One of my college friends wrote a note on facebook talking about how far he's come in the last decade. I thought it was a neat idea so I'll be copying him.
The year 2000 started in the middle of my freshman year of highschool (boy was that a long time ago). I was 14 at the time and still attending Rock Spur, the same school I started in kindergarten and eventually graduated from. At that age I was planning to become a journalist and commercial artist, so I was loading up my schedule with courses like keyboarding (aka typing) and desktop publishing (aka the school newspaper). I was a member of the high school band--this was the year my piccolo was stolen from me. I was also a member of the track team--this is the first year I tried pole-vaulting and I ended the season by breaking the school's pole-vault record and competing at the state track meet (but failing miserably because I couldn't even clear the opening height). Then to top it off I was still pining away for Nick, my first real crush, exactly as I had been throughout middle school. This was the year I convinced him to be my date for a school dance, but he spent most of the dance with one of my friends instead. I was heartbroken when I discovered the next week he had started dating somebody who was still in middle school. At the end of my freshman year I won an award for math. Continuing on to the beginning of my sophomore year of high school and the end of 2000, it was a pretty uneventful time of my life. I established a new friendship with Jessie and some of her friends, all of whom were seniors while I was still a lowly sophomore. I joined BPA (Business Professionals of America), but I failed miserably and came in last place for every competition I entered.
2001 began with the end of my sophomore year. At this point my short-lived friendship with Jessie ended when I became convinced that she pulled a very mean trick on me. I quit the high school band because I couldn't stand the teacher, but I ended up in choir simply because of my schedule. I still participated in track, but it was my least eventful season ever. I believe at this age I had given up on journalism, mostly because I thought it was boring, and had moved my dreams of a future career into psychology. In the realm of relationships, I never did build any this year. I had quite the crush on the foreign exchange student from Brazil, but being the ever-level headed person I thought I was, I never bothered to pursue that beyond friendship knowing it had to end at the end of the year anyway. The year also saw the beginning of my junior year when I met Kana, the Japanese exchange student who became one of my best friends and sparked the friendship between Hillary and me too. I had my first real job as a waitress and was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of time I was working. Poor Kana was being molested by one of her host brothers and only let me in on the secret, making me swear not to tell anybody but to see if I could help her get out of the situation. Finally at the end of 2001 she was able to move in with a new family, but apparently she felt awkward around me after that because the fantastic friendship we had developed fell away quickly. At least the friendship with Hillary lasted. I know that the twin towers fell this year, but since I was so far in the west and I didn't know anybody over there, I wasn't as strongly effected as a lot of other people I know. I do remember that I was dusting off my piano in the morning before school when I first heard about it, and all through the next 2 days of school we just watched the news and didn't even do any school work. The most devastating event of 2001 happened in December, though. Lexi, one of the most well-known girls in school, a girl I had known since pre-school, was killed in a car accident. She was the only person my own age I and most of my classmates had ever lost.
2002 started on a very sad note due to the death of Lexi. But that was a turning point in how everyone treated each other in my school. Once we all had to face something like that, suddenly we all became civil to each other and cliques and stereotypes disappeared. Suddenly we were all able to hang out with anybody we wanted and we all felt welcome. So in light of this, 2002 was the start of an era of friendship. I won't really list everyone I was friends with, though I will state that Cali and I finally repaired the friendship we had had throughout grade school, then let disappear through middle school and early high school. This year I was not involved in the music department at all, being so absolutely sick of the teacher that I couldn't stand to be around her. The track season went very well for me. I quit pole-vaulting after deciding that it was no longer fun anymore and that I was tired of ripping my hands open. Instead I focused all my energy on the triple jump, the event that had been my best in middle school before I even attempted the pole-vault. I competed at the state track meet in the triple jump and came in 6th place. That still remains one of the proudest moments of my life. I attended prom for the first time with Marcus as my date. During the summer I had a short whirl-wind romance with Erik whom I fell head-over-heels for very quickly, but the relationship didn't last longer than 2 months, much to my dismay. 2002 continued into the first half of my senior year. Scott and Jordyn moved in that year, combining with Cali, Hillary, and David to form the best group of friends I've ever have. We had so much fun together. I still consider senior year to have probably been the best year of my life. I joined the band again this year because we had a new teacher, but I learned to play the French horn instead of the flute, trying to be helpful and fill in the gaps. I also spent a lot of my free time trying to apply to various colleges around the country. At this point I was still planning to study psychology.
2003 started at the end of my senior year. That track season I had my most successful season yet. I competed in state in the long jump and came in 5th place at state. I went to my senior prom with David as my date--we double dated with Kara (my neighbor) and Ian (the German foreign exchange student) and I drove my dad's 1927 Willy's Knight to dinner. I graduated high school, tied as salutatorian with Cali and was got to give a speech in which I compared life to a tree and how no matter where we all branched out in life, we would all have Rock Spur, our trunk, in common. Somewhere over the semester I decided I did not want to study psychology, I wanted to be a music teacher instead so I had to make sure all of the colleges to which I applied had a music education program...not all of them did, but I still had about half to choose from. I had applied for so many scholarships that I earned over $500,000 in money, but was not able to use it all since most of my scholarships were only for specific schools which I did not attend. Over the summer, Nathan became my first serious boyfriend, and I consider him to be my first kiss (since I pretend that the one kiss I had in middle school didn't happen).2003 ended with my first semester of college at Gettysburg. I started off college with marching band camp where I made my first, and some of my best friends, like Brittney, Claire, Kathleen, Jerome, and Craig. When everyone else moved into the dorms a week later, I met a lot more of the people who became my best friends, Robert. I was planing to major in Music Education, which was one of the most time consuming majors available. I participated in Marching band, concert band, choir, piano lessons, and flute lessons. I also did work study with Dr. Huber in the music department. I was very busy that semester, but still managed to make some really good friends. I also got involved with a dungeons and dragons group where I met Reid.
2004 started with the second semester of my freshman year of college when I overloaded myself with classes so much that I barely had time for anything else. I was enrolled in 9 classes (average number at that college is 4 or 5 a semester), and was still doing work study with the music department. My entire life was studying. I gave myself 30 minutes for breakfast, the biggest meal of the day, and 15 for lunch or dinner. I did homework and studied with every spare minute I had. I slept and average of 5 hours a night. And if I managed to finish my homework before 2:00 in the morning I could take a shower before bed. Despite the busyness of that semester I was able to develop a friendship with Andrew. This is one semester that I would do over again if I could. It was the first time ever received a C as a final grade. The semester ended with me playing the flute too much and injuring my hand to the point where a doctor told me I had to stop playing for life. Due to the hand injury, the music education department "highly recommended that I drop my major." So by the end of the semester, I stopped caring about a lot of my music related classes and made more time for friendships. that summer Nathan and I broke up. To go back to school that summer, Jerome and Brittney flew out to Rock Spur, then we drove my car to Gettysburg, about 2500 miles. That is one of my favorite memories of college ever. Continue into the beginning of my sophomore year, I was living in Paxton, with Claire as my roommate. It was tough rooming with Claire because she insisted on 24 hour silence in that room. I stared dating Reid that semester. I also dropped the music ed major and instead declare psychology as my major with minors in music and elementary education. I couldn't believe the amount of free time I had with those majors and minors compared to when music ed was my major. I did marching band again that semester because I could still play the piccolo if not the flute, and since I was the only piccolo player I got the solos. However for band, I was moved to the percussion section and spent most of my time reading because there weren't enough parts for me to play any. With my free time I started volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
2005 started with my second semester of my sophomore year. I have very few memories of this semester. I started playing the organ for a church to earn some extra money on the side. I had to quit Big Brother Big Sisters so I could work at an after school program teaching Spanish to 4th and 5th graders at a local elementary school. Since I had my car there, I decided to take a long weekend and go visit some old friends I'd met during a vacation in high school. So I drove up to New Hampshire, then down to Philadelphia before returning to Gettysburg, that was my first long road trip by myself. 2005 also saw the start of my junior year. I was living in the Environmental theme house with Kathleen as my roommate for one semester and Julia for my roommate the other semester. For Halloween we turned the theme house into a haunted house about the horrible things happening to the environment. I was in charge of the "dessertification" room (misspelled on purpose), which was decked out with photos of deserts, and was filled with yummy desserts.
2006 started with the second semester of my junior year. That semester's memories are almost entirely about how sick I was and how much pain I was in. I was going to doctor's appointments at least once, sometimes as many as 3 times a week trying to figure out what was wrong with me, but nobody could ever figure it out. Finally at the end of the semester I discovered that if I went on a really strict diet I could at least cut out most of the pain. I was on that diet for 3 years after that. I do remember Reid, Julia, and Justin and I driving up to Canada for spring break and staying in a little room above a jazz club in Toronto. We saw Niagra Falls on the way up too, and also spent some time in Philadelphia visiting the museum of medical oddities. Aside from that, the semester is really just a blur of pain and doctors visits, not a particularly pleasant time for me. 2006 also was the start of my senior year of college. I was rooming with Kathleen again, but we were sharing our apartment with 2 other girls, one of whom made that year absolutely miserable for us. I was still dating Reid, but since he was living in Maryland now, I was a bit lonely and started seeking out my old friends from before. Craig was whom I found--this was the start of a very close friendship between us.
2007 was the end of my senior year of college. I did an independent study with the Leonard Bernstein foundation. Robert and I spent our morning putting a CD together of all the songs we'd written. I continued to hang out with Craig very frequently. And eventually I graduated. But my time at Gettysburg was not done after I graduated, I still had to go back for student teaching, so the graduation was kind of anticlimatic. During the summer I cut off my hair (which had grown long enough that I could sit on it), and started wearing a short bob about the length of my chin. When I returned at the end of 2007 for student teaching, I started everything off by breaking up with Reid. I started student teaching with a 4th grade class. I loved the kids, but my cooperating teacher turned out to be a nightmare. She made that time very miserable for me and I could not wait to get away from her. One consolation for rough days at school with her was that I could come home and talk to Andrew online, since this is the semester when he and I finally took that friendship we had established back in 2004 to higher level of friendship. That semester ended with a huge portfolio presentation delivered to the students and the faculty of the education department. I did very well, many people came up to tell me that my presentation was easily the best of the year, even Dr. Huber(my old music ed professor) told me it was excellent and she never gives out praise. So this time I felt like I really ended my time at Gettysburg with a bang. I was able to walk away proudly.
2008 started with me back home with my parents in Rock Spur. I applied to every school within an hour's drive of my parents house, but could not get hired. I spent the time as a substitute teacher instead, just trying to get experience. Sometime in the early part of the year, Andrew and I decided to try our hands at turning the friendship into a relationship. In June I moved in with him in New Mexico. At first I only went there on vacation, but since I was hired, I stayed. I taught kindergarten for the summer, 6th grade for 5 weeks, then I moved back to kindergarten at the first chance I had. I finished off 2008 in the Florida Keys during my vacation from school.
2009 started as I continued teaching my group of kindergarteners. Boy was that a rough year, I hope I never have anything like that again. Over the summer I took a number of road trips with Andrew, one to New York and back, one to Idaho and back. That trip to New York, however, was the turning point for our relationship when I started thinking about ending it. When the school year started again, I was teaching kindergarten, only with a much nice group of students. And now I'm sitting at my parent's house, writing the journal entry on the very last day of 2009, the last day of a very meaningful decade.
I've grown a lot since age 14, and progressed through many dreams. I had my good years and bad years, ups and downs, successes and failures.
Here's what I predict for at least 2010 maybe 2011 even if I can't image the entirety of the next decade. One of the first big events will be the break-up with Andrew because that is simply inevitable now. I will continue teaching my wonderful kindergarten group. I will start looking around for classes and other places to meet people because I don't have a lot of friends down there outside of work. I will have to find a new place to live at some point before September when the lease ends, but I won't be moving back to Idaho just yet. After another year of teaching (hopefully kindergarten again) I'll consider returning to Idaho. I'd love to find a job near the Oregon border so I can frequently go rock climbing at my favorite place....I miss rock climbing.
Now of course, these plans could easily change. But at least I have something penciled in. And so far, the next decade is looking good.