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On Being Strange Iv This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   You are about to read yet another edition of "On Being Strange," started by Eric Osborne and continued by Jen Wilson and Lauren Emerson [and Nicole Adams on the opposite page].

Many of you have probably seen my weather articles in The 21st Century, especially if you got it last year. As you read them, you were probably thinking, This kid's brain is composed of dust bunnies! What kind of 15-year-old would take up "weather" as an hobby? Isn't that sort of thing for old guys who can't find anything else to do?

The answer is, I really don't care, even though I am made fun of at least once a week, and yelled at whenever the temperature is off more than two degrees from my prediction.

Dick Albert, Harvey Leonard and Barry Burbank were all kids once, too. In fact, Barry once told me that, while growing up in Kennebunkport, Maine, he, too, was kidded for being so interested in the weather. But he had a dream, one that strangely came true: to be like Don Kent and do the weather report on Channel 4. And that's exactly what he does today.

I really can't tell if I'm "accepted" or not. There are a lot of kids I can talk to whenever I want to, but very few of them will ever act as my psychiatrist when I've really lost my mind, or tell me what they think when I approach them with an idea. I wouldn't be surprised if they find me hard to figure out. How many kids go home and watch The Weather Channel? I've often been accused of "having my head in the clouds," and every time someone doesn't like the weather, they tell me to change it. RIGHT! Like I can really pull a lever and make it snow. Nice idea, I wish I could do that! Part of my hobby includes going out in all kinds of weather, which makes most people think I'm truly crazy, especially when it's a severe thunderstorm or a major snowstorm.

I'm probably the only guy around who stumbles around while trying to play sports in gym. It wasn't easy growing up in a non sports-oriented family, and having asthma, both of which kept me off the playing field. It was always embarrassing not knowing the rules of any game my friends played, although I finally learned about baseball and became a Red Sox fan while watching them lose the 1986 World Series. It would be nice to be athletic because that could make up for my lack of good grades.

What do I do when I get sick of The Weather Channel? Anybody watch "Tiny Toon Adventures" on Channel 56 in the afternoon? I'm telling you it helps relieve stress when they have a good show! By the way, Wile E. Coyote has some pretty good ideas!

You might say the only thing normal about me is my love of hating school and my venture into time travel to find the teacher who had the nerve to invent homework. On the other hand, I really don't care what other kids think is normal. If I want to do something unconventional, I do it. I've made a lot of friends through the Association of American Weather Observers, who share my interests and are more fun than some kids in my town. Every time I hear from them, it's a different story: one in Illinois had a tornado hit his town; down in Alabama another is anxiously awaiting the next hurricane; and in Baltimore one calls me to say the snow's really coming down and should reach Boston soon, meanwhile, here in New England, my friends and I are getting excited at the thought of a snowstorm.

If the local kids want to accept me for being me, let them. If not, it's their loss. At least I know what I want to do after high school.

By the way, let's keep this "Strange" tradition rolling! Somebody has just got to do an "On Being Strange V" next month. Let's carry this thing out! We'll see how many months it lasts. n


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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