2006 – Age 21

“It’s not a matter of IF I go to Ireland, it’s a matter of WHEN.”

I found a pile of papers in the filing cabinet from 2006. It’s kind of a hodgepodge. This is a hard post to write because I’m scanning my youth writings. I have pages of notes from my college days where I was making an early attempt to be a deep thinker. In retrospect it’s almost painful for me to see how immature I was, but sometimes I managed to surprise myself (today)… so here I go.

I think I started writing this first entry because I was dating a boy who was Catholic. His family was pretty religious, and I was trying to turn him to my set of beliefs, which at that time were of the Churches of Christ (Protestant, pretty close to Baptist). Naturally, my first inclination was that in order to “convert” someone, I ought to have a very firm grasp of it myself! And what follows is my decision to start my study in Genesis! …Which I’ve done…. Dozens of times since.


I was even active on Facebook trying to get people to talk about it. I’ll give you a sense of where I was at in this particular year, I quote: “Jesus is the only and ultimate answer to everything. But sometime we have questions about what out beliefs are, and the true way to Christ. The bible is the one and only true source for answers to our questions. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be a little vague. One popular question is: “Is water baptism necessary to be saved?” What do you think?”

Let me fill you in on what I thought about that question at the time. Yes, water baptism was necessary. I’ve uh… moved on from that opinion since. Well, you’ll just have to keep reading.

I also had this habit of starting fantasy stories, but never finishing them. I’d get a few pages in… and… hmm… get bored. Or… I don’t think it’s that I was bored, I just didn’t think it was good, so I abandoned my efforts fairly quickly. I honestly don’t know how writers produced full books before computers were invented. It’s a miracle to me.

[entry 1 – not very good]

[entry 2 – much better]

Finally, most of my writing this year is from college. Specifically my Medieval history course. I signed up for it because I needed to take history classes to cover my core. I knew I loved this era, so I thought it’d be a fair bet that I’d enjoy this class… and I must have, because I have pages and pages of notes that don’t make 100% of sense to me now, but they are kind of fun to read through anyway.

[entry 3 – tons of random history notes]

When I wasn’t in class, I’d hang out with my friends. I have a fun picture of me with a renaissance festival act called “Ten Seconds of Harmony”. They sang a capella drinking songs. My boyfriend was good friends with a few of the singers and we hung out a lot.

Ten Seconds of Harmony

I remember the good times I had hanging out with my boyfriend either at his flat-mate’s house or out with friends. One of the highlights of our late night parties is my boyfriend’s old-school NES classic! He had STACKS of games and a Game Genie. We’d plug in cheat codes and play the same game for HOURS and HOURS. He had all the accessories too like the track pad and guns. One time we stayed up till 3AM playing Rampage on cheat codes just so that we could finish rampaging all the way across the US and see what happens. You know what happened? Nothing. Haha and weaksauce little message showed up on screen that said “Congratulations!” Whatta letdown man. I expected at LEAST some kind of epic animation as a reward. Other noteable classics that I enjoyed most: Arkanoid, Legend of Zelda, Mario, Track n Field, Duck Hunt, Valkyrie.

This was also an important year because I was finally able to drink in a bar! Renaissance festival was still going on when I turned 21. My boyfriend made this really sweet gesture and had everyone at fest sign this piece of wood that was kind of like a “birthday card”. After fest ended in the evening, all my college friends and fest friends headed to this english-style pub down the road called the “Steak and Ale”. Really cool place. We rented out the “round room” and it had high vaulted ceilings with flags hanging down. They’ve since went out of business, which is a real shame. The place had great atmosphere.

This year in college I was in a class that required me to go to a particular art store in St. Paul to buy this pre-packed set of art supplies that my professor had required for the class. I went there and told them my name and my professor, etc. Someone went in back and procured this plastic bag full of paper, charcoal, graphite, etc. The lady at the desk asked for my ID to verify that I was a student for this class. She looked long and hard at my ID and looked up at me. She said “Are you related to the art pencils?”

Confused I said, “Huh?”

She said “There’s these art pencils that have S_______ on them.”

Incredulous, because my last name has be unique my whole life, I said “I’ve never heard of them. Really?”

She said “Yeah, let me show you,” So she leaves the counter and I follow her down this cramped row filled with art supplies. She bends down to pick something up off the shelf and shows it to me. Sure as shit, there’s my friggin’ last name all over these things. I guess I’m heir to an art supply fortune. 😉

I also attended birthdays for my close hallmates in the dorms. Up to this point, most of my circle of friends were not from college, they were from Ren Fest. In a way, I had missed out on some of the formative years for friendships in college. However, I was extremely lucky to have a circle of college friends that I got along with really well. A few that I remember: Cory, Anne, Amanda, and Scott. Names are mostly for my benefit rather than yours. I liked them a lot because we would all keep their door open when we were around, and even drag a chair out in the hallway of the dorm and hang out. The hallway was our living room. We bonded so well, to the point where if your door was shut all the time, that would be super weird.

At the end of November I received word that I was accepted to a four-month study-abroad program in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was a dream come true for me; I’d always wanted to go to Ireland. I used to tell people “It’s not a matter of IF I go, it’s a matter of WHEN.” I remember the paperwork being a nightmare, and having a million forms to fill out, and they all had to be in by a certain date, and I had dropped them off at the post office at the very last possible minute. I was really worried that I hadn’t made it in time. I needn’t have feared. I anxiously counted down the days until my trip on facebook, which carried me through to the end of December.

Pop Culture Touchpoints

In November, Facebook opened up their platform to everyone and not just college kids because I wrote “Facebook rules, myspace drools”. *cringe*

2006 was an election year. John Kerry was running as a democrat–I wrote “John Kerry is a douchebag.” Really, superb political insight from a know-nothing college kid. Ugh. Looking though all my FB posts, I can at least say I had the good sense to not say much at all online about my political stance. It seems like I knew even then when to keep my mouth shut. I think I still do too. I am not involved in politics as a profession, so I feel that I don’t need to have perfectly formed viewpoints on the issues. Hopefully my quasimodo political viewpoints will do for the time being…

A favorite song of mine:

Later the following year a friend of mine said to me, “Have you found a harp to play yet? I’ve been playing that song you taught me a lot – was it called Planxty Burke? I love it! Whenever I’m tired of practicng pedal harp I sit down at my little one, close my eyes and strum away!”

Other Highlights

  • Spring: judging panel at the end of the school year to determine whether or not you are a good fit for the program
  • Fall: Junior Year
  • Fall: Classes: Actionscript, Photoshop, Publishing, Studio (nudes!)
  • Fall: Exchange student: Mari (year?)
  • Playing legos with jeremiah

Featured Image: Pixabay

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