While looking through some belongings at my mom’s earlier today, I found some essays that I wrote senior year. Apparently we did a lot of self-reflection that year? I read these things now and both completely recognize the person who wrote them and also note that they positively DRIP with teenager-ness. This person needs to get to college with a quickness. And I really did have a real issue with Roger Clemens. I’m sorry Neil Diamond. I know better now. Same to you red meat.

herk jacket
The person that I was when I entered Herkimer High School seems like a total stranger when I compare myself to the person that I have become now that I am a senior. I wore glasses most of the time and had braces and now my teeth are straight and I wear contacts regularly. I was never really one to follow trends in clothes, but back then you could have seen me in stretch jeans and whatever else was the new and cool thing to wear. Now I just wear whatever is comfortable and looks good on me, at least according to my standards, although my mother would probably question the “looking good” part with my four-year-old dill green Chucks. My musical tastes haven’t changed too much, but I have branched out a bit and now I consider myself a fan of big band swing and some world, new age, and jazz music as well as the usual rock and pop music. And although I wouldn’t consider myself smarter or more intelligent than I was when I first entered seventh grade, I would say that I’ve have become more worldly and intellectual, where I’ve made a conscious decision to learn and become informed and challenge myself instead of just settling for what I was naively thinking was intelligence before. And I am able to say that I have a firm grip on my common sense now that I have gotten older.

When I was twelve years old and in seventh grade, I had no idea who I was as an individual. I was content to spend my time worrying about what I could do to become more popular and make that boy like me and think about how cool it would be when I was a senior and had my driver’s license because that mean instant fun and a social life. What I didn’t know was that when I actually reached the “magic age,” I wouldn’t care at all about what the rest of the class was doing as long as my friends, who had proven themselves to be true friends in every sense of the word, and most importantly, I, were having fun in our own way. It was approximately tenth grade when I realized that I had “found myself” so to say and didn’t need to depend on my classmates for approval anymore. Looking back, I’m glad I never really did go along with them because as a result of proving myself to be trustworthy and responsible to my parents, I have much more freedom to go out and do things and a better relationship with my parents than many people I know.

The changes that I experienced had an overall good effect once I was able to see that I was a better person for them in the long run. I became an individual. Not an individual based on having a spike through my tongue, wearing the current nonconformist fashion, or “rebelling against authority,” but an individual based on what is contained in my mind, where one can do the most damage. I don’t see my basic ideals changing much in the future, but I am sure that they will continue to be influenced by my experiences and will grow stronger in the process.

Sometime in 1997 (I believe this was some sort of “write your biography” exercise)
“Ok men, we’ve got a basic profile drawn up… Apparently she’s going by the name of Stefanie Noble now. Her DOB is December 15, 1978 and she’s graduating from high school this year.”

“Oh yeah? Could have sworn she was older… sounded just like her mom during that phone call.”

“Well that’s what all the records say. Anyway, I guess she’s involved with the Mohawk Marching Band Colorguard and… ooh, this will help nail her… a clear sign of insanity… also the Herkimer Winterguard.”

“Yeah, she’s the captain and the president. What a nutcase we have here.”

“And it’s always those intellectuals pulling these stupid stunts. It says here that she’s in the National Honor Society and has received two Academic Hs. And look at this: she loves computers and designs web pages. What a geek.”

“My god! Look at this! She’s a nerd to the core! She’s a huge Star Wars fan and her favorite author is Douglas Adams. At least she’s got good taste in music.”

“Yeah, we’ve intercepted some recordings of Revolver and The Joshua Tree as well as some stuff we haven’t classified yet. She’s also taken control of MSG and WPIX and has them transmit every Yankees game to her. I really wish we could knock out that satellite she’s got as well. My wife is getting sick of the pictures of this ‘Stefanie’s’ artwork that preempts her soaps.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen that filth. I heard she really messed up the wall in the art room at Herkimer High School. What’s with the noses and feet?”

“I don’t know, but it’s pretty sick. What’s even more sick is how uncooperative these friends of her have been. Those freaks are just like her. All of them nerds. We’re thinking of locking them up as possible accessories to her crimes. We’ve been monitoring the five in Herkimer and we have Scotland Yard involved in tracking down the sixth.”

“She’s got an operative in England? This is bigger than I thought. Well, how do we plan on stopping her?”

“We’ve got the Roger Clemens Rocket Man Launchers, the Neil Diamond sound barrier, the red meat converters, and the sunburn inducers all fired up and ready to attack. The weapons are all controlled exclusively by the people she thinks are idiots dressed in prissy clothing. We’re hoping to play on her dislikes and eventually make her give up.”

“She’s got a huge supply of chocolate up there though; it may take awhile.”

“It’s the only hope we’ve got, though. All right men! You know what you’re up against! Move out!”