Editor’s note: this is the second in a series of Throwback Thursday posts that revisit my hot mess blog from middle and high school. Click here for Part 1.
The very first thing that I saw when I pulled up by blog circa 2006 was this horrendous excuse for a biography:
Hi! I’m Danny! I enjoy acting, blogging, jogging, dancing (kind of), Spanish, and photography. I’ve been acting/dancing/singing for nine years. I have about 25 shows on my resume, and trust me, that list will keep growing! I also take voice lessons to help further my vocal abilities. I’ve been blogging for two years. I guess you could call me a “pro”. I also have studied Spanish for two years and I plan to study all through high school. I used to play clarinet but I quit. I get all A’s and B’s, but mostly A’s. I have a camera but I drop it and broke the zoom/select buttons so it basically sucks. All it does it take pictures. Nothing else. No deleting or changing settings. I need a new one. Yeah….that’s me. Love me or hate me, just don’t whine about it to me.
In hindsight, I was clearly oppressed when I was forced to live with a camera that couldn’t zoom in or change the settings that I didn’t know how to change anyway. I was far from being a “pro” at blogging after two years of posting passive aggressive stories about my friends, Fall Out Boy song lyrics and memes about how difficult my love life was. Also, only a 14-year-old would say “Love me or hate me, just don’t whine about it to me”.
One of my first posts in 2006 was yet another “Getting To Know Me!” survey. Highlights:
- Your Most Missed Memory: The Wix – August 2004 I couldn’t even be bothered to spell “The Wiz” right despite this being my most beloved memory.
- Have You Been In Love: Yes. I was still in middle school so I absolutely had never been in love.
- Ever been called a Tease: Yeah I was really slutting it up at age 14 in my cargo shorts and Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt from Kohl’s.
- Do you belive in yourself: 95% of the time Oddly specific. I would say that I am closer to 100.00% of the time now.
- In the past month have you Drank Alcohol: Only at church This was clearly written before my unceremonious crashing down from organized religion.
- How do you want to Die: In my sleep…..just like Rose in Titanic Ugh.
During my 8th grade year, I was invited to participate in an advanced writer’s workshop meant to hone creative writing skills. As a result, I spoke in similes and metaphors for most of the year:
one of my important realizations today was that i can’t go seeking for love, especially at scool! it will find me on its own. i mean, come on. searching for love at school is like searching for shoes that fit you in the skecher’s outlet in arundel mills! not gonna happen! i’m just gonna lay back and let things happen when they’re gonna happen.
Evidently, the Writer’s Guild failed to teach me conventions regarding capitalization, the correct spelling of “school” and rules regarding preposition usage with the verb “to seek”. I am also horrified that I was not more ashamed about wearing Skechers.
As 8th grade began winding down, I went to the mall with a big group of friends with the intent of finding outfits for our middle school graduation ceremony.
so i met chelsea at the mall at 5. we had an awesome time! we got kicked out of some store! the nerve of some people! we were looking at mother’s day presents and the sales clerk came over and said “okay gang, time to mosey along.” wtf? someone will be getting a call from my lawyer!
It comforts me to know that I have always felt entitled to excellent customer service, even in my adolescent years. The store that we were kicked out of closed less than a year after this episode of blatant profiling so it looks like I got the last laugh!
By the time I started high school in the fall, I was rattled by the growing trend of school shootings. My Mean World Syndrome was kicked into high gear as I walked the halls of my high school and wondered if I was going to be the next victim to a random act of violence (because those occur frequently in Howard County, Maryland):
All these school shootings (3, 4 in the past week?) have scared the 14-year-old crap out of me. If there are psychos out there willing to attack schools in other places (Canada, Pennsylvania, etc.), whose to say that they won’t storm MY school? Whose to say that I’m safe from this chaos? Something horrible could happen tomorrow, and I could become a statistic. My face could be on the frontpage of CNN, with a caption explaining my tragic, early demise.
It’s just like that Weather Chanel series…It could happen tomorrow!
I really wish this was a joke but I did, in fact, equate the possibility of a school shooting at my high school to a short-lived cable program about severe weather events. It seems that my Writer’s Guild training was still serving me well. I am proud to admit that I have since calmed my tits and no longer live in fear of being shot.
In November, the school system was experiencing a shortage of school bus drivers and there weren’t enough drivers to cover all of the routes each day. As a result, one bus would pick up two routes worth of students and many of us were forced to stand up in the aisles and position ourselves in other ways that were very dangerous so that we could all fit on the bus.
CNN had recently launched iReport, a crowdsourcing/citizen journalism website where viewers could submit their photos/videos/etc. of breaking news stories. I saw my opportunity to become a “respected journalist” and sprung into action, submitting my account of the school bus travesty to CNN and other news outlets with similar services.
Nobody responded except for the local CBS affiliate here in Baltimore. Feeling down but not quite yet out, I arranged for a reporter to interview me at my bus stop after school to shed some light on a serious problem that was potentially putting people at risk. I tried my hardest to tell an engaging and captivating story to guarantee myself air time but instead buckled under pressure and was awkward. When the segment ultimately aired, the reporter neglected to even mention my name and did not credit me for my videos and photographs.
What I had envisioned as a feature story about a courageous young whistleblower was, in actuality, a mediocre local news story about kids who had to stand up on the damn bus. I missed my 15 minutes of fame BUT the school bus problem was eventually solved. I did, however, learn a very valuable lesson from the entire affair: when things aren’t going your way, go to the media.