Tag Archives: Dreams

Let the record show that I used to be a good person.

22 Jun

Living at home for the summer, I sometimes have to give in to my mom’s ridiculous requests by doing dishes, showing her common respect, and not operating a meth lab from our basement. Welcome to my suburban oppression. In compliance with her latest demand, I dutifully started to clean my room last night and uncovered my elementary school yearbooks. I, of course, had to abandon my chores and leaf through every page of all seven volumes of my childhood. I evidently have a firm grasp on my priorities.

The fifth grade was the year of the millennium so the entire yearbook followed the theme of “the future.” Completely uninspired, right? I would have dedicated the book to the impending apocalypse or more realistically, to Pokemon. I’m pretty sure that I was ignorant of the Y2K scare because I was preoccupied, trying to convince my friend to trade me her Charizard for three trainer cards, four energy cards and a Weedle. Anyway, back to the future…theme. Mrs. Johnson decided that our class should document “our dreams for the future.” Though I obviously should have aspired to be a stand up comedian (come on, my “Back to the Future” joke was gold), I told Mrs. Johnson that I wanted to teach in a foreign country, because it sounded so terribly romantic. She suggested I join the Peace Corps.

So let it be written, so let it be done. Well…not exactly. My friends taunted me and my parents (unsurprisingly) discouraged me from realizing this dream. At the time, I was utterly baffled because I was under the impression that striving to improve global education was an admirable ambition. I also still didn’t completely understand the mission and operations of the Peace Corps, which further magnified my confusion.

Today, I still have unanswered questions, namely, why weren’t the other kids’ goals ridiculed? In retrospect, my wish was fairly achievable (and not to mention practical), when considering that two of my classmates aspired to be Dr. Doolittle and another had delusions about living in Atlantis. Read the other ones – it doesn’t get much better. Sure, their ideas were cute, but at 10 years old, we were a little too mature for cute.

Maybe I’m being a bit cruel, heckling 5th graders and all. Unfortunately, this is who I have become, and I am now far from the kind, altruistic person that I could have been. Sorry World. 

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Summertime Blues and Little Shop of Squandered Dreams

8 Jun

I am beginning to realize how incredibly fruitless my first few weeks of summer as a college graduate have been. Upon returning home, I promptly ordered CPA exam and GMAT preparation materials. Despite my good intentions, the packages still remain untouched and unopened while my Netflix account reveals countless hours of nostalgic indulgence streaming old episodes of Rugrats.

When my parents used to control my summers, I admit that my days were more productive. Having two working parents, I experienced various day camps, spending my time oil painting at art camp, dissecting squids at science camp and memorizing the books of the Old Testament at Christian camp, which was strange only because my family is not particularly religious.

In an attempt to foster a sense of creativity and a passion for performance, my parents also enrolled my sister and me in a local theater, excuse me, theatre camp. Our teacher loved musicals, all musicals, as evident by her decision to produce the grossly inadequate sequel, Grease 2. As a theatre major at the local university, she considered herself and artist and as an artist, she took many artistic liberties.  She rebelliously altered the script of Grease 2 with the addition of a dorky version of the Pink Ladies known as “the Lavender Ladies.” (Yes, I was cast as a “Lavender Lady.” Typecasted much?) She even dared to change the iconic lyrics of the music of West Side Story to make the songs more PG. Think: “When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way from your first DAY OF SCHOOL to your last dying day.” (For those of you unfamiliar with the song, the censored word is “cigarette.”)

My big break came when I was cast as the female lead in our version of Little Shop of Horrors (see previous image.) The teacher must have recognized my X factor, because she overlooked my pitchiness and overall tone-deafness and gave me the role of Audrey anyway. We children practiced for weeks, trying to master our carefully choreographed routines. I even took the dances to the next level, adding in extra awkward steps here, and a few uncoordinated slips there. After blood, sweat and literal tears, the day of the show arrived and despite my nerves, I learned I had nothing to fear. I could tell the audience loved my performance – those first graders laughed at all of my jokes. Nailed it! I began to fantasize about my undoubtedly successful career on Broadway.  A star was born.

Unfortunately my parents never sent me back to that camp. They probably thought that I had already mastered the craft.

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By the way, here is a video of my favorite song from the show. Imagine a bunch of elementary school children singing this, with less soul and even less skill.