My Brilliance

I won the Todd Milam Schulz Scholarship in Screenwriting. I’m really excited about it. I’ve never won a scholarship, especially one based on my work, rather than my grades. I can’t believe they liked my script. Someone is actually going to write me a check to continue my education because he read my script and liked it that much! Maybe I have a future after all. I have constant moments of pure confidence of “yeah, I’m awesome” and others I feel like a paper clip on the ground. Though these feelings are common in everyone, there are many moments that bring me down to the level of mere mortals. For example, I misspell a lot of simple words when I’m typing and I’m not sure if they are all typos or if that is how I think something is spelled (maybe it’s a little bit of both). For example I misspelled intelligent the other day many times in one sitting. I spell it intellegent. Of all the words to misspell intelligent might be the worst. Thank goodness I wasn’t writing a statement of purpose or something about why I’m intelligent. However I like to misspell the word surprise as surprize. I like the letter z. there should be more z’s. And the word prize is in surprize if you spell it with a z which you should. Surprizes are one of life’s prizes to you. Every time someone surprizes me I feel like that that is my prize. Is that too far of a stretch for you guys? I’ve had teachers that have told me that I can do whatever I want with writing as long as I argue my point. I’m know sure if that applies for this but what the hell.

I’ve always been a bad speller. In the 2nd grade the whole school was forced to watch and be in the spelling bee but they did it by grade. I got past the first round because my word was fuzzy and well, come on, that’s pretty easy for a second grader. However everyone’s word was easy and there were a lot of us up there. I was so hungry. All I could think about was, as soon as this was over we would get to go to lunch. We were in the cafeteria, or should I say cafetorium, doing the spelling bee and I could smell it, mmm the grease. What were they going to serve today? It wasn’t pizza day and it wasn’t Tex Mex Wednesday – what was going to be for lunch? It was my turn again. My word was Hamster. Well people, I know how to spell hamster and I knew then, but I went up there and said “Hamster, H-A-M-B-U-R-G-E-R, hamster.” I’ll never forget that moment of silent confusion by the judges. It took a moment for it to all hit people would I actually spelled. “I’m sorry that’s incorrect, please be seated.” There was a roar of laughter. I was the only one that people laughed at which is kind of good because at least no one else got laughed at. I never heard the end of it from my friends. We ended up naming the class hamster Hamburger. And yes, we were having hamburgers for lunch. I’m glad that I have a good sense of humor.

Being a bad speller has been with me my whole life – however sometimes I just get sloppy and I write faster than I think and thus room for mistakes. When I delivered pizzas it was a very competitive boy’s club environment. I was one of the best delivery drivers, if not the best, and I made sure to rub that in all those guy’s faces. We all made fun of each other on a daily basis. Feelings were never an issue. This one day I came back from doing a delivery to the Business School (the rich jerks stiffed me on a $70 order) and I was complaining about business major and how awful they were, knowing very well that one of the other driver’s was a business major. He, of course, became defensive and started to argue with me. I playfully returned it. Then to prove a point, I grabbed to piece of paper and with a Sharpie wrote “Buisness majors are dumb!” Now again, it took a moment. I know how to spell business but I was under pressure and it was just the wrong moment for a typo. They of course gave it to me and I never heard the end of it. Anything I said after that became insignificant because my point was ruined.

I also have problems reading in front of people. I can read. I do it all the time. I can read out loud but if I have to read out loud in front of people I get nervous and mess up. When I was in the first grade, when they were teaching everyone how to read they made us all take a test to find out how well we could read (which I know doesn’t make sense but that’s really what they did). I think they also measured our mathematics skills. Then within the class, they divided us in the good readers group and the bad readers group. Guess which group I was in. The group you were in was the group you would work with during reading time. Looking back I can kind of understand the reasoning for all this. They tried to cover up the divide of good and bad by letting us name our groups. The good readers came up with the Dinosaurs and we came up with the Cheetahs. We all quickly realized that this was somewhat funny since Dinosaurs are big and slow while Cheetahs are fast. The Dinosaurs constantly made fun of us. It was very obvious that people that could read really well was in one group and everyone else was in the other. Towards the end of the year they blended the groups and a Dinosaur had to be paired with a Cheetah. My partner hated me and got frustrated that I stopped and started a lot and had to spell out the words. She would make fun of me. The bad reader thing followed me throughout elementary school. Somewhere along the line I got really comfortable with reading but not reading in front of people. Even nowish, at the Seder table I clam up and fall over words. I’m suppose to be somewhat of an adult now – why does this still happen to me? I’m always going to be a Cheetah, dreading reading time. (by the way – I rocked the math part and was always super awesome at math and numbers. I learned how to tell time and read music before I learned how to read. – crazy huh?)

On top of being a bad speller and a bad reader, I am also a bad public speaker. In high school, for our 2000 mock election, I was one of the leaders of the libertarian party which meant I had to give a small speech about the libertarian platform along with the other leaders in front of the party. I wasn’t that scared about it because how many libertarians would there be? – it’s a small party. Nope. Everyone decided to be a libertarian it seemed. I clammed up and started studdering. I had to be saved my one of my friends mid speech. Recently I was doing a debate for my law class and I clammed up and started talking about non sense. I couldn’t stop using the phrase “gang bang” in my example but I said it like 4 times in a row. I don’t know what it is about speaking in front of lots of people. My legs start to shake and I lose all confidence in what I know. Sometimes I’m fine and others I’m not. I also lose confidence with big groups of people. I’ve been told on many occasions that I make bad first impressions but that’s because most of the people that have said that I met while I was with a big group of people. I get really quiet when I’m uncomfortable but then I realize that I need to be more social and not be quiet so I make some joke but the people don’t know my humor so it comes off weird. “oh how do you know _____”, “Blow job convention, I helped her with her gag reflex.” I’m not socially awkward, I’m just awkward when I’m uncomfortable and the rest of the time I’m clumsily charming.

I’m not a complete failure when it comes to life. I use to be a very good student. People use to cheat off me all the time. Everyone always wanted to copy my notes or being in my groups. Other than Spanish, I was really a really good student in high school. The  reason I justify not being a good student in college is that I only have so much energy. If I’m only spreading my energy over school then I’m going to do very well. But when you add a couple jobs to that equation then my energy has to be more evenly spread over everything rather and just being spread over school. (mmm, I think I want some toast with jam spread on it). Sometimes I think school measures energy and time and not intelligence.

Intelligence is a hard thing to measure. What makes someone smart? I tell people all the time that I’m not smart. But what I really mean is that I’m not book smart, I’m people smart. Which is why I think I’m an okay writer: I have a lot of stories and things to say but I don’t have the knowledge/practice to be a better writer. You need book smarts to be a good writer and you need people smarts to have something to write about. Right? Hopefully one day I’ll have the book smarts to be awesome, and getting a scholarship helps with that. yay, I rock. People liked my script. Hard parts over, now I just have to make it.