However, there’s one other thing that I want to test myself on as a writer. When it comes to my writing style, I’m very literal and up front when it comes to my use of words. I’m very conservative–hesitant, even–to try and use things like metaphors, similes, and symbolism. I want to try and change that in this project, even if it ends up hurting the story overall because of it. It’s a risk, but I won’t know if I won’t try.
In the end, even though it isn’t finished, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot as a writer. Even looking back, I can see a million different ways to change the story as is.
This links to the story (currently unfinished).
I messed up with this project, and I messed up bad. And this wasn’t because I had difficulty with the source material, or because I didn’t have a viable idea, or anything like that. I was just such an idiot that I beat around the bush so much that when time came to turn something in, I either had next to nothing, or nothing-nothing. Next thing I know, I’m scrambling all over the place, trying to salvage what I thought was going to be a pretty good project, just to end up turning in something subpar.
From the beginning, I had plans to shoot a short movie, which I may or may not still do. I had a concept since day one, and I had ideas shooting through my head like gatling guns. So, I put together a small, little script, got a monologue together, and even had a few shots done right off the bat. It felt like I was on a roll. But then I got lazy. I underestimated the amount of time I had left, and when I did eventually get around to recording the rest, it was all tragically lost due to software issues.
So, with time already gone, and me being too lazy and frustrated to do it all again, I decided to do the one thing I knew I could do best: I wrote a short story. But again, I ended up botching it all up. Because my priorities were terribly out of line, and because I had a truckload of other work waiting for me, I constantly either put off the story for a later date, or forgot about it entirely. It was not a pretty picture. It was a mess through and through.
But then I did eventually find time to write, and write I did. My theme was focused around loss and inner self-destruction, which I feel I (hopefully) represented well, given the story’s actual length. The tone itself was actually pretty experimental. It was one of the few times I’ve actually written a story in a first-person narrative, and the very first time I wrote it using that sort of time. I feel it gave the story as a whole a sort of darkly humorous tone to it, with the narrator being a wreck of man with little left to lose.
Another thing that I really enjoyed was the initial brainstorming. Whenever I write a story, I always spend what could end up being sixty minutes just rambling to myself about what my characters will be, how the plot will progress, things like that. By the time I even sit at my laptop to write, I’d already have over half the story written out in my head. That definitely made writer this even easier.
Now for the not so good parts of this project. Where do I even begin with this one? Like I already said, I completely mishandled what time I had and ended up cobbling something together at the last minute. I mishandled my initial idea of shooting a movie by waiting until the last minute to try recording it. Even after I switched over to making a story, I ended up messing up. I rushed through it and ended up making something more along the lines of an excerpt as opposed to an actual story, which is still bugging me.
Not only that, but I can’t help but feel I lost sight of what I was originally trying to do. What I mean is that I may have lost sight of what I wanted to represent in the story; I was more focused on getting something in rather than focusing on keeping the project relevant to what I was supposed to do. Again, it was just a giant cluster of a mess from beginning to end.
I really hate myself for not treating this project a bit more responsibly, because I know for a fact that if I did, I would have had way more fun whether of not I decided to write a story or shoot a movie. So, I guess if I learned anything, it’s don’t procrastinate. A good lesson to learn, I suppose.
Scientists first began experimenting with invisibility in the early nineties, where they would place a very small piece of fiber optic material underneath a microscope. Afterwards, they would shine a very small laser on the material. As a result, the material appears invisible under the microscope. However, the process had to be very specific, and the procedure very precise, otherwise, it wouldn’t work. Not only that, but the scale was so small at only nanometer, that the whole discovery, while impressive, was entirely impractical. However, as the years went by, and as technology grew, scientists found more and more ways to test invisibility.
By far, the largest scaled experiment was conducted in 2004 by professors in Texas University when they took a hand-sized mirror and placed under several lights and cameras in a completely gray room. There, they electrically heated the mirror up to an enormous degree until it reached a point where the mirror reflected any light hitting it, making it appear gray and virtually invisible. This has a sort of ‘mirage effect’, which can be commonly seen on long, hot roads. However, despite the impressive scale, a suit that operated in a similar way would burn the user alive due to it having to be heated up to such an intense degree.
The most recent, and potentially most likely way for scientists to achieve full-scale invisibility came in the form of micro fibers. These little fibers were smaller than a single wavelength of light, which was required for what it was designed to do. When light hits it, it causes the light to diverge, or split, and go around the microfiber, making the fiber itself appear invisible. However, this is the smallest scale to date, and would require centuries of increasing technology and research before it may have some practical use. Still, it is effective, and impressive.
Invisibility has always been something only seen in the movies, but with enough effort, scientists may finally be able to make that a reality.
The point of divergence in my project had John F. Kennedy's attempts to prevent the missiles in Cuba fail. As a result, the missiles are launched at America, putting the entire country in disarray. What follows in the following years would be a post-apocalyptic America where it's either kill or be killed. Not only that, but with the country essentially crippled, Soviet forces would move in on America, looking to take over. In all honesty, I had most fun in making the backstory of this "future" America, because it was always a subject that interested me. Dystopian scenarios always gave me that feeling of desperation, which is what really drove me to choose it as my future America. However, the most challenging was showing that through the medium I chose. I doubt that TVs and laptops would be working forty years after the country gets nuked, so I decided to go with a sort of daily newspaper column led by a mysterious man known only as the Journalist.
I definitely felt as though this project could've been made better if I added some sort of twist to the whole columnist thing, but I kept taking into consideration what this place would really be like in a few decades after being bombarded by several nuclear missiles and the limitations that would come as a result. I guess if I had to do this again, I would've added more pictures of a destitute America, just to really sell the point home. But regardless, I sort of had fun making this thing.
Table of Biomes
Types of Plants
Types of Animals
-50˚F to 50˚F
Lichens, moss, shrubs
Polar bears, reindeer, arctic hares
70˚F to 85˚F
80 in. to 400 in.
Trees, orchids, epiphytes, vines
Birds, chipmunks, cougars, bobcats, monkeys, insects, reptiles, amphibians
68˚F to 86˚F
10 in. to 30 in.
Trees, several types of grass, shrubs
Giraffes, elephants, zebras, horses, birds, insects
-65˚F to 70˚F
10 in. to 30 in.
Squirrels, moles, moose, deer, elk, grizzly bears, wolves
50˚F to 70˚F
30 in. to 60 in.
Chipmunks, black bears, birds
20˚F to 70˚F
12 in. to 21 in.
Several types of grass and flowers
Ungulates, bison, antelopes, birds, gophers, prairie dogs, coyotes
40˚F to 60˚F
30˚F to 100˚F
10 in. to 17 in.
Taproot, poison oak, scrub oak, shrubs, cacti
Coyotes, jackrabbits, deer, lizards, toads, insects
41˚F to 75˚F
3 in. to 5 in.
Snakes, insects, lizards, foxes, rats
Biomes have proven to be a vital part in both making the planet a lively place, and making it possible for our societies to thrive. Each one has their own personality from environment to environment. Some, such as the tundra and desert can be harsh and unforgiving in terms of hospitality, while others such as the rain forest and grasslands can provide a nice habitat for those willing to face their dangers. Each biome offers different types of animals and plants, as well as other natural resources for us to use in order to survive our own day-to-day lives. Without them, and the things they provide, the world would be a very boring place.
If questions relating to biomes were to ever appear on the PSSA, they would mostly ask what kind of plants and animals reside in what kind of environment. For example, a question may ask, “An animal with padded paws and thick fur can most likely be found in what environment?” The first thing you could do would be to eliminate the obviously wrong answers, such as the savanna and the grassland. The whole point is to decide which biome an animal with these characteristics would be most effective in. In this case, it would be the Tundra.
1. What went well?
No one in the group felt like deadweight. We all found a considerable amount of useful information, and all of our strength came out in terms of research and design of the infograph.
2. What did not?
We didn't do a very good job maintaining communication with each other, and as a result, only one of us had the original file, which meant that no one else could see and help improve the infograph.
3. What would you do differently next time?
We would definitely improve our communication between each other. We'd also spend more time discussing different types of graphs so that we could have a more concrete idea on what we'd create.
4. Specifically comment on the 10 tips for effective infographics -
Which of these areas did you excel in? Which were not so well represented? Why do you think some elements of design were easier or harder to include in the end product?
My process paper and bibliography are right here.
What was the assignment? What did your group decide to do and why?
For the project, we had to use what we knew about the past perfect tense and the use of ser and estar in order to create a podcast or a video involving relationships. For our group, we've decided to do a little parody of The Bachelorette because it would allow us to describe ourselves using ser and estar, as well as letting use the past perfect tense.
What did you learn from
doing this project?
I learned how to use ser and estar better in conversation. I even learned that I was using ser wrong a lot in the past, so it helped me fix that. I also grew a bit more comfortable speaking in Spanish for extended lengths of time, even if it was all scripted. I felt more natural, basically.
How do you feel about your final product?
Given my initial feelings about parodying a show I've never nor will ever watch, I think I did well, but I think we could've done better. For instance, instead of having a video recording of us actually having a conversation, we just taped us pretending to talk, and then put a separate audio recording of us actually talking over it. Stuff like that is always obvious to see, and I think we could've done an actual recording if we had enough time and practice.
If you could do your project all over again, what would you do differently/the same?
I think I'd sharpen the dialogue so that it sounded more natural and flowing, as well as give a bit more emotion behind my character. Since the final recordings took place right before it was due, I sort of rushed through it.
Jin shot up in her bed, screaming into the darkness. Once silence overcame the room again, she brought her fist down on her pillow, clenching her teeth. Every night was the same: she woke up screaming, sweat trickled down her forehead, she felt sick to her stomach, and she trembled in fear.
She buried her head in her hands, silently sobbing. ‘The same dream.’ she thought. ‘The same damn dream!’
Out of all the dreams she had for the past weeks, this was the worst. Everything was just so vivid, clear as day. There was maniacal laughter, the glint of a knife, a splash of red, screams, and the unmistakable sound of metal piercing skin again, and again, and again. It was all over in a flash, but it still chilled her to the bone.
Still groggy, she walked into her bathroom. Tiny motion sensors installed in the doorway activated, filling the room with a warm, yellow light. She was never very tech-savvy, even when technology reached a new high with hover cars, robots, and microchips, but she was extremely grateful for these motion sensors. As twitchy as she’s gotten over the past few weeks, she had trouble handling simple things like a lightswitch.
She looked at her mirror, studying her reflection. She was a mess. Crust was built up in her sunken eyes. Her skin, instead of its usual tan, was a sickly pale. Her black hair was unforgivably frizzy, resembling a giant hairball on her head. Great. She felt sick, and she looked even worse, and how couldn’t she? These days, she was lucky to get three straight hours of sleep before the nightmares came back. They would be the death of her. It was clear: she needed help, and needed it soon.
Once morning came around, the nightmare still lingering in her mind, Jin stumbled into her living room. When she did, a robotic voice echoed from her personal P.A system.
“Good morning, Ms. Walker.” it greeted in a robotic, female voice. The blinds slid open, allowing stingingly bright light to pour into the room. Jin shielded her eyes from the offending light, groaning in protest.
“Power off!” she growled. The blinds closed back shut immediately, leaving Jin in her shady home. She let out a reluctant sigh. She didn’t want to use that ‘revolutionary helmet’ that got everyone all giddy, not with the way it worked. Apparently, through some technobabble nonsense, it allowed you to enter your nightmare, sort of like ‘living’ in it. That way, you could find the source of your nightmares, confront it, and overcome it. Why anyone would want to meet their nightmare in person, Jin didn’t know. There were even complaints about physical pains experienced in the dream world being carried over to the real world, though those people didn’t seem to mind too much. Then again, those people probably didn’t have nightmares involving death.
the other hand, Jin wasn’t going to blow five-thousand credits so some jerk in
a nice suit would waste three hours of her time just to tell her to ‘take it
easy’. It looked like she didn't have much choice. After all, desperate times.
After retrieving the helmet from her closet, Jin sat down on her living room floor. As much as she didn’t like it, she had to admit, the design was appealing. It was round and sleek in design. Its chrome finish seemed to shine even in the shade of her house. At first glance, it seemed to be a very nice-looking hovercycle helmet, with a visor, padding inside, and a chinstrap. The only real difference was a controller connected to the helmet’s side.
Jin picked up the controller. It was small, rectangular, and black. It had only a switch and a dial, so it seemed simple enough. There was the ‘On’ and ‘Off’ switch, and the dial seemed to be for setting the time.
“Okay. Let’s give it a try.” Jin said, though doubt lingered in her mind. Was this thing really going to help end all of this? Could it? Only one way to find out.
“Now, let’s see…” She picked up the helmet and placed it on her head. The next thing she grabbed was the controller, focusing on the time dial. “Let’s go for a…thirty minute test-run.” She turned the dial until it was pointing at the 30-minute mark. All she had to do now was turn the power on.
“This had better work.” With a deep breath, she slowly flicked the switch to ‘On’.
Immediately, a tingling sensation wrap around her head as the machine hummed to life. The feeling persisted for nearly ten seconds until Jin felt a sudden drowsiness overcome her. Her body became weak, her eyes became near impossible to keep open, and soon enough, she fell back on the floor, eyes shut as she drifted into sleep.
Jin’s eyes snapped open as she shot up from her place on the ground. Her vision was blurry and her head was aching. Did it work? Was she dreaming? Once her vision came back, a quick look around gave her an answer. She was no longer within the confines of her home; she was sitting on the cold, hard driveway of an average, two-story house. As plain as it was, Jin recognized it. It was the home where she grew up. Strangely enough, she couldn’t remember much of her childhood. The only real significant things she could remember were that her mother was ill, and her father, a doctor, was trying to find a cure that always eluded him. Everything else was a blur. But what was she doing here in the first place? What was so important about it?
Jin was so caught up in thought that she nearly failed to notice something else. Looking around, she found herself surrounded by an impenetrable shroud of fog. As hard as she tried, she couldn’t see a thing, save for the house, as if she was being directed towards it. Not only that, but Jin couldn't hear a thing either. Nothing, not the chirping of birds, or even gusts of wind, like they didn't even exist. The place was just silent, eerily so.
Jin tried to shake off the worry, telling herself that it was all just a dream. A nightmare, yes, but still a dream. She got up to her feet, looking up at the house.
She heaved a heavy sigh, trying to dispel the hesitation built up inside. "Okay, let's do this."
She approached the front door. Aside from the surrounding fog, it seemed safe enough. However, when she tried to open it, she found that it was lock. Of course it was.
“Couldn’t be that easy, could it?” Jin muttered, chuckling to herself.
“What have you done?”
With a shocked gasp, Jin whipped around, darting her head side to side, trying to find the source of the whisper. There was nothing around her, no one in sight. Jin knew that it was a man’s voice, a strangely familiar one at that. Even stranger, Jin could’ve sworn that it was right behind her. She couldn’t be that paranoid already, could she?
Jin turned back around, calming her racing heart only to have it speed up again once she saw that the initially locked front door was open. Well, not open, gone, hinges and everything, like it was never even built in. The new entrance lead into darkness, one that Jin would have to brave if she wanted to find the answers for her nightmares.
“It’s only a dream. It’s only a dream. It’s only a dream.” Jin kept saying, which didn’t help much. With her breath held, she crept into her childhood home, unaware and unprepared for the answers she would find.
As her eyes began to adjust to the darkness, Jin could see that she was in the living room. It was rather cozy, if not antique in design. Instead of the fancy holograms and streamlined furnishings she’s grown used to, the decorations seemed to have come from the 21st century. A nice, red couch sat in front of a fireplace. If Jin wasn’t scared out of her mind, she may have taken a rest.
Jin observed an end table next to the couch, spotting a framed photograph. Picking it up, she saw that it was a photo of her parents before her mother’s illness. It seemed to be a vacation photo, because they were both at the beach, wearing swimsuits. However, Jin noticed that a piece of the photo was missing, torn out. Jin turned the photo over, looking at its back. Despite the darkness, Jin was able to make out ‘Florida ’59’ written in black felt-tip pen.
“2259?” Jin mumbled to herself. “I was five back then.” Then where was she in the photo? For some reason, her place in the picture was torn out, but by who?
She didn’t have much time to think of an answer before she heard something that nearly made her heart stop. In the dead silence, Jin could hear slow, heavy footsteps. They were faint at first, but slowly grew louder, and louder, and louder. Someone, something was approaching her, each step growing louder as they pounded in her mind. Jin flipped into a silent panic; her body was stiff, but her mind was racing a mile a minute. What was she going to do? Could she run? Would it catch her? Where would she go? All the while, those footsteps were getting louder, getting closer, until...they stopped. They stopped behind her. Jin froze up; she didn’t move, didn’t even breath. It took all she had not to shriek as she felt cold, musty breath brush against the back of her neck. She could feel it staring down at her with its cold, dead eyes. This was unbearable! Why wouldn’t it just leave?
Then, for reasons Jin couldn’t describe, maybe stupidity, she found herself slowly turning around, keeping her eyes shut as she did. Only when she was certain that she was facing her stalker did she muster up the courage to open her eyes. She expected to see a ghost, a demon, a man slapping a goat, anything but what she did find: nothing. Again. Even after the fear passed and her heart calmed down, she was still left speechless, confused, and above all, angry. Really angry. Angry that this place was teasing her, toying with her emotions like it was all some sick joke. There was no way in this nightmarish hell that there was nothing the whole time!
Jin clenched her fists, trying and failing to contain the anger bottling up inside. Just when she was about to explode, a door next to her swung open, slamming into the plaster wall. In an instant, all of Jin’s rage left her in a very shocked, not-angry yelp. Once she got a hold of herself, she stared into the darkness of the room beyond. Somehow, it was even darker than the living room, but Jin could hear something coming from it. Whispering? Yeah, it was whispering. Jin couldn’t make it out, but it sounded like something was calling her. That was when it hit her. This place, this dream, was leaving signs and signals for her to follow. They were leading her somewhere, but to what? Jin just had to decide whether or not she wanted to find out.
She didn’t have much time to come to a decision. A sudden sense of drowsiness came over her, making her brain numb. Her legs became jelly, her eyes became heavy, and her whole body in general just grew weak. It didn’t take very long before Jin collapsed, unconscious before she even hit the ground.
Her thirty minutes were up.
Interviewer: NaQuan Harding
N.H: So, who motivated you to vote today?
Gerald: Not much really motivates me to vote, but I feel that if we’re going to have a say in who’s gonna run our country, I figured I may as well have a say in it.
N.H: Not many people seem to share that way of thinking. I mean, look at how many people showed up here today.
Gerald: Yeah, but this is only one polling place. I’m sure that there are more voters in other more public places.
N.H: Maybe, but I heard that voter turnout would be pretty low this year. In fact, aren’t you pretty worried that most Americans don’t care who runs the country. Turnout in and election is usually around 50%, and that’s on a good year.
Gerald: People are looking for a president that will solve America’s problems. Obama’s been making promises to fix things, but we’re still in debt, and workers are still out of jobs because of it.
N.H: So, I assume you’re not voting for Obama in the presidential election?
N.H: Who might it be, then?
Gerald: I don’t know. Maybe Rick Perry. I like that guy.
N.H: Any particular reason?
Gerald: Shouldn’t you be asking other questions, kid?
N.H: Right, sorry. Um, how do you feel about voting on Tuesdays? Do you find it inconvenient?
Gerald: Not really. I usually tell my boss a week before Election Day that I’ll be out voting. He’s pretty okay with it, and since I’m usually on time for work, he can trust that voting is all I’ll do.
N.H: So, your boss doesn’t trust everyone to miss work for voting?
Gerald: Some guys at my job only use voting as an excuse to miss work. They don’t even vote. They just spend the day doing whatever the hell they want.
N.H: Sounds like something I would do. I just have one more question. Where have you encountered the most ad campaigning? Was it on TV, the internet, anywhere?
Gerald: Well, I don’t watch much TV or spend that much time on the internet, but I definitely get my fill on ad campaigning from my neighborhood. I’m telling you, every telephone pole there has like ten different campaigning posters stapled to it. There are so many there, that I just don’t pay attention anymore.
N.H: Yeah, I hear you. Well, thanks for your time.
Gerald: No problem.
Soy de Fila
El gente es loco.
Soy do Fila
Porque es bueno.
Las casas lindas,
Los carne rojo.
Yo no tengo más
o lugares iré.
Pero no importante
El ciudad da abundancia
Todo ésa quiero.
Es mi ciudad
Es mi hogar
tiene la vida
tiene mis amigos.
Cuando yo lluegué,
tuve mi madre
hasta no mi padre
El ciudad habló
Habló a mi
Y la vida
encontré una gata
encontré una perra
encontré las vistas
y más, y más, y más
Es mi ciudad
Es mi hogar
tiene la vida
tiene mis amigos.
- This is just a song talking about the things I think Philadelphia gave me.
- I learned how to make a song, how to more effectively use Garageband, and proper conjugation .
- I'm definitely proud that it doesn't sound like a hot mess, especially since I was singing in Spanish. I also like the length, it's almost the length of most songs these days, which I'm really impressed with.
- I think I'd spend more time trying to fine-tune my Spanish pronunciation, mainly because I tend to stutter on most of the words I say. If I get used to saying the words, I'll be more comfortable saying them, and less likely to stutter.
- What surprised you most about this information? What seemed quite obvious about explaining this data set?
- Looking at the overall trend and incorporating what you know about the US presently, predict and defend the immigration trend for the next two decades.
- Describe how you made a decision on how to visually represent the information.
- What parts of group work were challenging?
- What would you do differently if you had this project to do over?
Es mi ciudad
Es mi casa
Tiene la vida
Tiene mi amigos.
Soy de Fila, soy de Fila,
El gente es loco.
Soy do Fila, soy de Fila
Porque es bueno.
La comida grasa,
El gente extraño,
Las casas lindas,
Y los carne rojo.
Yo no tengo más
O lugares iré.
Pero no importante
El ciudad da abundancia
Todo ésa quiero.
Es mi ciudad
Es mi casa
Tiene la vida
Tiene mi amigos.
Cuando yo lluegué,
Tuve mi madre
Hasta no mi padre
El ciudad habló
Habló a mi
Dijo estuve tranquilo
El diversión, la vida
Cuando pasar todo
Encontré una gata
Encontré una perra
Es mi ciudad
Es mi casa
Tiene la vida
Tiene mi amigos (x2)
- I'm just happy I managed to get this song done, especially having as long as it is. It could've been longer, I guess, but it could've been way shorter. I also love the music I have to go along with these lyrics.
- I am definitely expecting having to make some changes to the lyrics both grammar wise and flow wise. Some lines may have to many syllables to make the song sound natural. If that comes up, I'll have to find a way to make that line shorter.
- I chose to talk about why I love Philadelphia so much, mostly associated with the things it gave me that I didn't have in other states, at least not in this kind of quality.
- I made the music myself. I don't know what kind of genre it would fit under, but it's pretty slow compared to what I had originally planned. It's sort of melodic, combining piano with drums. I like what I got.
Es el olor
Es los vistas
Es el sabor
Es las memorias
es la dicha
- What is your refrán supposed to communicate?
- What are you especially happy about with your first draft?
- What would you like to improve about your refrán first draft?
- What was difficult about writing your refrán?
From the bushes and trees that decorate the front porch.
From dozens of spider webs in the bushes
that glisten like diamonds in the light.
I am from the inconsistent smell
that ranges from mouth-watering chicken to revolting raw sewage.
I am from the black goliath that distracts me for hours and the video games that aid it.
I am from German sheppards and pit bulls,
From their daily walks and monthly baths.
I am from the chicken, pasta, steak, and vegetables I look forward to each night.
I am from the blaring alarm at six in the morning,
And the “Time for bed” at ten o’ clock at night.
I am from Philadelphia, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Gambier.
I am from a family that’s like a bag of mixed nuts,
each with a different color, texture, and personality.
I’m from embarrassing photographs
and boredom-inducing school studying
I am from the music I listen to,
the stories I write,
the characters I create,
the joys they bring.
I am from nightly storms that keep me awake at night,
and the smoldering heat that greets me over the summer.
I am from all of these things,
like a complex equation that adds up to me.
A complex equation only I can understand,
and I hardly understand it myself.
Comedy: A Double-edged Sword
There I am, sitting in a cramped room with the school’s principle. It’s my interview before I’m actually accepted into the middle school. My attitude could make or break my chances of getting in. I have to maintain an acceptable attitude and stay calm. Here goes.
“So, NaQuan, what makes you want to come to this school?” asks the teacher.
“Oh, you know…I was thinking about it,” I joked. “I mean, I like the idea of fun staff, friendly students, no uniform code, and a half-day each week, but what really had me hooked were the school vests. Those things look awesome!”
“Funny. You’re quite the goofball, aren’t you?”
“Well, I’m sure you’ll be right at home. Now you know you’ll have to work hard, right?”
“Bring in all the work you want. It can’t be much compared to the chores my mom makes me do.”
Et cetera, et cetera, insert funny comment here. That’s usually how my conversations go. It’s like what James Baldwin once wrote, “Language, incontestably, reveals the speaker” He couldn’t be more right. The way you speak can say a lot about the kind of person you are, sometimes more so than your actions can. I’ve always been aware of this fact, and made sure I never rubbed anyone the wrong way. How? By always being the funny guy. The comic. The class clown. The goofball. If it involves comedy, that’s the kind of person I’ll be. Nothing says friendship like making jokes about it.
If anything, I’m always trying to keep a funny attitude, preferably a sarcastic one, but not so much that I look like a jerk. Humor has always been my thing. It makes people laugh and keeps them on their good side. Whenever I first meet someone, I always try to come off as the funny guy. It’s an excellent way to break the ice, raises my chances of making early friends, and leaves a good first impression. It’s my specialty. Once I make someone even giggle, I know I’ve left my mark. It’s funny because I don’t make up my own jokes, but feed off of the situation to make my jokes. It works because it’s unexpected, but still related, and of course, funny. But not everything goes according to plan. There are times and places for jokes, and times and places to be serious. Churches, funerals, boot camps, these are places where jokes aren’t welcome, and they warn you that. But of course, I took these warnings about as seriously as I do 2012, and joked away. And let me tell you, when the consequences hit, they hit hard.
Luckily, I’ve never been to boot camp, and out of the two times I went to church, I don’t recall making any jokes, mostly because I was sleeping. But I won’t deny; there have been times when I was in the red on the jerk spectrum. On several occasions, I made the mistake of getting personal with my jokes, usually bringing family into my jokes. In other words, my jokes came off as insults. That doesn’t make someone like you, that makes them hate you, and when they hate you, they don’t laugh. That’s a big no-no when you’re trying to be funny. I sometimes feel like I have no control of my sarcasm sometimes, and it pops up at the most inconvenient times. Like, for example, at a funeral.
The sister of a really good friend of mine died and I went to the funeral with him. Now, he was very familiar with my comedic nature, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I tried to cheer him up a little bit. I said, “At least she can’t annoy you anymore.” Again, I made a joke about family, and at the worst possible time to boot. Needless to say, that was a stupid thing to do. Very stupid. Extremely stupid. Obviously, he took that in a way I didn’t want him to, and that left a heavy blow in our friendship and left a bad mark. I looked like a cold, heartless jerk. It took months of me apologizing, begging, and even doing his work for him before he could even talk to me again, and even more groveling after that to restore the friendship. That taught me the lesson of choosing the proper time and proper place to joke around.
I’m not a bad person, and I’m not a boring person. Being funny helps dispel those thoughts when I meet people. It’s always worked for me in the past, and will keep working in the future. Like I said, it’s my specialty. I don’t think I could be anything else. I’m not anyone else. I’m not the cool guy. Not the mysterious guy. Definitely not the tough guy. I’m just the funny guy, and that’s the way I like it.