You should know that I'm just a kid. I talk big, like I know everything, but I'm actually only a high schooler, and I just use the internet to vent my opinions when I can't get anyone else to listen. That said, you shouldnt really take what I say to heart; my site is here to communicate and to entertain, never to insult. Thats all you really need to know about me, but you might enjoy learning my background in the rest of this page.
The first five years of my life collide together into a timeless blob; I cant separate one event with another in any chronologically correct way. But from what I figured out, Ill give you some information. I was born 8/3/85 in Raleigh, North Carolina. I had an older brother, Tyler, who was, and remains, almost three years older than me. (too many commas?) I lived for a short time with both my parents. Only my dad was black. I found nothing wrong with this at 3 years old, and continued considering him my dad until well into Elementary school. His name was Elton. But more on that later. My very early memories are very faint: I remember we had a dog, a golden retriever, my first pet. I remember I once tried to cut an apple, and ended up cutting my thumb, my first emergency room visit. I remember my dad drove an orange Volks Wagen Beetle, my first family car. I remember one time somebody tried to break into it, my first time hearing the F-word.
When I was maybe four years old, I met Michael. He was the son of one of my moms friends, and we were close to a completely unreasonable extent. I was truly an extension of their family. In one case, I went to visit for a weekend. When dad came to pick me up, they said let him stay for another week. OOH! Can I? Can I? So when he picked me up a week later Michael says cant Chandler stay longer? Alright. One thing led to another and I ended up staying there for what seemed to my young mind to be years, but was probably a few months. But we did everything together. We loved the ninja turtles. I was Raphael and he was Leonardo, and we played with the plastic figures. In retrospect, the idea of a TV show being created involving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is very laughable, but they were our world back then. We soon moved on to X-MEN, and trading cards. An amazing thing happened, when we went to see a movie and stopped at a comics shop, we each got a pack of cards and we both got a holographic Venom card, which was rare enough by itself, but two in two different packs? Unthinkable. To this day, probably the luckiest thing that ever happened to me.
Unfortunately, these happy times did not last, and my mom split up with Elton. I went with Mom, while Tyler went with Elton. We went from cheap apartment to cheap apartment, as my mom tried to become established as a hairdresser. Her being a single parent, and hairdressing not being a particularly well paying industry without a pool of clientele, we went through some hard times. We would sometimes need welfare, food stamps occasionally, and I usually came home from school to an empty house until dark. This didnt bother me. Its funny how we are unable to judge things when we are very young, probably because we have nothing to compare it to. I saw nothing wrong with a first grader being alone for hours, because I didnt know any better. But in many respects, Im very glad it happened. It seems to me that the people we become as adults is largely depended on the people we became as children. And many things must factor into our development, but mainly the circumstances under which we grew up. I like the person who I have become, and I think I owe a lot of it to being on welfare and being alone.
Financial troubles brought me closer to my mom, because I didnt see her as merely the hand that feeds me, but a woman struggling to raise me well. This created in me a debt of gratitude that I think is wouldnt have developed in a more comfortable environment, and with this came a certain respect for her, and parents in general, that I havent ever lost. It really sickens me when someone argues with their parents, and I have typically been a very well behaved child, with respect to my parents.
Being alone all day did much for my personality. Primarily, it meant a lot of TV, which I completely absorbed, and since then I have never stopped talking above my age. Television did much to expand my mind and my imagination, unlike the classic case of kids rotting in front of it. But when I wasnt watching television, I would have such epic sagas with my plastic toys. I constructed deep twisting plot lines, and had so many well developed characters, that I now realize where I first got the inclination for film making that is so present in me today.
I suppose you might think my mom a horrible person for doing this to me, but dont. She always did as best as she could, and she love me very much. She would always brag about me to all of her friends; she was one of those mothers who thought she had a prodigy. I found this kind of embarrassing, but I must admit that it encouraged me to do great things, and I feel that if she had ignored me back then, I would be a big slacker. Bottom line, I consider myself living proof that my mother did a fine job raising me.
I say that my mom and Elton split up, but I continued to see him regularly. I was closer to my mom, but I think I liked Elton more. He was just so much more fun. He was always having a good time, and always made me feel good, too. He cared a lot about his kids, and that means a lot to me. He called soda pop, he called the bathroom a John, and he had this wild charisma. Now that I think about it, he might be the reason my friend James first appealed to me, theyre so much alike. If you know James, you know Elton. However, Elton could be tough. If you got him mad, you were in trouble. He used to spank us with his belt when we acted up, which I think was a horrible thing to do to a kid my age. If physical pain was the only side effect to the punishment, it would be fine, but it also put a kind of emotional confusion in my very young mind, in as much as my father was someone I loved one minute, and someone who hurt me the next. He would try to explain it afterwards I remember, but I dont think I understood. What did this do to me, Im not sure, but I think Ive always had a very strong drive for staying out of trouble. As I got older I would visit him less often, and he would always become more hospitable and glad to see me each time, but I could sense a certain sadness in him as I drifted away. Id like to visit him now, but apparently the rest of my family holds a grudge against him, especially Tyler. When I become an adult, one of the first things I plan to do is get back in touch with Elton.
Now, I say that Tyler went with Elton after they split up, and he id, but he would move back and forth between households, and spent a lot of time living with me and Mom. This means that we developed like any other pair of brothers. We fought constantly. He didnt like me because I was so smart and Mom loved showing me off; it was a lot to live up to, especially if its your younger brother. I didnt like him because he would beat me up. He was only three years older than me, but he was always considerably bigger than me, even today. But these were only mild brotherly conflicts; nothing serious. The truth was, we couldnt afford to not get along and still live together. We had to appreciate each other as someone to play with, or suffer severe boredom. The three year gap created a problem, but it lessened over time, and today we pretty much speak as equals. Now he likes the qualities I have that made him hate me when we were little, for more practical reasons. But Tyler has always been very practical. And by practical, I mean manipulative. This guy somehow conned me into telling him his Christmas presents on Christmas Eve every year until he was in High school. He is constantly scheming about something, even today. Hes very good at this, and I think it proves that he is a lot smarter than he considers himself.
Another important part of my childhood was playing video games. I spent a very unhealthy amount of time playing everything from the 8 bit Nintendo all the way up to the 64. Today, I only play them when I would otherwise be accomplishing nothing, which, over the summer, is quite often. We had an NES for awhile, and I played that throughout Kindergarten and First grade. I played the three original Mario games, and beat them all. Im the only kid I know who had the patience to beat Mario 2, because it wasnt a very good game. My favorite video game to this day is Mario 3. We got an SNES the next year, and with it came games like Mario World, Streetfighter 2, Mario cart. Mario World was a great game, but the others were important to my development because they were competitive. It was always Tyler vs. Me, and I would typically lose. Let me tell you, Tyler was a HORRIBLE winner, and loved to rub it in my face, and I would get mad and stop playing. I dont know what this all means, but its probably the main reason I am who I am today.
We got a cat when I was little, who I think was originally named Mittens. However, she never maintained any one name for a decent period of time. It was Titone, with the emphasis on the Tone, and Bippity Bip, and later Shooba Dooba. I liked the cat a lot, and have been a cat person ever since. I believe the cat lives with Elton now.
One last important part of my childhood was comics. I read them and collected them and traded them. By comics I mean the books, the cards and the action figures, all of which were collected and traded. Only I didnt really read them, I dont think. I didnt have the patience to actually read them, and that might be a good thing, because some of them had pretty mature themes. Just lately Ive learned to appreciate comics as a medium, but back then I did it because everyone else did.
I was very well behaved at home, but not always at school. I didnt get into fights or argue with the teacher or anything, I just liked to have fun. Thats what school was about back then, having fun with my friends. Usually, it was nothing serious, just screwing around in class, but if Mom ever got a bad report, she was just shocked. I dont remember any punishments, but the way it hurt her was enough for me to shape up.
My mother was very religious. Church was very important to her, and she really got into it. Our church started with an hour of passionate singing and dancing and speaking in tongues and other oddball worshipping methods. Then the kids went to Sunday school, wherein we learned Bible stories and played Bible games and the like, no big whoop. But for my mom, church extended far beyond Sunday. She was bringing God into all kinds of matters. If I got sick, there would be a 15 minute prayer session of mom shouting out impassioned things to Jesus while I stood there. We listened to Christian kids tapes in the car. Has anyone else listened to the donut man tapes. I actually kind of liked them. To me, church provided another thing for me to excel at. I tried to be extremely religious to find favor in the eyes of my mom, but I suppose I was faking most of it; using religious clichés, trying to speak in tongues and sounding like the Tasmanian devil, I didnt know what I was doing. I certainly wasnt finding god. But I felt good about myself because I thought I was probably the best Christian kid in the world.
Mom dated a lot. She usually was seeing someone, and they were usually jerks. She found someone who I thought was nice, but she thought was too wishy-washy. The only one that seemed to last was one with the biggest jerk of them all, an Arab named Braheem. Meanwhile, Elton was also dating a little.
Near the end of second grade, something happened that changed my life. My dad showed up. I still dont know if he came on his own accord, if he was prompted by his wife, or if Mom wanted him to. I remember taking a blood test. Then, a man was at my house, and I figured he was a friend of Moms. We talked a little, and I liked him. He played baseball on some under minor league team, and he seemed really cool. After he left, Mom told me that he was my dad. Surprisingly, I was not very disturbed or very angry about this. I remember I was watching Fern Gully, and I wanted to see the end. I thought it was pretty cool that he was my dad. I swallowed it pretty well, because he was white. At first, only good things came from this. Everyone was nice to me. I went to see Elton, and he told me that Donnie may be my father, but hell always be my dad. This meant a lot to me, and I felt closer to him. Donnie started paying me visits. He would take me out to a Durham Bulls game. He took me and my good friend Michael to see the Super Mario Bros. movie. I liked him a lot. Then came the custody battle.
Some where along the line Dad decided he wanted custody of me; he thought that I ought to live with him. This is what first set me against dad. Id been living with my mom my entire life, Id grown close to her, and I really didnt think he had the right to take me away from her. Mom had similar thoughts. She really went into this kicking and screaming. She was willing to share custody, but Dad wanted full custody. Come to think of it, I doubt that Dad did; it was probably Janet, my step mom, who had the idea. My mom was afraid to take it to court. Either she didnt think she could afford a lawyer or she thought that in her position, she couldnt win, maybe both. She let in. She didnt sign any papers, but she let me move in with them, agreeing that I would attend third grade from their household. Ever since, she has always had this resentment toward them that seems like borderline paranoia. I feel more than a little brainwashed by her demonizing of them at that age, which I accepted easily. And so, shortly before school started, I moved in with them.
Donnie and Janet already had two kids; Natalie was a five year old, and Alex must have been a little more than a year old. Also, Janet was eight months pregnant. All of a sudden, I was the oldest. Moving into this house was a shock in many ways. The fact that it was a house was different, I had always lived in an apartment. But dont think that I was placed in the lap of luxury; while we were never on welfare, my personal standard of living did not noticeably change from living with mom to living with dad. I didnt really like living there at first. I didnt much like my new little sister; I thought she was mean, and bossy, and selfish, and whiney. I didnt like Alex much either, because he was a baby, and required a lot of work. And I didnt like Janet at all. I suppose a lot of kids have trouble with step parents. She was sweet when I first met her, and she was funny, and somewhat immature, which is a nice quality for a parent to have if youre a kid in the third grade. But she got down to business soon after I moved in. I had never had many chores with my mom. Theres just not much that needs to be done in an apartment. There was a lot to be done in a house, and I remember even as a third grader I did what I then considered a lot of work. This I didnt like, but Im sure I built some character and Im glad it happened, because I am no longer afraid of some nice hard work. What I dont appreciate was Janets attitude when asking me to do stuff. Shes always had two completely different manners, a fun one for just talking, and a nasty one for when she wants something done. In fairness, it is often necessary for a parent to have some nastiness to get their kids to do things for them. But not in my case. As I mentioned, I was always a well behaved kid for my parents, and this carried over to Donnie and Janets, even more so, perhaps, because I didnt necessarily feel that they were my own parents at first; I didnt feel so much at home but rather as if I was a guest. You didnt need to get tough with me, and I felt hurt if you did. She would tell me to do stuff like I was in trouble, and I really didnt like that. In her defense, her other kids have all been the kind where it has been necessary for her to act like this to get any result, so I shouldnt really expect special treatment. This may all sound very trivial, but its important in realizing why I didnt like Janet.
Another thing is how everything became censored when I moved in with them. My mom would let me watch anything on TV, and Elton was known to let me watch rated R movies as long as there was nothing too bad in them. When I moved in with Janet and Donnie, I couldnt even watch violent cartoons, which ruled out my favorite show, X-Men. It was because I was the oldest, and the TV had to be appropriate for the youngest. Therefore, as Alex developed the ability to watch TV, programming options were even more limited, to include only channel 4. It wouldve happened anyway, but this is probably the immediate cause of my losing interest in comics and the like. Shortly after I moved in I stopped collecting. Im not sure what happened to my collection, but I couldnt find it in the attic last May.
Immediately before I started third grade (actually, I think it was the very day), my sister Lacy was born. It was the first time I had ever had a new born for a sister. I never suffered from a lack of attention. As a matter of fact, I prospered. Two babies meant a lot of work from everyone, and I often found this a little frustrating, but I didnt have any deep resentments about having been the youngest all my life and all of a sudden having two babies and a kindergartener. I think I fared pretty well. Which leads me to third grade.
Third grade is debatably the most important year of my life to date. I went through so many developments, and came out very noticeably different. Third grade is where I mentally draw the line between child-Chandler and preteen-Chandler. The person I am today is largely a result of the person I became in third grade. That said, Im going to cover this year in depth.
Third grade came in a new school for Chandler. This was easy enough for me to cope with, as Id had three different schools in the past three years, what with Mom moving from one place to another. This time it was a magnet school, which Im sure did wonders for me and I strongly suggest any parents reading this to make their best effort to get their kids into a magnet school if they arent lucky enough to live three blocks down the street from it, which I did. Was. Am. Yes, am, I think. I had always done very well in my core classes, especially math, but with a magnet school came a bucketful of electives and arts I could excel in. I started taking theatre. I loved it, and I was very good at it. Of course, as a third grader, I landed only a small part in the musical, but I did have a name, and I did have a couple of lines, and I was a very convincing lost boy. the important thing is, I now had something to belong to. I could now say that I did something. This is a very good feeling, but at the same time, potentially destructive.
After giving much thought to the matter, I think third grade is the root of clicks. (or is it cliques? Im going to say clicks anyway.) Its not obvious then, but I think the walls of society begin forming about age 8. Before third grade, every one was a kid. Some where after, we separate into groups. I might talk about the various aspects of clicks later on, maybe on other pages, but I thought it necessary to mention them here. Starting at third grade, I was loosely associated with theatre kids, who were a very fun crowd at the elementary level at least.
Some where around third grade I decided I like making people laugh. I was a real show off. We would write compositions, and mine would be very funny. I discovered the art of humor through tools such as running gags, mockery, and later on satire, all in my narrative about a trip to the beach. I was quite good at it, probably because I was smart. If you want to be funny, you have to either be smart, or shoot for the moron appeal. You might have guessed that I despise the moron appeal, though I must admit, Ive used it before. I dreamed of becoming a comedian, even though Id never actually listened to a stand up act. This is a career option I havent dismissed yet, at least to get me through college.
Mean while, at home, I was beginning to get settled in. I still preferred living with my mom, and I missed her very much, because I didnt get to see her very often. Sometime in spring, I went to see her for a weekend. We left town, and I was in hiding for a week. I didnt know what to think. I didnt know what was right and what was wrong at this point. But I was a kid. I could adapt. Thats a very admirable quality of kids. And I didnt much mind missing a week of school. The plan was to move, and enroll me somewhere else. I guess my mom realized this was a bad idea, because after the week had passed, she met up with my dad and signed the custody papers, granting full custody to Dad. She wouldnt have signed it if she thought she didnt have to. But after that, the custody battle was over. Officially. But the aftermath still lingers on my moms side, and shes very cautious about what Janet and Donnie know.
My mom was dating an Arab named Braheem. They got married in the middle east sometime. It wasnt a formal wedding, I guess. I never liked Braheem.
By the end of third grade I felt fully a part of the immense extended family that I had been introduced into. I gained five grandparents, five aunts and seven uncles, and I suppose about five cousins, though many more would be coming in the next several years. I went from being one of the youngest again to being one of the oldest. I didnt really know everyones names, but then again, Ive never been really good with names.
In the custody agreement, I got to spend the summer, spring break, every other Thanksgiving, and half of Christmas break with my mom. When third grade ended I went with my mom who was just moving to a suburb of Atlanta, in a town which I would have to say was the single most red neck place Id ever had the profound misfortune not to avoid living in, and that includes New Bern. My mom had just become pregnant, and we were living with Braheem. Mom was miserable for most of the summer, and I spent most of my time alone, although I did meet a family who lived in the adjacent apartment with a girl about my age who I got along with. I remember we used to always watch Where in the World is Carmen Sandi ego on PBS, because neither of us had cable. I had fun that summer, but I dont really look back on it with much fondness. Then came fourth grade.
Fourth grade came with a big boost to me theatre ego when I landed a pretty big part in the musical, bigger than the other fourth graders at least. And later on in the year, I landed an even bigger part in the spring production of Pygmalion, which had me feeling really cocky. Let me say a word about my first note worthy teacher, Mr. Coley, who taught drama. I liked him a lot because he was fun. He would pick on the kids he knew could take it, and hes probably the first teacher I had who did that. I thought it was really cool. I thought he was really funny. As I talk with him a couple years later, I realize he wasnt as funny as I thought he was, but thats excusable because hes an elementary school teacher. He must have taught acting well, but I just remember playing improvisational games and such, so in my mind now, good acting goes hand in hand with being able to come up with stuff, and so, like comedy, is directly proportional to intelligence. I never really remember learning to act very seriously, or romantically, or any thing like that. maybe Ive just forgotten.
Also in fourth grade I took an elective called Odyssey of the Mind, which was this competitive class for smart people doing fun stuff. I enjoyed it, but I was the only fourth grader in there. This is very significant to an elementary schooler, because back then, differences in ages were pretty big barriers. Each grade reveres the one higher up with humility and admiration. Fourth grade is when I really started mixing with people older than me, and found I could hold my own. I wasnt ostracized because of my being younger, and I could freely converse as an equal. Through out Middle School and High School I would very often be placed in groups that were not only my grade, and Im thankful for the comfort I acquired in fourth grade.
In the fourth grade school started getting hard. Well, not hard, but considerably less easy than the previous grades I could coast through. Occasionally assignments would take serious effort, and I was lucky that I was able to identify that so soon. Some kids I know still havent come to terms with that.
On the home front, Alex and Lacy were walking and talking, and Im not sure whether that was bane or blessing. I was liking Janet more, but still preferred to live with my mom. In January, Mom had a baby, a girl, Amina. I didnt get to know Amina as a new born because of school, which may have been a good thing because I always remember having liked Amina.
Summer came around again and my mom had moved back to Raleigh. This was good because I was playing on a baseball team. I kind of liked it. My dad played baseball on an under minor league team, and he was pretty good at it. I wasnt great. At first I must have been pretty excited, but the game seemed like a nuisance after awhile. But I spent that summer pretty much by myself again, but I visited with Donnie and Janet a lot, too. I remember I was drawing a lot. I could draw pretty well back then. I also spent a lot of time with Amina, and I think I grew really attached to her. Probably because nobody else was around. Summer was pretty uneventful, but then came fifth grade.
I am extremely fond of fifth grade. Fifth grade was a great year for Chandler. Because fifth graders are at the top of the totem poll, and I felt I was on top of the fifth graders. The world was my oyster, so to speak. It seems the last year at any school feels the best, for many reasons that I dont feel like putting here.
I started playing the trumpet in the fifth grade. I was very good at it, but thats beside the point. When I signed up for band, I had no idea it would have such an affect on my life. And at first it didnt. But later on, band strongly pigeon holed me into a click, and has had a profound influence on how I act, who I can date, and who my friends are. I can safely say that band is one of the preferable groups to be attached to, all things considered, but I am resentful that our young society acts in this manner at all. However, band was just another elective in fifth grade, thank god.
In fifth grade I landed the lead in the Music Man. And for the rest of the year, I was characterized by people who didnt know me mainly as the lead in the Music Man. I did very well, I thought. At least as far as acting goes. I realize that I never really put a lot into the singing, but that didnt matter so much back then. From that point, I was no longer a kid who had an interest in acting. I was an actor. And my family loved it. And the good thing was that you acting wasnt so closely associated with being a dork. It was a hip thing to do. And so I had mixed feelings with regards to having the lead. But I know I wouldnt have had it any other way.
I suppose it was fifth grade when I first started paying attention to girls. They were not, and are yet to be, the focal point of my life, and they did not clog my mind in the slightest. However I did start thinking about them every now and then. Dating was pretty rare in elementary school, and I didnt ever even consider asking a girl out. You should know that in the fifth grade my intentions were pure, that the lust didnt come until middle school.
I remember there being a certain awkwardness between boys and girls that started definitely in fifth grade. You had to be very careful if you had friends that were girls, even if it was known that you wouldnt ever date. But still, a certain fascination was present in all kids, and everyone wanted to know if someone liked someone. In middle school of course, it was no big deal, and very common, but in elementary school, when it rarely happened, it was the most interesting thing ever. I remember there was this one girl in particular who was a good friend of mine, who would very often get coupled with me in plays and the like. I liked her a lot, but couldnt really show it for fear of being the target of an Oooooh! Fifth grade came with it the first taste of the awkwardness that wed be chewing on all through Junior High.
They gave a sex-ed class to all of the fifth graders. I couldnt take it because I was in band. I couldve used that class.
Later on in the year, I landed a part in the Raleigh Little Theatre production of To Kill A Mockingbird, amid considerable competition. This was a wonderful experience. It was the first time I had worked with adults in a play. Thankfully, there were a few other kids in the script. But I really felt like a professional doing this play. It was Janets dad who got me into this, who had always been a theatre guy, and who took a minor part himself. We rehearsed after dinner, which I thought was really cool. It was worlds away from a school play. We had like, 8 shows, all through spring break, which was tough, but fun.
Sometime during the later rehearsals, I went to audition for a television pilot in Wilmington. I didnt have a great audition, but it must have been good enough, because I was called back for another audition. However, this audition would conflict with one of the show dates. I would have to drop out of the show entirely so they could find an understudy to take my part. The director said that was okay and he would understand. But I really felt like I would be letting everyone down, and if this show didnt work out, which it most likely wouldnt have, I would feel really terrible about it. So I told my agent (yes, I had an agent now. Free lance, I guess, because she wasnt making money. I must have been an investment) that I wasnt going to take the part. (I remember my friends had been wondering if theyd ever see me again, and I said of course, dont be silly) So I didnt, and Id forgotten about it over the past five years. For one reason or another, I havent done any acting since. You can imagine the feeling I got when my dad mentioned the show in the car just a couple months ago and told me that the name of the pilot was Dawsons Creek. Its just one of those forks on the road of life which couldve changed everything. But I stand by my decision.
Fifth grade ended, and I went to live with my mom, who had now moved to New Bern, NC, a small town where they only have two theatre screens and every body knows everything about everybody else. She moved there to get away from Braheem, who she stopped liking a long time ago. We didnt do to well that summer. Mom couldnt work in a salon with a one year old at home, and so she had to work out of the house, where she made very little money. Amina was walking and talking by now, and was really starting to get annoying. But this was the year we got cable, and HBO at that, so I had a really good time despite everything else. I drew some more this summer. I really got into cartooning, and was even considering it as a career option. I liked to draw caricatures of my class mates, and everyone thought they were really funny. But I didnt really do much that summer.
Summer ended, and we all went off to different middle schools. I spent middle school goofing around, working really hard, making mistakes, making great achievements, having a lot of fun, feeling awkward, and really just losing touch with who I was. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldve forgot it all. Thats what middle school does to kids.
Sixth grade was such a big change from fifth, the likes of which I have yet to see duplicated. Biggest difference: people started acting cool, and by cool I mean like jerks and morons. Everybody was so mixed up, everyone wanted to be doing the cool thing, and everyone wanted to let everyone else know that they were doing the cool thing, whatever it may be. I was of course guilty of this every now and then, but I maintained a sort of outsiders view through all of this. I never really envied the cool guys, any more than I fell for the charms of the cool girls. I thought, even then, that pop culture was stupid, and this did much to exclude me from many things. However, I continued to make people laugh, and so while I was never popular, I was liked by most of the people who knew me, which is far more than I can say for any popular person Ive heard of. In sixth grade, I never fell into a click, so I hung out with other guys who were not yet in clicks.
Being in band put me with people who were older than me again. Fifth graders are far more accepting of fourth graders than seventh graders are of sixth, but this is fortunate because boys are pretty much at their worst in seventh grade.
School got a lot harder.
In sixth grade I joined the Boy Scouts. I didnt really want to; I felt like I was pushed into it. Im still trying to decide whether or not it was a good move.
I was very resentful to not being placed in a higher math group in the sixth grade. I dont know what happened. But all through middle school, and the first two years of high school too, I was put in the moderately advanced classes, where I excelled beyond reason.
I didnt date in sixth grade, but I did at least consider it. I never really lusted over people in my class because my standard of beauty has always been with a much older girl. I couldnt sleep with a sixth grader, even when I was in sixth grade. I found this helpful, and I felt it gave me an edge over the rest of the pubescent world.
Sixth grade was the first year I got teachers that I really didnt like. Im not going to mention names.
I started out sixth grade not knowing anyone, and left with a few loose friends. Not a great year for friendship development.
The summer after seventh grade was pretty cool. Mom was making a decent amount of money at a salon and we were in a better apartment. Amina was two, and we got a cat named Sousa, like the bandleader, but not named after the band leader. But most significantly, Tyler moved in. For good. He had some kind of argument with Elton, and ran off to Mom, and hasnt made up with Elton ever since. Tyler was very different from what he was as a kid, and the significant change was how he treated me as almost an equal. We started sharing interests and got to know each other a lot, but there was still a large breach between Chandler, the brainy white guy, and Tyler, the sadistic black bum. But his presence characterized my summer, in as much as I spent the previous ones without peers.
We got the Sega channel. Very nice.
I went to Boy Scout summer camp, which was the first real camp Id ever been to. Had a lot of fun, what with being away from my parents for so long, and my tastes in food were low enough for me to accept the cooking.
Then came seventh grade, which started in much the same way as sixth grade, that is, I didnt know any one. It seems that all of the people who were confused in sixth grade had finally made up their mind and agreed to become morons and jerks like the rest of the cool people. Humankind is in its deepest valley in seventh grade. But I think I talk about that under Chawkpop, so try looking there.
In the seventh grade I secured myself into a click that Ive been strongly associated with ever since, and that is the band people. I felt like I was hot stuff because I was in the top band. But I was a very prominent member of the band community, and this is something Ive maintained through today. I felt belonging, and even respect, and thats nice.
I dont get crushes. If a crush is what I understand it to be, Ive never had one. I may show interest in someone, but I never become infatuated with a person until after I know them very well. This has only happened once, and it was after dating a girl for a month. I mention this now because seventh grade was a grade where I might very well have started dating, but there were simply no girls that I liked. In fact, most girls I disliked. I might think I like a girl at first, only then to find out shes a dork or an ass hole, or, in most instances, both. Had I had any crushes, that would have given me a place to start, and I couldve jumped into the dating scene, because I still had an interest in the gender itself. But, because no girl jumped out at me, I never started.
The summer after seventh grade was the same as the last. Minus the Sega channel, plus a 64, and a black nameless kitten. Amina wanted to call it sunshine, but it was jet black except for a patch of white that looked just like a diaper. She would try to attack Sousa, but Sousa would just sit on her. But that summer was the only summer Ive had that even vaguely resembles the previous.
Eighth grade was much like fifth grade. This time I started the year knowing everybody, so development followed closely. A lot of fun was had, as is always the case when you know who your friends are. I felt like the king of the world in eighth grade. Most of the time at least. I was first chair trumpet and had the ego to prove it. I joined a mathcounts team where I finally got to interact with really smart kids. I had my teachers wrapped around my thumb, and I was loving life. I didnt start dating, but at this point, I didnt need to. I was over girls, which ironically meant that I could now freely converse with them. I made a lot of friends from people I barely new, and I think that by the end most people liked me. I was losing the awkwardacity of the previous years, though it would still show up from time to time. All in all, the year was a blast.
On the home front I was now completely at home. I no longer considered Janet the Devil, and had actually grown a great deal of respect for her. Shes really pretty bright, and I now felt free to openly converse with her.
Summer found me in New Bern, this time in an actual house. The down side: Braheem had moved in. Mom still didnt like him, but she was giving him another chance. I remember that being a summer of Comedy Central and Zelda. I went to Boy Scout camp again, only this time I was high on the pole and it was a lot more fun. My mom opened her own salon with Braheem's help, and it was very successful.
And then Chandler went to high school. High school was a dream come true for me. Well, thats a bit of an exaggeration. However, I loved the new found freedoms and I adored the new found responsibilities. My classes were now moving at a decent pace, and I felt I was learning so much. I was sincerely looking forward to just about all of my classes. I could handle the work without much trouble, and was able to maintain a nice GPA.
I kept most of my good friends from middle school, and was immediately able to make friends with all the new people I met. I was pleased to find that many people had corrected their seventh grade regression, and the people who hadnt were becoming easier to ignore. Also, all of a sudden, the girls I was with last year became babes. Chandler got a little more flirtatious that year. Still no dates, but I was at the point where I could if I felt like it. Girls were becoming more acceptable everyday.
The first semester of Freshman year I was acting basically the same as I was at the end of eighth grade, just stumbling around and enjoying myself. Sometime around November I found out who I really was. I cant explain this at all. The closest analogy I can make is that I grew up. People grow up at different times in their life. I grew up at 14 and three months. My actions didnt necessarily change very noticeably, but my whole mental schematic got turned up side down. Does anyone know what Im talking about? Im impressed. Small matter.
I adapted to High School very well and thoroughly enjoyed my Freshman year. Freshman summer was wild.
Braheem had abducted Amina and taken her to his parents home in Jordan. Mom was devastated. She had to sell her salon. She sent Tyler (who had recently dropped out of school) to live with an Aunt. She was staying in a guestroom at a friends place. They hooked me up with a nice room in the garage. The Ipocks are really great people. It was at their house that I learned how to use the internet, and it wasnt long before I started the first incarnation of this web site, a huge success that prompted my friends to do the same. Imitated, but never duplicated. Mom was always worried about how to get Amina back, which is a very complicated thing that no mother should ever have to deal with.
Tenth grade bore a striking resemblance to fifth and eighth, which I think is a bit premature. It must be because I already new my friends so well. I enjoyed tenth grade even more than ninth, and I can safely say that I looked forward to every single class. My grades were excellent, and I was the first to sign up for extra work, my C&C buddies will tell you that.
My first girl friend came in the tenth grade. (I am not ashamed of this at all, and I lose respect for people when they scoff at this. Nobody has any business dating in Middle school, and even tenth grade had many limitations, such as cars and money) Jackie was a very honest, well, blunt girl, which is probably why I started dating her in the first place. She dropped hints like the coyote off a cliff. Our relationship was very casual; it began and ended with the greatest ease. Not having dated did not make me a nonromantic fellow. In fact, I found myself far more romantic than Jackie, who tended to date a lot. Never the less, a month later I was in love with her. I think so anyway. Thats what I told her. There are many ways of defining love, and I am by no means the expert, but she was the first and only girl to mean as much to me as she does. Oh, and she was the first girl to muddle my logic, which is quite a feat, in as much as my logic is quite immuddable. But our relationship kind of hit a plateau and didnt go anywhere, maybe because I had neither the car nor the money to actually date. We split up, but in the most friendly manner possible. We both had every intention of remaining friends afterward. It was the legendary mutual break up from Seinfeld. We each thought wed gotten as far as we could and decided to move on. No regrets. I miss her every now and again, but weve stayed pretty close. Just no more hooch.
I havent dated since, but Ive decided to find someone soon. Im getting ancy.
I won a few math awards that year. That felt good. But now the math is becoming a characteristic of Chandler among friends.
I took up philosophy some where in the past couple of years.
Also in the past couple of years, I started making movies. Theyve all been for school projects, but my skills have been improving, and I got some amazing things done with my latest. One of my dream aspirations is to be a filmmaker. I like writing, acting and directing. NOT PRODUCING! Unfortunately, I usually end up with that job too. Keep your eyes peeled for a Chandler Walker major motion film in the future. You know Im ambitious.
This year Ive been coping with the problem of doubting my parents. When were young we accept everything whole heartedly, but now we notice their flaws, and its hard to maintain respect. I try. You should too.
School ended, and I came back to New Bern, this time in an apartment again. My mom got a dog named Gubby. My mom visits the middle east as often as she can, but still doesnt have a good plan for retrieving her. Tylers got his GED, a job and plans to attend Community College next year. My mom bought this computer which is why I can publish this. This summer hasnt been great because of my inability to find a job. But this year, the rest of my life in general, is looking pretty promising.
And now you know
The rest of the story.