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Who I Am This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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October 27, 1997: 6:45 a.m.:

I knock my buzzing alarm clock onto the floor, and I wearily roll out of bed. Wow, what a night! I was up until 2:00 a.m. writing an AP English paper, and there’s no way I am going to be able to make it through AP Calculus (a.k.a. Boring 101). But have no fear. Thanks to Dolly the sheep and her friends, human cloning has been made possible. I haul myself over to my Closet o’ Clones (only $99.95 at Clones “R” Us, the only place for clone shopping) and contemplate which “Me” to choose for the day. I rule out No. 5, the laid-back, nonchalant slacker. I use No. 5 on those rare occasions when I don’t have any responsibilities and when I need a time-out from life. But because I have an AP Biology II test on cellular respiration during seventh period, No. 5 will stay in the closet today.

How about No. 4? The fourth “Me” is the ambitious extrovert who loves to lead. “Lead, follow, or get out of the way” is the motto of No. 4. Four recently attended a seminar for young leaders, and she’s still in drill sergeant motif. She’ll maintain order in the closet today. Do you think that I’d actually send her out for the public to see? Down to three choices, and catching a basketball with my face really hurt the chances for No. 3. I need to save No. 3 anyway. The District Championship is tomorrow, and my team is counting on me. Okay, so now I have a 50% chance of being the right “Me” for today. I can go for the Personality clone, or the Diligent Student clone. No. 2, Miss Personality, is sensitive to those around her. She often takes it upon herself to be responsible when others aren’t, and she cares about everything. Whether it’s a friend who’s whining after her latest boyfriend’s rejection, or just sis asking for advice, No. 2 is there. She sacrifices her time, her feelings, herself, to those she loves.

Still thinking about that biology test, I choose No. 1, and send her off to school like a kid vacationing at Disney World

So far, No. 1 is doing okay. She sits on the edge of her seat diligently copying Calculus notes about derivatives. The only bad part of the class is that she actually enjoys it. She types and revises my English paper in the computer lab during the social break between classes (What a social life!). And like any good student, she hands it to Mr. Newton before the bell to begin class sounds.

Now Kristy No. 1 is intensely reading the Advanced Placement U.S. History book in the library. So she doesn’t see the young girl approaching her table. “Hello, Kristy,” Jackie yells in her slurred speech. No. 1 slowly lifts her head, and looks at Jackie indifferently. Jackie’s eyes lose their shine.

Time-Out Substitution!

No. 2, Miss Personality, replaces No. 1, the Diligent Student. As soon as No. 1 disappears from the library, time ticks again. “So, Jackie, have you stolen anyone’s shoes lately?” No. 2 asks. And Jackie’s sweet, angel-like grin reappears – Jackie was born with a mental handicap. I met her when I was a counselor at my school’s basketball camp. Although Jackie realizes she will never be able to play sports, she appreciates the opportunities we give to her to learn. I was Jackie’s favorite counselor. I didn’t have the chance to pick a pet – Jackie chose me first. Throughout the week wherever I went, Jackie followed. She was always into mischief. She once hid my shoes. And I can’t let a clone handle her.

I realize that I can never live my life with the help of clones. Sometimes I have to be more than one “Me.” I can’t just call a time-out and hope that the world waits for me. I am a Diligent Student. I am Miss Personality. I am a Jock. I am a Leader. And sometimes I need to take a break. I am all of those clones in one. That’s who I am.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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