1. I won the blue ribbon in the science fair in 8th grade. Time spent on project? Less than 15 minutes. Knew nothing about the beforehand (electrical wiring, series and parallel circuitry). Comment from the judges? ‘You know so much about the subject!’
2. I’ve been homeless several times (for over a month).
3. I sang in the county choir festival in sixth grade, pissing off all of the students who actually took choir. I’ve also sung in three bands, and I played drums for about 5 years throughout grade school/jr. high.
4. I went to art school, but I had full scholarships to three colleges that I wanted to go to more.
5. Throughout my youth, I had maps of Australia and the U.K. on my wall. However, I’ve never left this land mass. I have a lot of frequent flier miles now though…
6. I have tinnitus and Meniere’s disease, which sometimes makes it hard for me to look directly at people in certain lighting and can disorient me briefly.
7. I was a ‘professor’s assistant’ when I was 11, helping teach a class at George Mason University on mnemonic devices that could be utilized in training.
8. I had my first poem published when I was 5, and had over 30 pieces of writing (short stories and poems) published by the time I finished high school.
9. I spent most of high school finagling my way backstage to hang out with bands and musicians, as they were the only people I could find at the time with whom I could relate to. In my youth, I hung out with seniors and adults in the neighborhood, and rarely had any friends my own age.
10. Despite struggling with depression my entire life, I’ve never taken any medications for it or had any therapy/counseling; instead, I focused my attention outward and counseled suicidal, depressed, and mentally ill individuals, many times on an emergent basis.