Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Everything you didn't want to know about Yearbook


No doubt, the first week of summer has hit, and the deprived students of the world have already thrown their yearbooks in the closet and pulled on their Bermuda shorts. They have forgotten everything they tried to learn in pre-calculus and can’t recite their locker combination if they tried.

Well, I would invite those summer craving folks to pull out that yearbook again. The intricacies of a yearbook often go overlooked. So go get your yearbook. Yes, I’m talking to you. There are more to those stinkers than you might realize.

As a member of yearbook staff, I know what it takes to put together a yearbook. We start picking out a theme and cover before the previous year is over. We take those ideas to yearbook camp (yes, there is such a thing), and work with REAL artists to make it look aesthetically pleasing. (That means it looks good.) A theme is important. You shouldn’t even know it is there, only that the book isn’t boring to browse. Usually a theme has something to do with the year or something unique about the school.

We write articles, called copy, and take pictures all year long. Copy and pictures go into a spread – which is a pair of pages that face one other. We measure things in picas (pronounced ‘pie – kas’), even on the computer. A pica is one sixth of an inch, so about the length of a space.

What fonts we used are taken into careful consideration. For copy we use ‘serif fonts.’ You’re reading a serif font right now, actually. Note the little curves that are on the bottom of the letters, those things that tag out a bit. That is a serif font, and they guide the eye. This is a sans serif font (sans means 'without'), and we use this kind of font for titles because they looks cooler. Sans Serifs are, however, more difficult to read.

I know you probably don’t care about picas and serif fonts, and that is okay. Most people only think about yearbooks when they buy one at registration and when they get them at the end of the year. But staff members are silently snapping and interviewing all the time, you probably just don't even realize.

There are deadlines we have to meet. Generally, we have to turn in a signature every month. A signature is a mini book, in fact, sixteen pages long. Look at the spine of your book, the ‘back bone.’ You’ll see little gatherings of pages sown together and glued to the binding. Well, each mini book is a signature. That is why there are extra pages at the end of books. The publishers aren’t just randomly wasting paper, it just so happens that most books don’t end in multiples of sixteen.

The printing of any book takes time, but a yearbook is especially tricky considering it has to be done by the end of the year. So how do we do it? Well, when ever we send in a signature, the plant prints them. Then they store the finished pages until all the signatures are completed, then the book is sewn together. This is very smart… it wouldn’t do to have every school in the state wanting all their books printed at the same time. They stagger it.

That still leaves a slight problem. What about the spring sports? Some stuff like track and baseball go on until late May, yet the books must be printed and shipped about the same time. Another ingenious idea born from years of strife and deadline anxiety: the spring insert. So while to yearbook itself may be completed and shipped, hiding in boxes in some unused classroom, the staff works furiously on a last minute signature, one that is printed separately and delivered in the nick of time. Then, in secretiveness the CIA would be proud of, the staff hand-glues each signature into the back of each book. The reader doesn’t even take note of the concealed portion, (unless done by an idiot).

So I encourage you, to read the articles and captions (those are the descriptions that should be accompanied to each picture) and note the beautiful art and countless hours of your local yearbook staff members. Thank them, next time you see one, and impress them with your knowledge of their language by flipping out such words as: signature, spread, spring insert, copy, and picas. They’ll appreciate it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Grammar Grievances

I’m not sure when my obsession began, but it must have caught fire over the summer. I started listening to a pod cast about grammar and I became nothing more than simply intrigued. When I came back from summer break, my head began to spin as suddenly I realized I was talking to my friends who couldn’t construct a grammatically sound sentence. Worse, they were oblivious to their errors. For example, after the first choir concert:

“You did amazing, August!”

I smile and say, “Thank you very much,” and try not to scream. How can I think about my compliment without ignoring the blatant grammatical errors screeching louder than an air horn during an AP test? I performed amazingly, not amazing. Amazing is an adjective; it describes a noun. Yes, the performance was amazing, but the performers did amazingly. Amazingly is an adverb, so it describes an action. Didn’t we all learn this in elementary school?

Then there is a lovely gift, accompanied by an earnest, but annoying statement: “I got something for you,”

I wince and say, “You do?” What can she mean, she got me something? How does that work? She must mean she has something for me… that must be it. But why can’t she just say so?

Telephone conversations are frustrating as well. “Where are you at?”

It may be a grammar myth that ending a sentence with a preposition is wrong, but why in the world would he purposely do it? It just sounds so wrong, and to most traditional grammarians it would be. If a sentence like that worms its way into his college entrance essay it will be hook, line, and sinker. True, he probably doesn’t know how ignorant he sounds, but I can’t focus on explaining to him where I am when he talks like that, and it is only harming him in the long run.

I must say, girls are worse than boys, probably because they talk more. “You know Chris; he’s the boy that took me to Prom…”

Yes, I know Chris, but I didn’t know that he we was an object! Shouldn’t it be something like, “You know Chris; he’s the boy who took me to Prom…” That is for objects, and I don’t care if we’re only gossiping on the phone, Chris is a person, not a mop.

Not even in the retail world am I safe from the horrors of the sagging standards of the English language. For instance, at the grocery store, the sign above the speedy checkout line reads: “Ten items or less,”

Less is for a noun that can’t really be counted, like water, for example. But the last time I checked, you can easily count if you have ten items or fewer. I know I can tell when the person in front of me in the speedy checkout line has twelve cans of soup, but once again, that was something we learned in elementary school, so you never know.

The most horrific grammar incident can happen only in writing, but nevertheless I loathe it: “Buy one; get one half off!!!!”

Would you ever use more than one period at the end of a sentence to reiterate that the sentence was over? No, of course not! Then why do advertisers, as well as overzealous texting teens, use multiple exclamation points to stress that the sentence has not only ended, but that it was exclaimed from rooftops? Maybe I’m just a stingy Puritan caught in a time warp, but one punctuation mark is enough.

I’m not a good listener all the time; I’ll be the first to admit. When the grammar is poor, I can’t focus on the meaning, only the mistakes. What was once the subject of an interesting online radio program is now the obsession of my short editing career, not to mention the constant distraction from civilized teenage conversation. I may seem pessimistic now, but just wait until I copy edit your term paper…

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spread Thin

I am, (already?) coming to the end of another school year. Junior year was crazy, especially in a brand new school. I though I knew what being 'busy' was until this year-- boy, have I learned a lot!
In the fall, it wasn't so bad at first. I got used to classes, went crusading to convince the guys that asking a girl to homecoming is not a proposal of marriage, and worked on my online Spanish class. I kept myself mildly entertained with creative writing, choir, and yearbook. Math wasn't too bad yet, and I was treading water in AP American and Honors Physics. I taught piano and still practiced an hour each day. I also worked at a wedding reception and event center on the weekends.
But as winter approached, it only got wilder. We had our first few deadlines in yearbook, and after much anxiety, hair pulling, and tears, the staff got the pages error free and sent off to the plant. I auditioned for productions, an after school class, somehow reasoning that as long as it wasn't a class in the school day, I'd have time for it. I still did choir, creative writing, and I still did online Spanish and worked on the weekends.
Then there was the slight 'Winter Break' vacation, what I like to call the calm before the storm. Come January second, the musical rehearsals began: every single day from five to seven in the evening. Math suddenly became so foreign I couldn't tell if my teacher was speaking Greek or Yiddish. I still had to keep up with physics and AP American, not to mention my online Spanish (and the deadline was all to quickly approaching). I had to prepare for solo/ensemble festival because I was doing a vocal and a piano solo, which required more practicing time then I could afford. We had two yearbook deadlines- back to back and only a month apart. Two of our staff members dropped at the semester and I had to pick up the extra slack. Work was especially busy with Christmas Parties. The choir performed at a few Christmas gigs as well. I had my own parties to go to, and I had to pencil them in six weeks in advance.
Once the musical was performed in March and my online class hastily finished, I thought I would have plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately, not so. The final touches for the yearbook were due, and there seemed to never be enough time, even though I was taking two yearbook classes. Math was harder than ever, and my highest test score was about a sixty percent. The AP American test was just around the corner and I had to make up for all the lost time from the musical. Work got busier in the spring (people love getting married in the spring) and I added two more piano students.
After I took my AP American test, I had to go back and make up all the work I had put off until after the test. I was behind and I was worried I would never catch up. But I could only do one thing at a time, which was why I felt horrible. Although I was in many things, I couldn't devote myself to them 100% because I was spread so thin.
And even when everything was finally winding down, the worst happened: I lost momentum. I was out of gasoline and I wasn't going to drive another mile. I've never been so tired in all my life! The whole year caught up to me. Why did I do so much, and why did I try to keep decent grades? I don't even know anymore... but I can't wait until next year. What's on the agenda? To name a few: yearbook, piano, productions, an internship with the paper, all the extra required classes I didn't take earlier, and a job.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Know God Loves Me Everytime I Get A Left Turn Arrow (and other things that make me happy).

  • I know God loves me every time I get a left turn arrow at a light. I'm not the greatest driver ever, and it is so reassuring to know you can just turn left without having to worry about who is coming in my direction for once, and I can just GO! I love it.
  • I know God loves me when I get oatmeal for breakfast. I like oatmeal, especially the Quaker kind. I like to combine flavors, that is cool, and my favorite mixture is Raisins & Spice and Apples & Cinnamon. Then you sprinkle sugar on top. YUM! Oatmeal is so warm and sticky, it just makes me feel like I could live forever!
  • I know God loves me when it is windy enough to fly kites. In my opinion, flying kites can be so enjoyable and thrilling. A piece of nylon fabric is suspended in midair fifty feet above because you and the wind worked together! It never gets old.
  • I know God loves me when I find lip gloss in my old jeans. I don't know what it is, but I always feel bad for the clothing articles I don't wear as much. What if they feel left out? I think they get so lonely and dejected that they keep important items hostage. Like old pairs of pants that don't fit right- that is where I find all my lost lip gloss. If I was nicer to all my clothes and wore them all equally, (even if they made me look bad) at least I wouldn't have to loose my lip gloss as much. However, I feel so jovial when I discover a prodigal lip gloss in a pocket.
  • I know God loves me when I hear falsetto. I'm not sure why, but I know God gave falsetto to men as a gift. Its true purpose: unknown. But whatever the function, I adore hearing men go up into their upper recesses and exploring their vocal atmosphere in dry, hooty, mock-female tones. It makes me laugh and wish I could do the same.
  • I know God loves me when I pick up a good book. Like the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, or Twilight. I just can't stop. I love it when I just have to keep reading... while I eat, while I blow dry my hair, while I am riding in the car, etc. What is best is that I don't think about anything else - like ANYTHING else. And then I imagine myself in the plot and warning the main character of danger. I go crazy, and thus, I get really happy.
  • I know God loves me when they serve cheep Chinese Food at lunch. Actually, I'm not sure it is Chinese, but it at least is oriental food. It is only $2 and well worth it. It is always the longest line, and my friend Wendy and I make sure we are at the end of it because then they give us the extra chicken as the line is winding up. The cafeteria ladies don't like extras. If you request no vegetables (because I'm not sure they're really vegetables) then they'll give you even more chicken. Not only that, but they provide egg rolls AND fortune cookies. At our lunch table we always add the phrase, " bed." To our fortunes, and it is quite interesting indeed. It makes me happy.
  • I know God loves me when I find a very inky pen. I love writing with a very inky pen as you well know. Pens of that merit are so difficult to come across but when I encounter one, I can't help be be grateful.
  • I know God loves me every time I lie down on precisely buzzed golf course grass. I live by a golf course, and let me tell you, stretching out on that stiff, fuzzy grass is so relaxing. The thick kind is good, but so is the really short kind. I could fall asleep on it. In fact, I think I have...
  • I know God loves me every time I get to take an afternoon nap. You know those naps that are so light and fluffy? I love it when I'm conscious enough to feel like I'm asleep and I can relax. Even if they last only twenty minutes, a crash after school is a remedy for a better day. And speeking of naps, I'm going to take one right now.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Today, in a valiant but futile effort to make a difference for the environment and my thighs, I rode my bike to school. Usually I drive myself, but the weather was warm and I felt the urge to enjoy the fresh air. It was a new sense of freedom.

I thought back to when I would do anything to have the liberty to drive and have a car all my own. Now I try to avoid driving whenever possible, but when I was fifteen, a license was a ticket to freedom.

But freedom isn’t free. I was forced to journey across student parking to a portable out in the boonies, sit through a class that was a stale as the residue on a McDonald’s counter, copy word for word out of the driver’s handbook, and watch hypnotizing videos.

I didn’t really learn anything from class, but I did learn a lot on the road. My driver instructor was named Coach Buchanan and even though he was married, a lot of girls secretly were in love with him. He was cool… he used his cell phone in class and turned on the hottest hip-hop in the driver’s ed. cars. He coached, of course, as well as taught driver’s education.

Vani and Halden were my driving mates. We began at stark different levels of experience. I don’t know if was just because he was a boy and had natural abilities or he had spent hours of pre-permit practicing, but Halden was drove so well I wondered if he was a NASCAR driver in training. He didn’t necessarily make you feel comfortable while he was driving, but you could tell by the way he handled corners and accelerated that he wasn’t afraid of the road. Vani didn’t have any experience until our first day driving. But by the time I got used the jerking, she had improved a lot.

Then there was me. I’d practiced a little with my parents but that was all. Coach Buchanan would tease me and ask, “Now, what’s the gas pedal for?” And I would answer, over Vani and Halden’s chuckles from the back seat, “to accelerate.” I guess I was a little white-knuckled.

As much as a learned about turn-lanes and passing and putting on the blinker three seconds before you turn, I learned a lot about life. Buchanan may have been on of the most popular teachers in school, but he wasn’t an airhead. He didn’t like us to sit in silence and listen to the grinding beat of the hip-hop radio. One day, when we were doing freeway driving, he brought up a perplexing question, directed to us girls.

“What if your husband tells you he doesn’t want you to be a working mother?”

At first I was very defensive. I said that I would never marry someone that wouldn’t let me be myself and live my dreams of being successful. I could never love someone that asked me to stay at home and live a dreary life of a house wife. My mom worked, but I had to say she was there most of the time for us. Vani said she also supported women working.

Buchanan wouldn’t take that for an answer. “But what if you DO marry someone like that?” I struck back that I wouldn’t, but he persisted. “What if you do?”

We talked for a while, and I dug myself deep into a hole. I mean, the more I thought about it, the more I realized how wrong I actually was. Staying at home probably wasn’t so bad, and what if your husband wanted to provide for the family all by himself? But I couldn’t back out now. For the rest of the drive I argued my case.

Ever since that experience I’ve thought more and more about being a woman in the workforce. As for now, I’m still looking forward to having a career, but there are some things more important than a job, and that’s kids. Overtime I made the conscious decision to be as successful as I can be, but the best work I do will be within the walls of my own home.

I’m in high school – ya. Its weird I think so far ahead in the future, but isn’t that why we come to school? To learn about life, make decisions, and decide who we want to be. Trig identities are cool, but I think perspective is just as important. So in my quest for freedom on the road, I learned that about freedom in life and what’s really important. Stay-at-home mom a constricting job? No way.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Well, I got my score back today from my retake test.

I'm beginning to believe there is a correlation between how long I study and my score. For instance, I spent roughly five hours in preparation for the first test. My score: 45%. I spent about seven getting prepared for my retake. My score: 20%. Tell me what YOU think.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I used to stick straight to mechanical pencils, but this year I have learned to love pens. There is a subtle satisfaction to using ink, a sense of permanence and professionalism. The stark contrast between the stale white and stagnant blue to the dark, rich black is beautiful.

Pencil smudges and runs together, but it is nice for math, where lots of erasing is required (at least for me). When I do err using my beloved writing weapon, I have to ground it out by scribbling. That is one reason I prefer the pen: I am more conscience of perfection because I don't like scratching out my mistakes. Things just turn out better. A writing utensil should be very willing and generous. Creativity is severely harbored if one has to continually engage in ridiculous activities such as shaking and scraping the carpet in an effort to persuade the ink to come out.

For me, blue pens serve a different purpose than black pens. In a pinch either will do, but I have certain notebooks that are in black ink and others in blue. Blue is a bit more creative. Of course, it can’t be too bright, then it is classified as a ‘gel pen’ the legend of the nineties. No, it has to be dark, fairly mild and very inky.

Black pens suit me for such tasks as lists, homework, and other practical jobs. Black pens tend to be easier to find when one is out and about, and thus makes reaching consistence in a notebook simpler.

Pens, overall, are an important tool for any writer, student, or inhabitant of the planet. But I cannot conclude before extending a commentary on one of my most favorite sort of pen: the red pen.

Red pens are for fixing mistakes. Many fear this color. Perhaps because they believe it symbolizes danger, fire, communism, or love (even though those are scary things). I take it is as a symbol of constructive criticism. When I get paper back with a lot of little red markings, I know that my piece is just about to get a face lift, and that makes me happy. When I wield a crimson crayon of my own, I feel powerful knowing I am righting the wrongs of incorrect grammar usage.

In conclusion, I love to use pens for the reasons stated above. I love their inky smoothness and their tendency to advocate getting it right on the first try. I love creative that spawns from the tips of them, and the moral and grammatical righteousness for which they advocate.

A Second Try

I'm going to retake my math test today after school, so wish me luck. I'll keep you updated, but I don't know how hopeful to be. I spent about three hours studying, and I went to a tutor. We'll see what happens.

Monday, March 31, 2008

So I'm not Stupid?

I recently was given one of the most encouraging compliments of my life. She was a complete third party and had only known me for a half and hour before when she said, "You're good at math. You're a perfectionist; you want to know everything."

I was shocked. In math class every day I was feeling more and more like a dumb girl close to drop out. But I actually believed my tutor when she said I wasn't stupid like I felt.

So I studied for my upcoming math test with furiously known only to jungle beasts and consulted my teacher and others to aide me in understanding the nebulous concepts of trig identities. I accepted that the chances of me succeeding were slim, but I wanted to know that I had at least done my part to do as best as I can.

Today, when I received my score of 45%, I was actually started to laugh. The class average was 50% and the high score was 85%. These statics are a sign of poor teaching in my humble opinion, but according the the teacher (who is always right), the class was just lazy and stupid. Just like the children of Israel, we were given further punishment. Now we have to make bricks without straw, as it were. The promised 'grading on the curve' practice that would save our souls was now taken from us.

We're an honors class and apparantly that warrents us the following stipulations:
No cacluators (and we weren't informed of this until the day before)
Multiple Choice
No Curve
Homework way easier than the test

The only thing for which we should be grateful (?) is the use of a sheet listing the trig identities and a retake. If we weren't taught the first time, what is going to change?

Am I crazy to be greatful for my failing score? Actually, compared the the class, I did alright. I don't feel stupid, but rather, intelligent. I'm tired of being told that I'm not smart and that I don't deserve to be in an honors class. Math isn't easy, but our teacher makes it harder. I speak for my entire outraged class. It is unfair and we're being stripped of all hope of succeeding.

I believe she's trying to fail us.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Maniac Facts

I don't know what it is about musicals, but I'm suffering from an addiction to them.

Who in their right mind pretends to be an obsessive teenager, wear fifty year old dresses that smell like mothballs, wear curlers every night, plaster on gallons of make up, sing in a nasally voice, abstain from milk, and spend 14 hour days at school on cheese-its and easy cheese?

Well, I did, along with forty other cast members.

I hope all of my readers got to see it, but I'll be posting some photographs from it on the blog. What an experience!

I'm just going to use people's stage names to address them instead of their WP Names.

Did you know...

Many of the cast donated their own props. For instance, the slippers and hat I wore in "How Lovely to Be a Woman," are my own. Conrad's purse in the last scene is my mom's and his scarf is Mrs. Cazier. Most schools have a prop and costume bank of stuff they've been able to build up over the years, but we don't because this is the first year our school is open.

All of my dresses are my grandma's formals from high school.

Albert named his rabbit after Rosie.

The counter and the bar are the same thing, just with different covering. Her name is Tiffany.

There is a 'phantom of the auditorium' that saved Rosie from the house. Actually, when the house was being flown down (way too fast) it almost hit her square on the head. Someone yelled a warning and grabbed her out of the way, but no one admitted to being the savior. It only nicked her in the head instead of killing her.

The window grid took longer to build than almost anyother set piece and took around fifty people to help keep it straight while we lifted it up.

We are so grateful to have a pit! Suprisingly, the whole time we were practicing with it off, no one fell in. However, just a week after the play was over, someone fell in during a concert for another junior high. What are the odds?

Online Spanish

An exciting event occurred on Friday- I finished my online Spanish class.

I'd been laboring through that torture for two long years and it was about time it finished. Now don't get me wrong, a foreign language is great, but enough is enough. I spent over 180 hours on it to earn 4 semester credits. Actually, it really does equal out to be saving me time in the long run, but it didn't really feel like it.

I went through Rosetta Stone, (cleverly named after the Egyptian artifact that featured the same text in three languages, two different versions of Egyptian and Greek. This was a breakthrough because now archeologists could decode Egyptian). The program is unique, but not really. You learn the same way you learned English. Your mom pointed to her nose and says, "Nose!" in a very high pitched voice and eventually you get what a nose is. Rosetta Stone does the same thing. There are a few variations on the same lesson, but basically a word or phrase comes up along with four pictures. One of the pictures matches and you click on it. If you're right, then an encouraging bell sound ensues along with a smiley face. If you're guess is incorrect, there is a blaring horn.

I would also do speech comparisons. Somehow, the all omniscient computer could tell if my feeble attempts to speak Spanish could be decoded by a native speaker. It all sounded the same to me, but the helpful meter was kind enough to show me how close I was to getting the pronunciation right.

The biggest trial with the whole online thing was the sheer stupidity of computers. Sometimes my lesson wouldn’t show up after I completed it, and let me tell you how frustrating that is. I could spend up to an hour on a single one and to have it not count is infuriating. When a teacher doesn’t put something in the computer, you can reason with her, but a computer listens to no one but itself in such matters. At other times the internet would randomly loose connection and I would be left stranded.

There were pros, too. I could work on it at two in the morning, (although I don’t recommend it), and anywhere with internet access.

Overall, I am grateful it is over. I couldn’t have done it alone, my parents helped me a ton. If you’re considering enrolling in such a class, I hope this article helped you in your decision. And if you need any tips, hints, or suggestions, give me a ring. Just say, “¡Me puede ayudar!”

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Monologue

This is a monologue I wrote to audition for a school play:

So, there is this boy, called Todd Temple. Last week he started this crusade of flirting. I know I’m crazy, but it is totally a crusade. We learned about crusades in history.
The crusades were a long ordeal; I mean they went on for years and years. I don’t know if Todd will keep flirting with me for years and years, but he’s been acting this way for an entire week and that is a long time to be interested in a girl, especially for him.
The Europeans really only wanted fame and glory, they didn’t care a lick about saving the holy land, and everyone knows that. Todd is the same way. I don’t know what his motives are, but I’m certain their not for the right reasons. Then again, what are the right reasons to flirt anyway?
Well, Todd will be very unsuccessful; I am sure, just like the crusades were. They didn’t accomplish anything and neither will he. Okay, so maybe I flirt back. But he starts it. And he’s not going to win me over. Todd is great, but I how can I ever get over Doug Johnson?
Besides, Todd is the most disorganized flirt I have ever met. Not only does he tease me, but he also teases with Katie, Heather, and Sarah. So I can easily conclude that he isn’t sincerely sweet on just me. You’d think if he liked a girl he’d just stick to wooing her. What a player!
Most of all, this series of croqueting simply just can’t be taken seriously. I don’t know what he’s doing. He pretty much tackled me in the hall at school the other day and gave me a huge bear hug. It was almost like he wanted to kiss me!
But, you know, the truth is, I don’t think I would mind if he actually did kiss me…

Sunday, March 16, 2008


When I was fifteen, I realized with both horror and pleasure that I was in love with guys. I noticed that they were no longer 'boys'; now they were 'guys.' Up until this point in time, contact with the opposite sex had scared the living daylights out of me.
Then, suddenly, the gawky pre-teen boys transformed into handsome, mature, straight-from-a romance novel 'guys.' Suddenly, every movement was monitored, every conversation was absorbed, and every blink a guy took was counted. When I was in junior high, my friends and I were sure that our crushes noticed each stalker-like movement we made. Actually, I realize now, they were oblivious.
Shaniqua and Andrea, my two best friends, were infatuated with Boston and Toby, respectively. I took to Albert- a shy, tall, blue-eyed bass who stood behind me in choir. Boston was a loud one who was just crawling out of his class clown shell and discovering his hidden talent for flirting without the archaic techniques of pulling hair and teasing. Toby was also on the quiet side, but he was keenly aware that half the girls at the junior high were already planning their weddings with him.
To 'accidentally' run into our 'special someone' we would plan out our days' itinerary with more care than a rocket scientist computing the launch time for the next shuttle. We would arrive at school just as their bus was pulling up, get a drink from the fountain right outside their first period class, position ourselves directly in their line of sight at lunch, hire our older sisters to drive us past their house, make shrines for them in our room, and call them only to hang up the phone when they answered. To put it bluntly, we were in 'like'.
Yet we hardly ever came in direct contact with our idols. When we did, it was taken down in a notebook we jointly shared. The conversation was recorded verbatim next to date and time, a detailed description of the clothing he was wearing at the time of incident, facial expression and body language, and a through analysis of the conversation's inner meaning. The dates of specific advances in the crusade were lauded and made into national holidays.
Our moments of trepidation came when we were convinced that the guys were catching on to our intents.
"Did he see me blush?"
"I was staring at him too much."
"We started laughing right as he walked past. If he doesn't know now then he never will."
Shaniqua was right. They never would. Their oblivion would only be broken by a blatent confession of enamoration, and even then they would still be clueless. That was two years ago, and I daresay that Toby and Albert still have no idea. Boston, on the other hand, was informed, of course, two years after Shaniqua's obsession passed. I told him, and the funny thing was he never even had a clue!