Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Start of a Career

     When I was just barely four years old, my family lived in Mesa, Arizona. At the time, there was a program available to kids my age called pre-k. This was pretty much preschool, just with a different name.

     The school that I attended was called Thomas Edison Elementary.

     This is where my nerd career began.

     I honestly don't remember what kind of "work" we did in that class. I just assume that it was something like coloring pictures of Barney and stacking blocks.

     The circumstances surrounding this turning point are unknown to me, aside from the fact that I did something good enough for the teacher to notice. She talked to somebody, who talked to someone else, who then contacted my parents.

     The school wanted to put me in 1st grade.

     I was four years old, and they wanted to put me with the big kids who were six and seven. I barely knew what was going on, but now I look back and think, "what the flying crap?"

     My parents declined the first grade jump offer, but settled for the middle ground. Because of this, I was placed in kindergarten a year early.

     I said goodbye to the people I barely knew, and moved on to the other class. A couple unique opportunities were given to me over that year and the next.

     There was this math club at the school. In order to join, you had to do so well on this timed addition and subtraction test.

     Ah, simple math functions. I miss them. Now it's all about factoring polynomials and finding the sum of an infinite series.

     Basically, I got into the club. Voluntarily. I was flippin' excited. I got to do math for fun! That was the coolest thing ever.

     The school had these occasional writing competitions. As with just about all such competitions, there was different divisions. For this, it was by grade and genre.

     Along with that, teachers would occasionally give out these tickets, signifying that you did good on an assignment.

     If you won in any way, shape, or form, you got a dollar coin as a prize.

     I already had this deep interest in writing, so I did as well as I possibly could so I could try and get one of those Susan B. Anthony coins.

     I kid you not, I'm pretty sure I came home with one of those coins every other week. Like a BOSS! Four years old, and I felt like I had a salary.

     Aside from adults, it's needless to say none of my peers were impressed. I was already a juvenile nerd.

     And I have been that way ever since.

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