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

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   Yes, from the title you guessed it! This is yet another edition of "On Being Strange." Although I have only read Nicole's and Mike's articles, I still have a pretty good idea of what they're like. They are not strange, just normal everyday kids! My story differs somewhat but as you read it, you may find some similarities.

I am currently in the ninth grade at Weymouth's own East Junior High School. So far, ninth grade is cruising along pretty smoothly despite having been suspended for a fight that never happened. Things for me have not always been so great.

The year was 1987 - the grade was seventh. The mistakes I made back then will probably haunt me for the rest of my school years. The first problem I ran into was that up until 8th grade, I never even considered combing my hair. Even now I can still get a few laughs out of looking at my '87-'88 school yearbook picture. You could probably say my hair looked more like Don King's. Well, that is just the tip of the iceberg to my nightmares. My next fatal mistake was making friends with kids who received a lot of stares and funny looks. One of my best friends moved because of the hard times kids gave him. I still feel sorry for the poor kid. He looked and acted so much differently from most of the students, and for this reason, they chose to make his life miserable. I guess some of the remarks directed toward me were well deserved. For instance, I used to sit in class and make weird immature noises and sounds with my armpits. I soon found this was certainly no way to increase your popularity. Another thing that didn't help my situation was that I thought that I was a lot tougher than I really am. This theory was proven wrong when I challenged a kid to a fight and ended up chickening out.

Although these things contributed to my getting ranked down on a lot, I still survived what I believe may be the toughest of all my school years and I am glad to have it out of the way!

Despite the fact that I still get a strange look here and there, to me and my friends, I am still a normal 15-year-old trying to make it through the first phase of life , the adolescent years. I like to do the same things as most kids my age do. My hobbies include collecting sports cards, playing most sports, and collecting autographed baseball cards. I also lift weights and enjoy watching the Bruins. In the future I hope to be a professional baseball player, but I know that's a long shot. My performance for the East Junior High baseball team this spring will decide whether to continue my "field of dreams" or pack away the old rawhide for good. Even if baseball is not the right field for me, there is always the chance of being a professional bowler like my uncle Steve or even a sports journalist.

Well, it's time to wrap up another edition of "On Being Strange." As Mike Colclough put it last month, let's keep up the "strange" tradition. I know there are a bunch of kids in the Boston area who may have similar stories that they may want to share with The 21st Century and its readers. Take care. 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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