Part One: I Hope You Have Low Expectations.
Hello everyone. I am Cakman. I am currently in College, studying Creative Writing and TV/Radio. My essays are oftentimes humorous (to me, at least), and I figure it might be nice to get some feedback on my materials, or at least have a place to put them out there.
With each entry, I will post our assignment guidelines and some background info, along with the essay itself. My essays, while technically professional, usually carry a bit of goofiness to them. In addition, whenever I get my essays back, I will post whatever my teacher said about them. If I can, I'll look through my files back home and see if I can find some old essays too. I have a couple throughout high school that I remain proud of, (from a humor standpoint) to this day.
Our first is a simple one. Mr. Schneider, my Composition professor, instructed us to write a non-fiction essay, minimum of two and a half pages, involving an experience we had in which we had to make a "tough decision."
To protect the names of the innocent, I will change the name of people you might recognize, such as in this essay, where my name has been changed to "Cakman," and my... "Interest" has been changed to the name of her online persona, AHR. As for the other people, screw it. If you want to google their names and stalk them, that's your call. This first essay is not a particularly humorous one. There's a few lines in there, but it's mostly a warm-up for my next few posts. I'd love to hear any comments or criticisms on my grammar, tone, writing style, word choice, ect. Feel free to be as brutal as possible. It'll help.
A Nerdish, Social Misanthrope’s Conundrum
I never really saw myself as a particularly attractive person. I know this might come across as a problem- possibly a result of nineteen years of compressed low self-esteem launched into action by the onset of puberty, but I prefer to think of it more as honesty. While that particular sentiment might strike one as mere denial of a problem, it is something that has served me well enough throughout my life. And it is with this mindset in my head that I had to make that ultimate decision on the third day of tenth grade: Do I try talking to the pale-skinned brunette on the other side of the class, or do I let it slide?
When I was a very young boy- pre-pubescent, that is- I was actually quite the lady’s man. A combination of a juvenile understanding of humor and society’s forgiveness of social etiquette due to my age gifted me with the power of making a girl laugh, and then simply having no shame in looking at her and asking, “You want to be my girlfriend?” Around first grade, when I moved to Hopewell Junction, I achieved my first actual “girlfriend” in the loosest of terms. Her name was Nora Levy. She found me to be amusing, and I found her to be female. At the time, I was heavily unmedicated for my ADHD/Aspurgers Syndrome combo, and, as I began taking medication, I really grew into the way my life was at the time.
Nora and I actually stayed “together” until seventh grade. She had a friend phone me to let me know that she was breaking up with me, and then promptly became a lesbian, but I digress. The point I wish to make is about my mindset at the time. While I’m sure to the outside observer it was clear that Nora and I would probably break up at some point, I had my fat little head deadest on the vision of marrying this girl. So what if she had massively differing political views compared to me? So what if she was heavily religious? So what if she was frequently verbally abusive? Beggars can’t be choosers!
My breakup with Nora and my subsequent witnessing her cavalcading about with another female did a bit of a number on my self-esteem. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I worked up the courage to ask a girl out again, but that didn’t go so well either. I asked her out on the last day of school, and she all but spit in my face. I don’t blame her, of course. I still hadn’t figured out how to TALK to girls; that is, to talk to them like normal humans and not treat them like Gods.
But now, there I sat: Mr. Feeley’s eleventh grade math class. Specifically, the class was Math III, if I remember correctly. I had started a bit of an exercise regiment the previous summer, and was starting to lose some weight. I had a wee bit of confidence, but not at a level that anyone would truly consider to be particularly healthy.
Across the room from my desk, in the far-left corner of the room, a girl sat at a desk, doodling into a marble notebook. I had first noticed her only because of her unique appearance: Her skin was remarkably pale; fair and untanned in the slightest. Her hair was brown and frizzy, with shoots of it deviating off into the air surrounding her on both sides. During the previous day, when Mr. Feeley had been teaching, I noticed that she tended to raise her hand much more on average than some of the other kids. This intrigued me. I personally had always been a “hand raiser” in class, and was surprised to see another, as we tended (in high school at least) to be a bit of a rare breed.
My options were few. In fact, I really had only one thing to decide, and only two ways of obtaining my goal. It took a huge amount of stamina, but I forced myself to stand up. The class had ended, and people were already leaving. The pale-skinned girl was packing up her materials into her backpack. My heart floundered a bit. I worried that simply approaching a person and asking for their name might strike them as creepy. I ignored myself. I knew that worrying had only hampered my efforts at improving my social status at this point in my life.
As I reached the front of the class, I froze for a second, my mind drawing a blank. What was I going to say again? The girl. The pale girl. I was going to ask her… Ask her for her name. I had to. There was no chickening out now. She was looking up at me, now. Oh God. Phrasing it. How do I phrase it? I hadn’t thought of tha-
“HeyI’msorry I didn’tget yourname?” I sputtered out, my body apparently moving at a faster pace than my mind was. Glancing down, I saw that my hand was awkwardly sticking out towards her, as though I were going to shake her hand, but was clenched in a fist. She tilted her head slightly to the side, before zipping up her backpack, slinking it onto her shoulders.
“Hey. Ay-Ayche-Are.” She said with a smile. Her words were quick, but they weren’t curt; they held no trace of malice. She simply had to get to her next class.
“Hi, Ay-Ayche-Are. I’m, uh, Cakman.” I managed to state back, somehow masking my foolishness. Ay-Ayche-Are and I exchanged these brief pleasantries again the following day, and from that, we became close friends. We both would arrive outside the class door early, and would sit there, talking to each other. I grew to learn more about her. For instance, the girl’s name was not “Ay-Ayche-Are,” but “AHR.” My relationship with AHR grew over that year, and into the next. Over that summer, we shared our first kiss together on a date to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, and we have been together ever since.
To this date, AHR and I are still going strong. The thing that initially caught my attention, her bright, pale skin, has become second nature to me, and I honestly only notice it in passing now. I have grown enamored with it, just as I have grown enamored with her. We seemed to share a strange number of things in common, and the things that we didn’t share, we learned about from each other. This weekend, AHR and I plan to go to a convention together at Vassar College, an event that I am incredibly excited for. Not for the event, per say, but for the opportunity to go on a trip with her somewhere, allowing us to simply feel what it would be like to be on our own together. Naturally, I’m not looking that far into the future, but it’s a nice thing to think about.
I have yet to be graded on that particular essay. I should be getting it back today, as a matter of fact. When I do, I'll be sure to post my teacher's comments on it. Onward!