Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I really like numbers as my titles. They're so easy to think of. No hidden meanings, no labor-intensive puns. Just a number.

This isn't blogaday 23 of 20. You'll notice there is no "of 20". It's just 23. I like the number game.

It'll be a short one tonight. It's late, and I need sleep, but I've got some thoughts before I head off.

Before we get down into thinking, a little business, if I may. Nate posted up a little bit of thinking about my blogaday project on his blog. I thought it was cool how he did that. I always love to see how the local blogosphere is so connected. Stuff that happens here has an effect elsewhere, and stuff that happens elsewhere has a big effect on what happens here. I know we've tried the Alliance idea a million times, and this post isn't about that, but it's no wonder why we keep trying it. We're just all very connected here, and I really like that. We've seen people come and go and come again and sometimes go again. We've seen periods of furious activity and periods of nothing at all. I take a bit of stupid pride in being the longest surviving blogger around here. Yeah, I've had a few brown patches in the lawn of my posting, but more or less I've been here significantly for two whole years. Almost three, if you count philosophy and sporadic posting as being here. But still, I'm proud to still be here. I feel good about that. I love it here. I love the work that's been done and the work that's being done. I love how very encouraging the whole thing is. This window right here encourages me to write. My friends encourage me to write. The good people around encourage me to be a better person. I'm encouraged to innovate and think new thoughts. It's a pretty good system. Thanks Brough.

Been working on my portfolios today. I've got my sterling scholar portfolio due Thursday, and my senior portfolio for English due Friday. I've procrastinated both like none other, but I'll get em done. Neither of them will be exactly how I would have liked to do them, but I'm willing to accept that at this point.

The whole idea behind a portfolio is really super cool though. No matter what I've said about them in the past, I always respect a strong portfolio. I think portfolios of graphic designers and folks like that are just so freaking cool. Not just the product itself, but the whole idea behind it all. "Oh, yeah. Here's an example of everything I can do for you. See how freaking cool I am? Man, I'm gonna make you so much money with my mad skills." It's just a cool idea. I love the idea of presenting your history and showing the world all the cool stuff you can pull off. "This is what I'm capable of. Hire me."

Neither of my portfolios are really going to be like that. Sterling scholar is really just a big assignment. It's not necessarily a "here I am!" but a "fill in the blank". Which is alright, I suppose. Senior leaves a little bit more room for interpretation, which I really like. I'm going to have very little time to work on it, so I won't be able to go crazy with it like I'd like to, but it'll be ok. I still love the idea.

And so that's one of the things I've been thinking about tonight. -

edit: WHOA! my computer just took a dump on me. Just restarted. I think one of the little wire-doobers that hooks up to my power button is hooked up to something that it shouldn't be. If I walk across the room with my slippers on and get enough static, I can turn the baby on from seven feet away. Kinda spooky at night time actually. I'll open it up soon and see what's up.

Back at the ranch.

So that's one of the things I've been thinking about tonight. If I was going to make a portfolio, a true portfolio, what would I put in it? It wouldn't be a portfolio to get a scholarship or to try to be something that I'm not *coughsterlingscholarsciencewhatcough*. It'd be a portfolio. What do I have that I'd want to show people?

I've thought of a few things. I'd definitely want the Jello, but that's a given. I'd have to put in my choir-room-decorating machine that I built a few months ago. The pin driver, wow, I'm still way excited about that one. I'd put in my handwashing article, as well as a lot of stuff from the blog here. I'd put in all my pieces of art made in MS paint. I'd put in my videos, like the leg shaving one, and the Spanish one. I'd have some of my English papers, as well as some mementos from cross country and track. I'd put in business from PLC, and definitely seminary council. I'd put in my ribbon from All-State choir. I might put a little bit in from my journals, which I'm still excited about and proud of, by the way. I'd put in a few of my to-do lists written on the half-legal papers. I think I'd put in my periodic table that I used for both of my chemistry classes- that thing has character after so long. I think I'd go back and get a picture of my madrigal auditions. I'd go back to the day I was on the ladder of death trying to heft up that blasted drop curtain while Sharpe laughed and tried to kill me. I'd put in a picture of all my scouts, those kids that think I'm cool for whatever reason. I think I'd put in a picture of the minivan, without power steering fluid. I'd put in a picture of my name on the choir room ceiling. I'd put in a picture of that time I got the balloon from off the cafeteria ceiling for a girl. I'd put in my snake game, even in its imperfect form. I'd put in one of my pieces of scratch paper for AP chemistry last year, just to show how intense it was. I'd put in one of my note papers for AP American History, just to show how amazing Rockwell is. I'd toss in some papers from old school world history, to show how sarcasm can save a life at three in the morning. I'd throw in a picture of my duct tape pants from seventh grade. I'd toss in the nerd team too, that time we ran Orion 33-3 in round two. I'd throw in the time I finished gone with the wind on my own free will. Every march madness I've participated in. I'd throw in our cool song we made last year for sweethearts. I'd throw in documentation of my days laboring in the carpet industry with Sharpe. I'd throw in a picture of me and my family, and then a picture of me and my friends. I think I'd go through my friends one by one, get a picture, and then write a bit about what each one means to me. I think I'd have to do the same for all the people in my life who've helped me to get where I am now. Mama Withers, select teachers, all that good stuff. I'd take pictures of my 10 trees that I planted. I'd have to have a section dedicated to plans that I've got. Be it for a product, a business model, or what, plans are important. I'd love to have a section dedicated to people who's days I'd brightened. I wish that one was bigger than it is, but I'll work on it.

I guess it goes back to the question that we talked about in blogaday. How do we define our worth? I'm not saying that I define my worth based on the things I said I'd put in my portfolio, but those things are small parts of it. They point to bigger things, obviously. It's an interesting question.

Will I ever build my portfolio of life? I doubt it. I'm struggling to do little portfolios of high school. But it's a cool idea, and it's a cool thing to think about. When I take a look at myself all the way from top to bottom, what would I pick out to put in the binder? What's important, and why is it important?

Choices are important. I think that the things I'd put in my portfolio of life would all be results of good choices that I'd made. The choice to pay attention and take strong notes in Rockwell's class. The choice to go above and beyond in ninth grade and make the Spanish video. The choice to work hard in the carpet industry, the choice to smile at someone who's having a rough day. I think I'd want to focus on the times that I made good choices, and when those good choices led to great things happening.

I love that there's still time to make good choices. Still time to add pages to the portfolio of my life. I guess I'll have time till the day I die, right? And once that portfolio's all closed up, I'll get to add it to my bigger portfolio, start a new section, and keep on trucking on it. Kind of a cool deal.

I've been thinking about choices a lot tonight. Specifically my choice to try out for madrigals. I've made some discoveries, I think, about it. I'm out of time to write about them tonight, but I'll see what I can do about it tomorrow. It's cool how choices in the past bring us to where we are now. It's sobering to realize that every day I'm making choices that are having a profound effect on where I'll be in a year or two or three or forty. This life thing is kind of a big deal.

But it's a good deal, there's no question about that. We're moving right along, and things are on the up and up. We're gonna make it through all this. I'm excited for the ride. For now, friends, it's bed time. I'm out, I hope things go well for you all. I hope you find happiness.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I think it'd be awesome to put together a life portfolio. I suppose God's doing something like that for us with His whole Book of Life thing; you go to get judged, and you can look over this comprehensive portfolio together that's been added to since the last time you and Him saw each other. Cool beans. 8-)