Popular wisdom has it that, “You judge a man by his friends. ” Earlier in my life, that would have been difficult, because my father was a high school football coach, and it seemed as though every year I was moving to a new school and trying to make new friends. After moving throughout my middle school and most of my high school years I decided to concentrate mostly on school and computers, paying little attention to life outside my studies. My high grades made me the target of torment during most of my middle school years, the name calling: nerd, geek, and worse, was so bad that I was ostracized by some of the class, and I shielded myself by further isolation. My high school experience was no different. I was still a loner.
All the school dances and parties passed by, and I found other, solitary ways to occupy myself. I rarely took time to hang out with fellow students during weekends or vacation time. I graduated in May of 1999 and left high schools with little more then a handful of friends that like me were computer nerds. I left high school thinking that college held all the answers to my problems, and I was going to finally be able to fit into a social group outside of people who loved computers.
That idea quickly escaped my mind as I realized that college was going to be exactly like high school was and I was going to continue to be a loner. My second year in college, I transferred to Missouri Southern State College, in Joplin Missouri, I arrived to school here in the fall of 2001 and once again put up a shield hiding myself from others. I somehow found a group of guys, which like me did not have the greatest social lives. One of these guys introduced me to a girl named Lindsay Schiller. She just began to talk to me as though I was a friend she had known her entire life, we immediately began joking about teenagers working in 7-11’s, and made fun of the way our professors dramatized certain aspects of their classes, and satirized her professors methodology of hand-signals for facts, generalizations, and cause/effect. Finding common ground in our senses of humor, and love of the certain TV shows, we grew acquainted with each other.
Later in the year we started dating and began to hang out with each other on more of regular bases. With her being from Basalt Colorado and me being from Grove, Oklahoma, we had a lot of differences and it seemed as though we always had something to talk about, even if it was pointless and had no meaning behind it. More important that the conversations we had was the experience of friendship and shared learning about each other that we had. We each had a great deal of fun playing computer games together, reading the Harry Potter books, and just being together. The rest of the year will always remain a notable memory in my mind. Lindsay introduced me to things that I never knew existed.
For Christmas break I went to her hometown and got to see how beautiful Colorado was in the winter. The two of us had so much to do in and around Aspen that the week I was there seemed to fly by, and before I knew it I was on a plane heading back to Oklahoma. In March, Lindsay invited me to go to Denver and Colorado Springs for spring break. I will always remember the wonderful time that we had going to Oceans Journey, touring the University of Denver, and going to the 3A State basketball tournament