone found so amusing about how I responded. Didn't machines like that require water to work?
Apparently the correct answer was "coins" and now that I see that I was a complete idiot at the time, but I still realized something important about myself at that point. It has lead me into introductions for theoretical physics and I think that it summarizes a few aspects of my life.
I find loopholes in everything. Whether it is something you say or do, I think of it in a different way. Some of my friends here call me a "lateral thinker" and I think that in a way where I use indirect methods to find the answer to something instead of taking the common approach. Here is the link to the article that I think well summarizes how it works.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_thinking, however, I feel only the first sentence is needed to understand it, as it is well worded).
After that day, I didn't know that my mind worked in somewhat of a warped manner, but it came to me after some friends told me that my method behind thinking was always different than the mainstream approach. Apparently I am a logical hipster.
Apparently I have derailment which is a slight disorder, but it doesn't seem to show in my writing, only when I talk. So when I speak, I will put in random phrases towards the ends of my sentences. However, I have a habit of when I write of having gigantic run-on sentences which usually end up confusing those who read them, you've probably noticed a large amount of that already, and I apologize for that.
However, continuing with second grade, about halfway through the year, Mr. Kaiser had a way to entertain us for the last ten minutes of the day, which would be a method of playing "Tic-tac-toe" with two players, however, when one player got out, they would choose someone to substitute in their place. This commonly lead to one person holding a position at the board, and someone winning against all of the challengers.
The first major event was the first game, I think between Mikey and Dylan, having their major rivalry in proving that they were better than one another be their main concern to challenge each other. The game was fierce, and after one or two ties, Dylan had beaten Mikey in the game, and that was the major point where Dylan dominated the whiteboard with his skill in Tic-Tac-Toe.
Utilizing his skills in an array of challenges he would present towards us, for most of the year, he managed to keep us in line by dominating us in games of Tic-Tac-Toe. If he were to lose one, it would not be for long. Another would quickly nominate him back up, and he would take the position back. After a while, this became a huge problem, but that is for later.
One day, we heard about the inevitable arrival of Alberto Lopez that day. We were all curious as to who he was, and we found out when he arrived that he was a large, widely built boy. He had black hair and was of Hispanic descent, as well as he always seemed to have a cold.
Alberto was friendly, however he had a tendency to commonly use foul language, and whenever he was present, I was slightly worried that I would be accused of also taking part in that cursing, even though he was rather nice to me and saw me as a friend. However, I felt that he really longed to feel like part of the group. Mikey deprived him of all of his rights in the lego area, and I didn't know what to do.
You see, I suffer from anxiety knowing that I am guilty. I didn't think it was fair that Mikey would exclude Alberto from the group, yet I didn't want to lose my position within the hierarchy of the lego system. I was torn between friendship or power, and apparently it ended up getting the best of me.
I did end up temporarily leaving Mikey's service the day that Alberto brought in some of his own legos, and he managed his own base over at his area. While he wasn't nearly as powerful as Mikey, I felt that we could grow his civilization to be better governed and more fair than Mikey and Dylan's system.
We were dealing with constant attacks from Mikey, where he would constantly trample our growing area, but we prevailed long enough to establish a peace treaty. Alberto would serve as a growing colony on the other side of the room, and he would maintain a share of power in his area, and the compromise was benevolent to all of us, as we all ended up where we belong, and I got my spot next to Mikey and Dylan back.
Then there was also the treacherous computer lab testing and state testing that were mandatory in order to pass onto third grade. These were ordinarily no problem, but myself, trying to expand my vocabulary (however you'll notice I have a small collective vocabulary as later throughout this I will inform you of the mishaps of language arts in 4th and 5th grades), tried to use bigger words, however my spelling was a wreck at the time. Since we were taking the creative writing section, I decided to write about a UFO inspired by Mr. Kaiser and his obsession with aliens and extraterrestrial life, and "The Great Mac." (Mac. standing for machine, which I was unsure of the spelling, whether it be mashine or machine at the time, yes, I was bad at spelling).
However, after passing and handing in the test, Mr. Kaiser said he liked the whole essay but he was unsure that the grader would like it. That upset me, considering that the bias of a grader could severely effect the future of a child, whether it be that they're held back or pass a class. Apparently the system preferred factual and knowledge based stories rather than those with nonexistent concepts.
(Eventually, it turns out that on my report card, I got a perfect score on the writing portion of the state test, and the story that I wrote was a huge hit. While I was a child prodigy for a section of the year, that soon faded as I realized that it was luck that the teacher liked it. Thinking back on it, the story was horribly constructed and lacked detail in almost every aspect).
Then, there was the computer testing, which was a hassle. The whole system was that you would answer multiple choice questions, and the more you got correctly as you progressed, the more challenging the questions would get. Halfway through the test, I was facing such challenging questions through guessing and barely any skill that I remember having questions similar to those I had last year.
Meanwhile, Jalen on my right, was purposefully failing the test to see how easy the test could get. He got the attention of those around him (myself and a few others), and had us read the question. Apparently it wanted him to decipher which shape was a square. It had a circle, a square, a triangle, and one answer that said "none of the above." I remember bursting out laughing, and then I regretted ever letting a sound out as the teacher strolled over towards the desks we were working at.
I had frozen up, I had no idea what to do. I was technically cheating, and since I was observing the screen of a fellow classmate, I could be convicted of cheating and thrown out of the school for committing such a crime towards my education as well as the education of those around me.
The teacher strolled towards us, and I just started back from fright. Mrs. Bloom was known for being on the strict side, and as she walked over, I couldn't even think of an excuse in my head. Jalen was smooth when it came to subjects like that, but as shown already, I am horrible under pressure and I knew that I couldn't even think of an excuse.
She finally arrived, and stood at the corner the two of us were at, not even asking us anything, yet waiting for an answer. Then, out of nowhere, the situation took a turn. Instead of me saying anything, she looked at Jalen's screen for a few seconds, and had the same reaction I did. She threw a fit of laughter, and then randomly walked away, as if nothing ever happened.
That day, I realized something that effected the next few years of my life. I realized that in order to stay out of trouble or to blend in with the crowd and avoid trouble, you have to act normal. Being quiet, only talking when told to, and being fairly uninteresting seems to be normal. Maybe it took a toll on my creativity, but for a while, I remained more quiet then I ever was, which ended up lasting a while.
(If you're wondering as to how I did on the test, I passed with a fairly high score. Taking those computer-based tests seemed to be my strong point, which kept me in higher-level classes even though I didn't perform well in those. I believe on that day we took the mathematics test.)
Even though I had gone from a loud child to a very quiet and less obnoxious one within a few days, it seems that few people actually noticed, and apparently I was the same kid as I was before, except for the fact that I felt a bit better about myself at the time.
Ah, the lego colony. At this point in the year, it is prospering. Disaster has been avoided several times, and expansions on the main base have began already. Alberto has successfully colonized the area nearby the four computers, and were are all in benefit of this system, until something happened.
Dylan and Mikey seemed to have gotten different views on the system. Mikey was fond of having a growing system in two areas, while Dylan was intent on expanding throughout the classroom (I'll inform you that it was on the large side, about twice the size of your average classroom with the same amount of students).
I didn't have any idea as to which side to take. While I thought that expanding was crucial to us, I thought that possibly expansion far out without possessing a strong and fully evolved main base could make us an easy target if attacks were to take place, and before we knew it, a catastrophic series of events took place.
Dylan had left his spot in the system, and declared that he was no longer associated with the system, and he and Alberto took their evolved colony (which was grown and raised with the supplies of the mainland), and declared war on us without even sending a formal declaration of war.
At that point, those who thought Dylan was right left, and roughly half of the original laborers to our lego area remained in our area. Alberto's colony was a major threat since we were left devastated by the departure of Dylan. They were not going to give up easily. We still had Commander Billy, myself, and General Mikey all ready for combat as the major forces. While Commander Billy might not have been the highest rank, he remained loyal to Mikey and I on our side throughout the duration of the war.
The first major battle was a raid performed by Dylan and Kyle. They had small lego ships fly over towards our area, and they crash landed into the main base, immediately caving in two sides of the building, leaving a massive wave of destruction over our main base. Our immediate retaliation was sent by myself and Billy. We had a decent map of their main base (mental map, not physical), and we sent a much larger fleet over towards their area, and destroyed a wing of their main base and completely destroyed their temple (which they stole from Mikey and I since we designed the original).
The cease fire that was in place was not actually placed by any side, but neither side attacked while they were forced to rebuild. After finding out that we did not completely destroy the targets, we decided to reinforce our structures with thicker surfaces and be more alert, as attacks against us were inevitable, and to avoid a serious amount of damage, repairing before the attacks seemed to be the best idea.
Meanwhile, at the end of the day, Dylan was still in charge of the tic-tac-toe situation, but it seemed that Dylan was faltering more often. He would occasionally lose his spot, and sometimes it would take more than one attempt to obtain the spot back on the spot, and it seemed that a revolution were taking place. I wondered if I could participate for once, and take Dylan out while he was weak, and seize the throne before anyone else could.
And then, I saw the perfect moment. Dylan had barely won a chain of games against Mikey, and I remember for sure that Mikey nodded at me, and he sent me up, knowing that the revolution would take place, and that we would stop Dylan from being chosen by only picking those who signed an agreement not to allow Dylan to be let up there.
The game started out like any other game, but Dylan seemed to discriminate against me for being on the enemy side. I remember his bad look on his face as I walked up there, as he held the black whiteboard marker in his hand, not willing to go down easily.
Through the chain of games, I was constantly aware of all of his tricks that he taught me throughout the earlier year. Now that I think of it, I must have seemed as a traitor. I was using his own knowledge and mastery of the game against him. Even though it was just a game, I feel guilty that I would resort to such an action just for my obedience towards Mikey and my willingness to assist him in any way, even if it meant being unfair.
There had been a few ties, and then I remember a trick he had taught me involving at least two opposite corners. I marked both corners, and he had the center and another corner. I snatched the bottom left before he could, and he glared at me, as he knew what I had done. There was no chance he could win, as I had two open spots which would both win the game.
I had prevailed over Dylan's reign over the tic-tac-toe games. I was certain that I would not hold the position for long, but I knew that the tic-tac-toe games were symbolic towards a victory not over the lego war, but over the war of second grade, academic warfare and general warfare between two sides with no actual combat between the combatants themselves, similar to the Cold War.
Now I know that an average person would say to me, "Nick, don't stress over it! It was in second grade, he probably doesn't remember it." However, I feel that even though now that Dylan probably doesn't even care (or maybe even remember me at this point since I've moved), but I feel that I shouldn't have cheated in such a way. I had committed an act of evil to a certain extent.
In the middle of the year, I remember one class was awarded (by a stupid monthly ceremony) with a pizza party and as much pizza as a class could eat just because someone from our class' name got picked from a drawing. I remember another contest that was taking place at the same time. It involved a ramp, seeing whose car could move the farthest if it were lightly pushed down the ramp, and there were metersticks placed down leading straight to the entrance of the room.
Now you see, Dylan had made a promise. Whoever could eat the most slices of pizza would be allowed to use the toy car that he had brought for the competition. Even though it was a nice shiny purple cast car, I realized that those cars would not make any progress in the competition, or so I thought. I remember having made a model wooden toy formula car, which I would use. I'll give you a preview so I don't have to explain later. It didn't make it anywhere. It went straight down the ramp and then it slowly stopped. Apparently back then I neglected physics by thinking bigger meant better. I did not know that more weight meant that it was more affected by gravity, thus I didn't realize that it would not go far.
The competition was on between Kyle who was the athlete and had developed a decent appetite, Diego who was gigantic and a bit on the heavy side, Billy, who was a child that I found confusing and didn't think he stood a chance, and Mikey, who wanted to hurt Dylan even more in the overall standings of classroom success.
It started out fierce. They all began tearing through slices of pizza as if they hadn't eaten in weeks (now that I think of it, they probably hadn't), and rDiego and Billy seemed to have a huge lead over the rest of them. Kyle gave up at two, and Mikey made it to three. Diego and Billy seemed to keep eating for what seemed like forever, and finally, Diego gave up after a long battle of 5 slices of pizza, and Billy eating 6.
That meant that Billy, a member of our side, would possess Dylan's main weapon. Dylan shamefully handed Billy the car, and then Mikey was proud of us as we made it through, and won the prize possession of our enemy. The war was in our favor for that time, and we intended that it stay that way.
Over in the lego territory, a tragedy had struck us all. Dylan, Diego, and Alberto had coordinated attacks from throughout the room where they were expanded against us, and little did we know that they were targeting our main base. Before we knew it, three large lego ships had completely demolished our main base, the first by impaling the top of the building downwards, and then the other two striking the two sides, leaving the main base in ruins.
Mikey was internally devastated by this event. The ship fleet was in another location though aside from the main base, so without thinking, he targeted their area by our whole fleet, and I tried to stop him, yet he resisted. I refused to attack, as we did not need to expend all of our forces attacking instead of attempting to recover. Before I knew it, there was an uprising on the other side, of the room, and I heard the colliding of legos and Dylan screaming out.
The attack was successful, and they had completely destroyed the main base of Alberto and Dylan, as well as any location that the people could congregate at. While militarily, there was success, in my mind, there was failure. If I could have convinced Mikey to avoid the attack, none of that damage of their structures (which were actually impressive at the time) would have been completely destroyed. My original plan was to surround them and force them to surrender. However, no peaceful negotiations were made, yet they were once again part of the largest lego empire in the classroom.
I guess that concludes that year. I had a lot of fun that year (I'll add in anything I forgot), but I did end up learning a lot about myself that year.
Third Grade: Life reflection
Third grade started out with Mrs. Haas. She was a very short teacher, and had bleach white hair. She was also fairly old. Second grade was the year I probably appreciated the least, and I remember that I didn't like the year, and as such, I will refrain from going on pointless tangents as I did on the last grade.
However, I'll make one key point. Third grade was the first year that I actually concerned myself with the concept of life and living in itself. While it was clearly not as complicated as I perceive life now (which literally has driven me into a state of near-insanity, I'm not joking), but that question puzzled me throughout the year.
I wondered why I was alive. I was curious as to how everything came to be. I didn't know that life was so complicated, yet physicists today struggle to answer how our minds were placed in the bodies we're in, and how we are conscience in only one soul.
Aside from my deranged mind working, second grade was the first year at the elementary school. It was O'Plaine elementary school, and I had a feeling that I'd enjoy the year, but it turns out I didn't. My teacher hated me, and I remember only one aspect of that year, and it was the mathematical portion of the testing. Yes, I was successful in it.
They were mathematical timed tests, where you would have five minutes to complete a series of multiplication tests. You'd start on the 1 times tables, then 2, 3, 4, and etc. until you got passed 12. To advance from one level to the next, the only requirement was that you got above 80% of the questions right out of all of them. They were so easily, yet I wondered why people struggled with them.
I quickly passed through the tests, and after multiplication, next was division. We had the timed tests on Wednesdays and Thursdays if I remember correctly, and I remember being the 3rd person to finish all of the tests, the first two being geniuses that I still can't even compare to today.
After I finished those quickly, I began to realize something. The students who started finishing them right after I did seemed to be the ones who tiook classwork seriously and gave work honest effort. By that point, those who had not finished many sets were those who didn't seem to give a very positive effort towards schoolwork.
And then, when the students began to receive their report cards, that the two distinct groups had been formed. Those who worked hard, and those who did not work hard, and it seems that now when I write this (in 2012 at the moment), I wish I could have realized that from all the years between then and now, even though getting through school and passing with high grades wasn't challenging then, that I should have invested more effort into everything.
I remember that few events actually took place throughout the second grade year, and there were no classroom disputes as there were in second grade. To put it in easier terms, third grade was really bland. I remember that I did learn a decent amount that year however it was simple things with no particular significance of any sort.
Throughout the year, my attention span seemed to have a slight problem, and Mrs. Haas would lecture me about how in order for one to be successful, you would have to pay attention. However, I think she lied to me about that.
Throughout the years, I have not paid much attention in the classes. I have not excelled in any of my classes nor have I been the perfect student, however, I have been somewhat successful, being placed into high leveled classes, and being on the honor roll on several occasions. Had I paid more attention, I might be more successful, but even having not dropped out yet considering the community I was raised in is a miracle, considering that the graduation rates at that school are lower than the average nationwide.
While her exaggeration was most likely intended to leave me to think about how I would have a less successful future, instead it pressed me with a new philosophy. I personally wondered how I had kept through everything I had been through while still being a lazy person. At that time, I was into a few games, and I was not performing at my best, as I was not getting enough sleep, and I did not study for many school related topics. While I was passing while being somewhat ahead, I was not performing at my best.
However, while third grade was an uneventful year, I still think that I learned a lot, and that I should have performed at my best instead of at a level of barely trying, however, a few things of that year ended up changing fourth grade for me.
Fourth grade: Falling behind
Fourth grade started pretty decent - I was admitted into the gifted program instead of the normal classes for English and mathematics. I had Mrs. Bowen, and fourth grade started out with a ton of new friends, and a great class, as well as my interest in astronomy took its first spike, with announcements that curved my interest away from normal sciences which I was interested at the time.
First off, I had that year met Shawn, Brandon, Tyler, Adam, and another Dylan. Tyler, Adam, and Dylan were all part of the gifted program, too, and I remember the first day that we were sent down onto the opposite side of the room for gifted mathematics with Mrs. Monohan, I was happy to see other individuals who actually were smart enough to hold a decent conversation with.
I remember everyone in that classroom for that year. Melinda, Nadia, Mikayla, Sarah, April, Maddie, Adam, Noah, Dylan, other Dylan, Tyler, Sayeed, and myself. Yes, that means that 16.6 repeating percent of our class was named Dylan. And since there was free seating for the first time in our lives, we were overwhelmed, however, we arranged ourselves in a certain order eventually, and in the tables of two, I sat next to Tyler.
There were two sides of the room, one for gifted English (which for us was in the afternoon), and our side for math. The math side had an overhead projector, two whiteboards, and the tables arranged in order where you faced the cabinets where the whiteboard was.
I remember that a few people were in the gifted program for the duration of third grade (which I felt left out of), which means they possessed an advantage over the rest of us. However, that class consisted of only a small percent of what the class was that year.
Mrs. Monohan was a fairly tall redhead woman with short hair and glasses. Her voice was high and she talked loud, but I remember that on the first day of classes, I remember that she started out with introducing us to the class, where we (the lazier members of the class) found out a crucial point (ha-ha mathematics pun) about Mrs. Monohan. You could drive her off topic easily by asking about her family. She had a very large family, and loved to travel onto tangents about her grandchildren.
The class started out fairly easily, and I think that the fact that I was getting a decent start on it manipulated me into thinking that it would be a normal and easy class, however, that was not the case (in several cases, Mrs. Monohan explained how most of the students in her class were used to taking the easy way out and not investing that much effort into most classwork as it was not easy, but her class supposedly would change our perspective about that).
As the first month progressed, clearly I was not intended for that work. I was getting bad grades and not understanding what we were supposed to be learning. Whenever I thought I caught up, it turns out I was a step behind. A lot of things in life tend to be this way, I'm always behind. I was extremely unorganized, but I cannot blame that, I blame my laziness and inability to discipline myself into working more diligently.
I remember the first major project we were told to do was to make a "how-to" step by step guide on how to do something, however, I had just the idea after a life-changing event happened. Yes, this might sound extremely ridiculous, but band has changed my life in lots of ways, more than you would think. Currently, it is undoubtedly my favorite class in terms of all classes (however academics only would have to be physics).
The format was like this; you had three trial instruments which you could try out. You had to get a signature saying that you would commit 20 minutes of practice every night (which since then, I've tripled that amount into an hour every night). Then, you only needed a parent signature, then to rent or buy an instrument (I bought the instrument I was going to use, and look at it today, still perfect condition).
The three major instruments I wanted to try (since 3 were required) were the alto saxophone, the trumpet, and the clarinet. I could actually make a sound out of the alto saxophone, but the trumpet was a failure and the clarinet seemed to be only a distant possibility. (That was all organized in a trial day where stands were set up to try each instrument).
So after I decided to go with the alto saxophone, I quickly found out how big the competition was to succeed and be the section leader (Oh, look a year later, we went from 12 players down to 4, now who do you think was the section leader for both years?), yet I was still in the top with Mikey and Ceasar. The competition seemed mostly between us that year, and Mikey had several playing problems that Ceasar and I would laugh about, such as playing the wrong part and having several counting issues.
Being in a band, I realize that I didn't think that I was that bad in 4th grade. However, looking back on that, I realize through listening to the younger bands back in the lower schools that I was horrible. We all were, but at least we were proud of ourselves, as were they.
Back to the project, the project was mostly by instrument players trying to display how to put an instrument together. At the time, I remember that when Ceasar assembled his instrument in front of the class, I was filled with envy. However, after watching him present his before anyone else was done with the project, I decided to do one that I thought was pretty funny (even to day I question how I could be such a creative genius for that specific project).
I did "How to be bad at sharing projects," and I remember I started by walking up there in front of the desks arranged in a semicircle around the chalkboard, and then everyone applauded me. I stared at the paper for a minute, and Mrs. Bowen said "Anytime now," and I went "Oh! Sorry!" and then squinted at the title for a second, and then slowly read out loud the title of my project, except mispronouncing "Project" as "Pro-ject" on purpose.
I then started tapping my foot, and slowly read through it, pronouncing a wordy wrong every now and then, inserting an "Um" every so often, and occasionally stopping on purpose, and giving a confused look at my paper. Often, the class would break into fits of laughter, which means that I had even more time to put emphasis on my pauses.
Then, I looked over at the teacher. She had an unamused look on her face, and looked determined to find any fault she could with my work. As she handed me my grade for the project, I saw a horrible sight. She had given me a 70%!
I was confused at this, I thought I had done decent on that project (even to this day I don't see what was wrong), and I was shocked to see written at the bottom "Limited information on how to actually provided, presented in an unusual and bad manner, as well as a lack of a useful topic."
I was shocked. The whole point of what I was doing was to purposely both have a useless topic as well to do a bad job presenting it. Did she hate me? Or was she just born with no sense of humor at all?
I couldn't believe that she so unfairly assessed me. She never made the intention clear that the project was solely intended to be a serious learning experience
Note: The above is a work in progress. Not even close to done.
About me now: I'm average height, and 91 pounds. 14 as of the time I write this, and have long brown and usually messy hair. I want to get it short again, but my friends always tell me I look better with long hair, so I keep it that way.
I'm not that strong nor anything special physically. Just average, I guess. Anyone who really knows me knows that I'm sort of lazy and always tired, so people think I'm of Asian descent just because my eyes are never open wide. Nevertheless, I am German and Italian instead of being Asian. If I were, I would probably be much smarter.
I guess I hang out with people that aren't too similar to myself. RedQuest (Zack) is a genius, and he would know that I am not even close to anyone I hang out with. Even though we as a group have disputes fairly often, I feel like we're all similar in the fact that we don't fit in well. I've heard that overly smart people have a tendency to be more socially awkward, and well... at least three people are complete geniuses, Zack being one, and pretty much I've noticed that everyone is awkward.
Right now? I want to be a physicist or physical cosmologist. If you don't know what the latter is, it is an underclass of astronomy primarily centered around the larger structures and aspects of our universe, or basically the opposite of quantum physics (which I still maintain an interest in). Even though now I don't consider myself smart (or I'm not really special in any way, there's nothing that I stand out for and nothing I'm good at), I would be proud of myself for once if I did end up making it that far.
That's probably having my hopes set too high, but I've always considered theoretical physics in the background. Michio Kaku is an idol to me, and I have always tried to answer some questions of the universe myself, and I guess that may have curved my mind to think in a different way after trying to find things myself instead of looking it up right away.
However, I learn in a different way. I use my memory rather than studying, and I find that teachers don't really help with learning any more than the internet does. I usually stroll about Wikipedia, examining physics topics (mainly theoretical concepts such as the M theory or superstring theory), and wondering if they could ever be proven in my lifetime. Anyone who could prove those would forever earn my respect, no matter who.
I've always wondered myself the point of life. Are humans trapped on a planet destined to die on that planet, too, or will we expand to something much greater? Humans will inevitably cease to exist, so I wonder myself what we can accomplish while we're here, and what it will lead to. Can one's life be measured? I've wondered that, and I heard about the student at the University of Vermont trying to see if you could measure hapiness.
But, is there a set goal for life? I'd want to find if there is some day. Some objective to set apart one from another, one thing that every human strives to have or strives to be. While success is the ultimate goal of every human being, it presents a different meaning to every person. To one person, managing to live through everything our generation is going to be forced to go through might be success in itself. To another, success might be ending up as a millionaire with the best of items, while to another, success might be uncovering the true secret to life.
Success to me only means that you've met whatever your plan was originally. I don't plan to make it far in life, I don't mind anything that happens. I hate to say it, but I let destiny take course, and go with what happens. Wherever that leads me, I'll try to be happy anyways. I guess in my mind I'll be successful to myself wherever I end up, even if I end up being a complete failure to everyone else. I guess having your self confidence is more important than requiring praise to feel decent about yourself, though.
Then again, with our world today, is it?