Kaitlyn - Norwich, New York
Entered on July 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Even as a child I recognized the difference between me and my classmates. Where they were loud, rowdy, and playful I was sullen, sarcastic and hopelessly introverted. While they would romp and giggle and mindlessly demote me to the status of untouchable in their strict and cruel third grade caste system I would sit during lunch and recess and dream up fantastic stories to humor myself, always these stories illustrated some shallow coalition to my seemingly unrevivable social status, centering on princesses who escape the oppressive world of the peers who resent her to embark on wild and dangerous adventures, or of an exiled taradactul who rescues and wins back the love of their estranged dinosaur brethren.

I believe in the power of humor and imagination. When we stop laughing at the things that make us cry our lives begin to take a dark and ominous shade. It is my experience that people are resilient above all things, that we have a drive to live that overpowers almost every other urge we know, but if we lose ourselves in that time of emotional or physical crisis than we have lost the most precious commodity we have as humans. It is my humor that guides me through the storms of pain and grief.

No crisis known to man can compare to the emotional gauntlet that was High School. Little changed for me, I was still awkward and quiet and largely considered strange or intimidating. I repelled most of the “important people” and could blatantly identify the incompetence’s of almost every one of my teachers. Needless to say I was almost universally disliked save for the few people who understood and learned to enjoy my dark and frank sense of humor. Together we learned to cherish the outside vantage point we gained of high school society, we perceived everything for exactly what it was, childish, mind numbing, and hilarious. I am happy to say these people are even now my very close friends.

We survived High School and left the people who didn’t matter behind us. I wish I could report that real life is significantly different from school but in relativity it’s populated with the same kind of people and ignorance reigns happily as king. I’ve learned that we must cling to the people we love and never lose sight of what makes us humans, our intelligence, and most importantly our humor.