Monday, April 9, 2012

A retrospective look of my K-12 academic history and my social life (pre-college).

For those who don't know, Insomniac Flames came back recently after being gone for over two years. This also means my Personal Blog has returned. In celebration, I have made this extremely long blog post that is easily the longest thing I have ever written. Enjoy.

Table of Contents
· 1. First Half of Kindergarten - Rough Beginnings (1995-1996)
· 2. Early Grade School Years - Poinsettia Elementary School (1996-2000)
· 3. Later Grade School Years - Marry Peacock Elementary School (2000-2002)
· 4. Middle School Years - Beginning of Homeschool (2002-2004)
· 5. Early High School Years - UYA Era, Bitches (2004-2005)
· 6. Later High School Years - My Return to Public Education (2006-2008)
· 7. Later High School Years...Online - Not Pretty (2006-2008)

1. First Half of Kindergarten - Rough Beginnings (1995-1996)

When I was growing up, I was kind of slow. A lot of aspects of my development like my speech skills were noticeably delayed compared to a lot of kids. It was to such a degree that when I was around five years old, I once asked my mom, "Why don't I talk like the other kids?" Thanks to my slowness and admittedly some behavior issues, I was thrown into special ed while in kindergarten. It was terrible. I was living in a boatyard at the time and because of the way the school was setup, there was a separate playground for special ed kids. In all of my years of my education, never again did I feel so separated from what were essentially the normal kids. Not to mention the playground for special ed kids was practically nonexistent. Just barely anything compared to what the other kids had and what I used to have. Perhaps one of the reasons the special ed kids were separated was due to behavior reasons. My behavior wasn't very good and I frequently got in trouble for not following my teacher's directions. I never was a violent kid, but I made dick decisions and sometimes felt like disobeying. I don't know how bad my behavior was, but I do remember a few instances where she was really annoyed like this one time where I refused to take a nap during nap time. >_> She was not happy that day.

Academics aside, I did enjoy my early childhood and I have a lot of great memories from ages 3-5 but there were some serious issues. I was moving to a new location around every year which meant there was a severe lack of stability in where I lived. Didn't help there were a couple of times where my family was stuck living on my dad's small boat. The combination of that with my mom's alcoholism caused quite a lot of drama and made matters much worse than they should have been. While I don't have a ton of memories of her drinking, she sounded pretty out of control from what my dad has indicated. I do remember one night where he told me to get away from my mom by standing having me behind him because she was acting so awful. I don't remember much more from that night other than my dad sounding insanely pissed and my mom looking nuts. She also used to throw up a ton and I missed living in a house.

2. Early Grade School Years - Poinsettia Elementary School (1996-2000)

Things did start to look up in the following year. On January 16th, 1996, my mom quit drinking and stayed sober until late December 2008. My dad also sold his boat, got a job at a boatyard, and we lived at a house again. It was a small house and our place was attached to another home, but it sure beat living on that boat. I started going to kindergarten at a much better school and was actually making friends. I started first grade at a different school (Poinsettia Elementary School) but for whatever reason, much of the students who went to kindergarten with me also went to first grade at that different school too which was nice.

The special ed classrooms for grades 1 through 4 were structured pretty well. In a lot of subjects, students were often split up into three different groups based off of our grade and/or skill level in a subject. Classrooms also had two different grades of students in each class so the grade difference wasn't too bad, especially with the setup. Early on, one of the teachers I had realized I was much better at math than any of the other students so in third grade, I was mainstreamed in math. This allowed me to leave my special ed class for part of the day to go to a normal classroom for that subject. I did very well in that class and continued to do well in math for 4th grade as well. Since a lot of people who are good at math are also good at science, they mainstreamed me in that subject too. This is ironic in retrospect because science is now my worst subject. -_- By 4th grade, one student was surprised I had so much homework. This made made realize that I had way more homework than anyone else in that class and yet some of the students were a grade level higher.

While I was doing better academically overtime and felt challenged but not too challenged, my social life was getting worse. In 3rd grade, I was friends with literally everyone in my class. In 4th grade, I had barely any friends to the point where I once cried over it on the playground. One of my favorite friends (Ritchie) that I knew since kindergarten grew to dislike me overtime, a lot of my friends switched to a different school (my mom fought hard to keep me at Poinsettia Elementary School), and some other friends turned on me as well. None of the kids who turned on me were people I knew as long as Ritchie, but it still sucked. Weirdly enough, the only one of my kindergarten friends who was still going to the same school as me but didn't turn on me was my friend Kevin. He originally wasn't one of my favorite friends but we became better friends overtime and I sometimes defended him even when I knew he was wrong. Like one day when some kids were telling him Santa wasn't real and I defended his viewpoint just to be nice despite how embarrassing that was.

By 4th grade, I still wasn't a great kid by any means though. I have absolutely no idea why, but a lot of kids really disliked this one girl a lot and picked on her frequently. One kid in particular used to enjoy making fun of her hairy back. :/ Sadly, I sometimes picked on her too. It's quite weird thinking back on that because I can't think of any other students I used to pick on in my entire grade school experience. My parents later got pissed when they found out and forced me to apologize. I don't know if I meant it or not but regardless of what I felt, I never picked on her again so clearly I learned my lesson at least.

As for why I was losing certain friends, I think it largely had to do with the fact I was extremely immature. Some kid who lived near me was embarrassed by me sometimes despite the fact he was around one or two years younger than me. Yes, I was that immature. The neighbor who replaced him (Kyle) was a year older than me and probably found me even more frustrating. On a brighter note, he did own a Sega Genesis and one of the games he owned was a six games in one cartridge. The game that looked the most interesting to me from that cartridge was Sonic the Hedgehog and that got me interested in the series. A year later, I owned a couple of Sonic games on PC (Sonic 3D Blast and the Sonic & Knuckles Collection <3 <3 <3), some Sonic toys, and started buying Sonic comics from Vons. This kid was to blame for my introduction to the series and the irony is that he didn't even care for the series very much. He thought there was no way in hell I would still be obsessed with the series when I'm much older. Boy was he wrong. :P He also told me what sex was which I thought was really disturbing at the time.I was ten.

3. Later Grade School Years - Marry Peacock Elementary School (2000-2002)

*picture for this era coming soon*
(Currently lack access to photos from 5th and 6th grade.)

After 4th grade, my dad was no longer going to work at the boatyard. While he was dealing with serious back issues at the time and some surgeries, I think the main reason he decided to quit was because he wanted to get back into photography. He was offered photography jobs at two locations: Crescent City and some hot as hell location that was supposed to be really shitty. He chose Crescent City. While probably better than the other place, that isn't saying much. Crescent City is a shitty fucking town. When I moved there, the population was a little over 4,000 people if you exclude the amount of people in the Pelican Bay State Prison. If you include those people too, they made up 45% of the entire population and prisoners sometimes escaped. I've said this to tons of people but when I was around 11 years old, some prisoner escaped and my dad went to go check the garage. Before heading out there, he handed me the phone and told me to call 911 if he wasn't back within a minute. That scared the living fuck out of me and it was almost a minute before he came back. The only great aspect of living at such a shitty town was that the rent was very cheap. For $800 a month, I lived in an awesome two story, four bedroom house. Since my mom and I really did not want to live there, we both scored in the room selection. I got the biggest room in the house while my mom got a nice sized bedroom and another nice sized room that she converted into her office. For comparison, both of her rooms were much nicer than my current bedroom in Grover Beach. My dad however got stuck with the smallest room in the house. Thank god he was nice enough to take the smallest room in the house because my bedroom made living there a lot more tolerable; plus part of my room was later used for my homeschooling.

When I started going to school at Marry Peacock Elementary, their special ed system sucked. Since there were so few special ed kids who went to Marry Peacock, they just put all of the special ed kids from the school in one classroom. The grade range was so ridiculous that the class had sixth graders and a first grader was added to it later into the school year. As you can probably imagine, it was way too damn easy and felt like a joke compared to fourth grade. Outside of the math and science classes I went to, I was under challenged and not making as much progress as I should have. So for sixth grade, the solution was to mainstream me and put me in resource. Since I was still technically in special ed, my grades were modified to where a 50% was considered a C (except for math since I was actually good in that subject). It was a rather awkward setup and the fact my teacher did not know how to deal with a kid that wasn't normal just made the situation much worse. She was kind of a bitch to me and I did not like having her as a teacher.

There was another 6th grade teacher at the school but he was considered a more difficult teacher. For part of the school year, both of the teachers switched classes for part of the day to teach...religious history. It was nothing but stories from the Bible and he treated the stories like pure fact so I just assumed everything I was learning was true. Surprisingly though, I did really damn well with him and got around an 87% on a test. Considering how I once got less than a 50% on a true/false test, I can't help but wonder what the fuck the other teacher was doing wrong. How the hell did I do so damn with this teacher in his history class but continued to do so damn poorly with the other teacher? Well, I once talked to some student who was held back a year that previously had him as a teacher. According to her, he was definitely a better teacher but she also said that our then current 6th grade teacher was easier. This seriously makes me wonder if I would have actually done much better with the harder class simply because he's a better teacher. He was definitely a harder teacher though. Everytime a student got a math problem wrong, that student had to write a paragraph explaining how they messed up. o_O

During this time, my social life wasn't too great. I had some okayish friends in 5th grade from my special ed class, but I stopped hanging out with them sometime after starting 6th grade. I became friends with some kid called Ben and that was pretty much the only friend I made at school that year. People I talked to in the previous school year were people I just talked to less. I later found out Ben lived near me which was pretty cool. Whenever I made a friend from school in the past, they usually lived quite away from where I lived. It's a shame I started losing contact with him sometime while I was homeschooled because he was a pretty decent friend but more on that later.

One story from that school year that I don't think I've ever told anyone is about a game of tag that went terribly wrong. It was some version of it where people were "safe" if they were at some polls. Anyways, while playing the game one day, I went to tag some girl and um, I accidentally tagged an area of her chest I shouldn't have. >_< I had no idea I even did that until after it happened. Like if no-one said anything or ever brought it up in the future, I would've never had any clue. Well, the girl was really pissed and pretty much hated me since then. Like at one recess, some kid walked up to me and told me that girl wanted him to beat me up. He didn't even tell me that in a mad tone or anything. It was more like "Uhhh... That girl wants me to beat you up." I think that news ended up spreading around because some kid once joked about me being a pimp or something. Quite a bit of a fuck-up on my part, but also funny in retrospect. I'm surprised I've never mentioned this story to anyone before.

4. Middle School Years - Beginning of Homeschool (2002-2004)

After I graduated from grade school, my mom decided to home school me. Weird thing is that I don't even think it was my mom's idea. 5th and 6th grade were such fucked up years for my education that my mom (who recently graduated from community college at the time) seemed more likely to do a better job educating me than that school district and she ended up doing a very good job for my middle school years. I learned a lot in 7th and 8th grade, and was making great progress in my education. My mom was able to choose from a large selection of books on what to teach me from and the Charter school system there was just great. While this was a fantastic move for my education, it was a terrible move for my social life. My parents had absolutely no idea I had Asburger's syndrome or even heard of it until I was in middle school. If my mom knew I had it back when I was going to grade school, she might have made some drastically different decisions with my education during my middle school years.

Since I was no longer in a social environment at school, I started to just become more anti-social overtime. While I maintained my friendship with Ben in the early part of my home school education and even went to some play he was part of, I started to just like the idea of being a hermit. My interests weren't really evolving at all, but his were. Overtime, I decided to just hang out with him less and less to the point where I just stopped hanging out. I also didn't go to some other play he was in. I was essentially becoming a shitty friend because I no longer wanted rl friends and that mentality continued for another six years. Many years later, I found out from Poprocks (who lived at Crescent City at the time but never met) that Ben actually mentioned me in the past during some conversation she once had with him. o_O If I was never homeschooled, I would've gone to a middle school that a few people who later played UYA also went to (Poprocks, kill me please, and Novacain). This makes me wonder if my social life in middle school would've been a lot better than my last few years at grade school.

Remember Kevin, that friend I mentioned earlier? I still remained in contact with him after I moved to Crescent City. In fact, there was even one time him and his dad actually drove up there and stayed a short while. I had a pretty decent long distance friendship with him but when I moved to Tahoe in '04, I never told him my new phone number and purposely lost contact with him. Here I had a friend since kindergarten and I decided to just lose contact because I wanted to be anti-social. I don't know what the fuck was wrong with me. I partially blame the fact a lot of people in Crescent City sucked but with my Asburger's syndrome, I should have never left a public school environment entirely. Maybe half day home school would've been a much better idea. I don't know what would've been the best solution since the public school system was just terrible for kids with serious learning issues but probably decent for those who were normal. (Maybe Poprocks could answer whether or not the middle school was decent for normal kids.) It really fucking sucked growing up with my learning issues. Thank god my mom fought hard for my education throughout grade school and middle school or else I would've been so fucked. The school district there kept wanting to take away my special ed badly but I seriously needed it at the time.

5. Early High School Years - UYA Era, Bitches (2004-2005)

After graduating from middle school, I was going to move from Crescent City to South Lake Tahoe. Despite the fact I was a hermit with a huge bedroom in Crescent City, I was so excited to get away from that awful town. My parents were moving for four main reasons. The first reason was that my dad was forced to permanently retire from photo journalism because his back issues became so extreme that a doctor told him he had the back of a 90 year old man. If he stayed there, the local paper might have forced him to do a calling job. The second reason is that Taylo came into our lives. She essentially found us when she was a starving stray cat. The landlord wouldn't allow us to keep the cat (despite being the best tenants he ever had) but I loved that cat so much that my dad did not want to get rid of her. Not to mention my mom loved Taylo as well and my dad grew to like the cat a lot in a very short period of time. The third reason we moved is because the landlord wanted to convert our garage into another house so his 17 year old "Christian boy" son and his fiancee had a place to live at. This would've destroyed the privacy we had at our home and our landlord was committed to doing it. These factors also led to the fourth reason which was that my dad wanted to start an art gallery in Tahoe as a way to sell photographs. With all of these factors in mind, it seemed like a good time to move. Unfortunately, I had to leave behind my fish because they probably would've died in the move truck if we brought them with us. Plus our new cat had us worried about the fish so we gave them to a new owner who looked forward to having them. One of those fish originally became part of our family by living in a cookie jar on my dad's previous boat back when I was 5. For comparison, I was 14 when I gave the fish away. I don't know how long that fish ended up surviving overtime, but it sure lived a long life for a goldfish.

When my dad started his business in Crescent City, I thought it was a terrible location but my parents were convinced the spot they chose in a casino was a good location. Well, it later turned out that spot sucked worse than even I expected. His shop was essentially behind a wall that got barely any foot traffic and since he could not accept casino chips at a casino of all fucking things, he business didn't even last 3 months. He signed a year's contract but was able to pass it off to some other guy who previously opened his business in three different locations. It later turned out that location was so terrible that even that guy failed. I'll never understand what the hell my parents were thinking in choosing that location. I was a stupid special ed kid at the time yet even I realized that location was dumb. My dad also made a couple of other stupid decisions like putting his beautiful photos in the most unimaginative, bland frames that both my mom and his mother thought was a bad idea. Also, his mother paid a lot of money for him to start that business so he really should've taken more of her advice. Even I thought the frames looked bad. They were very expensive frames, but cheap looking.

9th grade was when my education started to go to shit again. While my mom and I had all sorts of options in how to setup my education in Crescent City, the homeschool program in Tahoe was fucking terrible. We had to use a certain set of books and follow extremely strict guidelines. It was so restrictive that I should've just been in public school. The fact my mom also needed to work much more made matters even worse. I was also slacking off in 2005 partially because due to my forum addiction on IG's forum. :/ I was not a great time for my education.

With things not going well, my mom decided to do something different for the first half of 10th grade. Now I started Pre-Algebra in 7th grade and did pretty well in that. Then I began Algebra 1 in 8th grade and also learned quite a bit of the material. Then with 9th grade, I essentially had to start all over with Algebra 1 because of the horrible homeschool program setup. Then in the first half of 10th grade, my mom put me in some thing meant for home schooled students that was...a classroom. Yeah, that kind of defeats the point of homeschool. Granted, students only attended it once a week for two hours each week and that time was spent on two different subjects, but wait a second. That was a terrible system and it was also an extremely slow paced way to learn the material. What fucking idiots designed this homeschool system? Well, even though I still lived in California, the was actually from a Nevada school district. I seriously feel sorry for anyone who gets an education in that state because holy fuck it must be bad. Only good thing to happen to my education in 2005 is that I finally left special ed. One thing worth mentioning from that class is that some girl used to point out the fact my butt jiggled when I laughed. o_O wtf? My mom later told me many, many years later that some girl from that program actually had a crush on me. Never really thought much of that girl's remarks about my jiggly ass until my mom told me that. I'm so oblivious. -_-

6. Later High School Years - My Return to Public Education (2006-2008)

Since my dad's business failed miserably and we were desperate, my grandmother kicked out some tenants so we could move to Grover Beach in 2005. My family had no choice but to leave during the middle of my Fall 2005 semester. This was kind of a shitty time to move. I probably should have tried to enroll in some type of an education system shortly after moving there, but my mom and I were trying to figure out what school system to enroll in. I originally wanted to continue homeschool but she didn't at all. She realized that the material was startng to get much harder for her to teach and that I would be better off in a public school system. We ended up deciding on Lopez High School. I only had to attend three hours each weekday and had barely any homework, but my mom figured it would be a good transition from homeschool. It turned out Lopez was a really good choice largely because I later discovered that I was very unit deficient all thanks to the fact I left that semester when it was only half over. If I completed it, I would've gotten 30 units. Instead, they only gave me 6 and I was considered lucky to even get that 6. With this in mind, making up units would've been a nightmare at a regular high school.

Once I made up the units (took less than a year because the school was really generous with units and I took extra classes for three terms), I decided to try a college class in the next term (there were six terms to a year at that school). Sadly, my studying skills weren't very good and I ended up dropping that class. Probably for the best since I doubt I would've gotten an A on it at the time. Certainly would've passed though. For my Junior year, I decided to just be really lazy by not taking any college classes. I also didn't take any extra classes at Lopez other than the minimal be there for three hours requirement because I didn't need extra units. Probably a bad move on my part because I should've taken a high school level math class or something.

Since Lopez had garbage options for math classes, I couldn't take Geometry or Algebra 2 in high school. But I also needed a certain amount of math units so I was stuck with Algebra 1 until 11th grade. This meant I was taking Algebra 1 for four years of my life because of the terrible home school system in Tahoe and lackluster amount of options at Lopez High School. While some of you might wonder why I didn't just start something like Geometry or Algebra 2 as a college class in 11th grade or something else instead of taking Algebra 1 that year, well, I couldn't. I started Algebra 1 in 8th grade, but had to start over in 9th grade (FUCK YOU AWFUL HOME SCHOOL PROGRAM!) and was in a garbage math class for the first half of tenth grade. In the second half ten grade, I was just put into an earlier level of Algebra 1 than I probably should've been in. I had no idea there were different segments of Algebra 1 (ABCD), I just thought it was some long, very repetitive form of math. Hell, when I started 11th grade, I was put back into Algebra 1 AB again for some strange reason. Then someone at the school realized (Wait the fucking second?) and put me in Algebra 1CD. It fucking angers me that our public school system and Nevada's atrocious home school program is that bad. How the fuck could this have happened? I made excellent progress in math throughout grade school and middle school, but high school was an entirely different story. Now as a 22 year old adult, I'm currently taking Geometry in college because it's a pre-req for my new major (Computer Science). Unless a university is extra nice about transferring, I currently need to take six math classes in a specific order for my major while I'm in community college. That number would be significantly less if only I didn't get so fucked over with idiocy from schools.

Despite how my school was really easy, my math class selection was poor, and my science teacher was fucking horrible, I actually have a positive view of that school. All of my teachers except my science teacher were great, the students were generally friendly, and I learned a lot. I'm glad I went to that school but I wish I did some things differently. For one, I wish I was more aware of Algebra 1's different levels and tried to get into Algebra 1CD as soon as started attending the school. Then later I wish I took Geometry and Algebra 2 college classes since that would've helped me a ton. But my biggest regret from my high school years was my decision to continue being anti-social. I could have had a pretty decent social life in high school since some people clearly would've liked to hang out with me. In 10th grade, there were two people interested in being friends with me. One was some girl that seemed really interested in hanging out and being friends, but I had no interest in doing either which made her kind of sad.Then there was this one kid named Brandon who I met on the last day of 10th grade. He was a massive Nintendo fanboy and really enjoyed talking to me that day. One of my teachers was all, "OMG WHY AREN'T YOU TWO EXCHANGING PHONE NUMBERS???" so I gave him my phone number and he gave me his. I was sick at the time so I told him to not call me but that I would call him when I get better. I never did. In the few times I saw him in 11th grade, sometimes I kind of avoided him. I found out many years later that he was actually Charlotte's previous boyfriend who was dating him at the time. Turns out he had few friends and some of those people turned on him overtime. I already felt like a dick for what I did but later finding that out made me feel much worse. Clearly I fucked up.

In future grades, some other people seemed interested in being friends as well. For 11th grade, one guy who played guitar wanted to do musical related stuff with me but I couldn't care less. Near the end of the school year, some cute blonde model wanted to sign my yearbook. In the nice message she wrote, she said she wanted to hang out sometime and put down her phone number. While I did actually call her a couple of times (partially because I felt like a dick for never calling Brandon), nothing ended up happening. Then in 12th grade, some girl wanted to go to prom with me. I originally mentioned in class one day that I had no interest in going to prom. This caused her to immediately say something like, "What? You don't want to go to your senior prom? I wanted to go to prom with you." There were several times afterwards where she asked and I always responded with something like "no", "nope", or one time when I said "Hmmm... No." Even though I made it clear I didn't want to go with anyone, she ended up not asking anyone else because she didn't want to feel rejected again. :/ She did go to prom at least though. Considering how there were other people at Lopez who enjoyed talking to me besides the people I mentioned, I could've been really damn social in high school.

7. Later High School Years...Online - Not Pretty (2006-2008)

Instead of socializing with other people, I always preferred being at home. Why? Because I would rather spend that time being a jackass on this damn site, being a douchebag on other sites, and spending hours upon hours IMing people. For two good examples of things I preferred doing over socializing, I have reopened the Jamesio Forum and Insomnihaxors forum. What were these sites? The Jamesio Forum was a joke site I created under my Dr. Mysterious alt account. The IG Forum topic I made about it grew really damn huge in only two days and resulted in a lot of hilarity. As for Insomnihaxors, it was a site designed with the intention of organizing massive spam attacks against IG's forum. While nobody else participated in the two attacks I did, the first attack was probably the most successful attack ever done by only one person on that site. I'm not proud of my actions and I highly regret spamming IG's forum, but that site and my spam attacks are part of my history. It's a pathetic part of my history, but one that reflects the person I used to be. I have loads of regrets and could have spent those years so much better. Instead, I was a loser and enjoyed being one but only for so long.

On December 27, 2006. I had a bit of a mental breakdown and started to hate who I was becoming. I made two significant topics that day: one on IFV2 and the other one on MyResistence. The former was posted because I wanted to apologize for being such a dick. The latter was a topic posted on MyResistence where I admitted to doing those spam attacks and apologized to the admins for what I've done. I also remember talking to both yashmaf and comandoracht in a group chat convo on IMs that night about the situation. Ever since then, I have tried to be a nicer person. I still had my moments where I was a total prick (with a convo I had with jackvancouver likely being my douchebaggery at its absolute worst), but I'm definitely a lot nicer than I used to be. I'm can be brutally honest at bad times but I don't consider myself an asshole anymore.

Part of the reason why I was so anti-social was due to how despicable I was on the internet. I didn't want anyone I knew irl to find out about that. (Though in future irony, one of my rl friends actually knows about this site nowadays and that I used to be a jackass on the internet.) It was essentially my secret life online and as far as I was concerned, nobody in my area was going to find out about it and absolutely no-one on the internet was ever going to find me. This was one of the reasons why I lied about being homeschooled for so long and why I used to be so secretive about my appearance. I was extremely paranoid that being honest about attending a public school would make it easier for people to find me, especially since Lopez was so weird in its format and had very few students compared to most schools. I also didn't want to be honest about going to a school that I only needed to attend three hours every weekday because of all the insults I've gotten in the past about my intelligence. I apologize for my past lies and really wish I did things differently. I used to have a pretty positive view of my teenage years when I was younger but now I hate who I was. I fucking sucked as a human being. As Sliced Bread put it best earlier in this thread, I enjoyed being the forum's "freak" and preferred that over living a normal life. But fortunately, my priorities began to change in my sophomore year of college which I'll explain in a future blog entry: A retrospective look of my current college years. Thanks for reading. It's great to have my personal board back.

TL;DR: Fuck you for not reading.

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