Saturday, June 29, 2019

5 things you might not know about me

1. When I was a kid, we spent pretty much every weekend in Wisconsin, where my grandmother had an RV in a campground/resort.  My aunt & uncle owned a slot nearby, so those particular weekends were a mess of extended family and a whirl of activity--most of which was me following my older cousins around trying to be as cool as they were. (Outside of my sister, virtually no one was my age on that side of the fam.)   Other camping trips included visiting my grandfather up in Black River Falls, as well as many camping trips my parents took us on our own to various places.  Me & my sister spent a lot of time on my dad's fishing boat and in a terrible little canvas pup tent freaking out about daddy long legs, but it was glorious fun.  Contrary to what you might expect of my city dwelling heart, I really like camping, but require only two things:  1) showers 2.)a comfy air mattress.  Otherwise, I am good.  I am not even scared of daddy long legs anymore once I learned they weren't really spiders.

2. In 3rd grade, I won the upper grades spelling bee and had the first taste of ambition and success that made me crave it more.  I had sort of stumbled through the lower grades, sometimes getting in trouble for not doing, or failing to do my reading homework right. Even though I was an early & adept reader, I hated grammar homework with a passion, and spent many lunch hours trapped inside as punishment for not doing what I was supposed to. I don't remember 1st & 2nd being hard, but I was struggling in the 3rd. When I won the spelling bee, my teacher, who had written me off as just an idiot, suddenly decided I was smart but maybe was having trouble seeing the board.  I seriously think I may have thrown my eye test out of spite, though, and spent 4th grade in glasses I really didn't need (ditched completely when we moved the next year, by which time I was one of the top readers in my class regardless with near perfect vision at my 5th grade physical. I found I liked being rewarded as a word person, and it sort of formed my identity.

3. I played the clarinet in junior high,  Or I should say I was very mediocre and never practiced the clarinet, but somehow still wound up in the concert band in 8th grade. I remember very little of how to read music today, but I was decent at it then. I, of course, went in wanting to play the flute, but they were in high demand and would have had to rent it outside the school, which wasn't going to happen.  Thus, the clarinet.  I basically spent two years eyeing the cello players thinking I should have joined the orchestra instead of the band, but we did do concerts on occasion, and once, well to an Illinois-wide competition (where we lost, mostly becuaue I was not the only one that  I mostly spent my weekends, blowing off my practice and watching Svengoolie with an an existential dread of Monday.

4. My senior year of high school, I somehow wound up in an acting class filled with freshmen (I had planned to take a zoology course, but it conflicted with something else important. When the counselor called me over the summer to ask what I wanted to do, he rambled off theatre and I said sure). I wound up LOVING it and quickly got a decent role in the fall play.  For a hot minute, I was determined to be a Broadway star, spurred by a class field trip in to see Les Miz at the Auditorium, and this learned every single word from the score--and could sing it even now in its entirely.  (as well as my second fave, Into the Woods.)  Becuase I left high school determined to become  scientist, I figured that would never happen, but a couple years later I wound up back in the theater--mostly working backstage--lights, costumes, stage managing, and it formed my social group in those years.  I wound up adding Theatre as a minor to my English Major and vaguely entertained the notion of writing plays (which has not yet happened, but, hey, who knows?)

5. As mentioned above, I went off to college thinking I wanted to be a marine biologist--mostly since I had a charismatic AP Bio teacher who made it seem really exciting, strong opinions about saving the earth (as witnessed by my preachy editorials in the high school paper) and a best friend who was also into environmental causes (and actually did become a scientist/teacher!) While I probably just really liked the idea of swimming with dolphins (oh boy, did I love dolphins!) and living near the ocean, I decided to attend UNC-Wilmington, where I soon confirmed that I have the math skills of a 7th grader and that I should stick with words. I think that semester was valuable in that it cast me into the world and gave me a stereotypical college experience with dorms and frat parties,  but I was sort of relieved when I landed back at RC and its staid liberal artsyness.  I really should never have allowed my inner mermaid to make my career plans.  Lesson learned.

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