17 June 2007

Being Michael!

Be born on March 14, 1985. Think of yourself as a pleasant surprise to your family. Grow up with two sisters, and remember with disdain playing with Barbies at Allison Savage's house with Robyn, and wishing that I had an elevator in my house like Barbie had in hers. Have fond memories of birthday parties and Christmases in Utah all before moving to California just after starting kindergarten. Enjoy kindergarten in California, where at that young age you knew (name removed) wasn't a normal child. (Robyn suggested I take his name out to protect myself from incriminating bloggage).

In the first grade, be recognized by your teacher as a burgeoning "nice guy" and be assigned a best friend. Your best friend will get made fun of for the majority of your time in elementary school, which will make it hard for you to make other friends, but you will share a lot of fond memories with him. One perk: his dad works for Disneyland, and you will go very frequently at no charge. You will remember the phone number of where he grew up for the rest of your life. You'll also gain an instinct to protect fat people from others' cruelty and be nice to them...

You're five years younger than your next oldest sibling, and your mom will be working, but don't worry: prayers will be answered, and the nicest lady in the world will watch you after school through the seventh and part of the eighth grade. Every day you're there, you will play with a girl who is five years younger than you, and you will enjoy it immensely, and your imagination will be very active because of it. In the eighth grade, you'll decide it's time for you to not have a "babysitter" anymore and you'll start going directly home. You will then make a habit of calling your mom after school to tell her you're home that will go with you for the rest of your life (except while on your mission). During that time you will watch some cartoons until you stumble upon the home building and renovating shows on TLC, Discovery, and HGTV. You will then be the only fourth grader in the world watching Bob Vila and Hometime.

In the first grade you will also break your arm twice in a row. The first time you will break it while pretending to be a dog and jumping off a couch. You'll get your cast off on a Friday, and the next Monday at school you will break it again when you fall from the monkey bars. For the rest of your life, you will tell people that your friend pushed you from the bars, but in your mind you will wonder if that's how it really happened.

In the second grade you'll learn to be a good writer. In the third grade you'll learn to hate math when Mrs. Pike rips up your paper, not because the math was incorrect, but because you numbered the paper incorrectly. You'll tell your mom, and she'll release her wrath. She'll go to the school, walk into your classroom and find your torn up paper in the trash can. She'll then confront the teacher, who will deny anything of the sort until the ripped up paper your mom is holding in her hand shuts her up. You'll feel vindicated!

In the fourth grade you'll stay after class for months to build a model mission out of clay. You will be the only student who does so. You'll also do a report on the California Gold Rush. As part of your research, you'll send out letters to the chambers of commerce in gold country. In response to your letters, they'll notify you of homes for sale in the their cities for the next ten years. In the fifth grade you'll have another confrontation with math and you'll be the school vice-president. In the sixth, you'll excel as a creative writer. You would run for school president, but you realize that you have no chance against the political power-house of Lindsey, Lana, Lauren, and Kady (Kershaw, Haag, Goodman, and Gallagher, respectively).

In the seventh grade you'll enter middle school and get an entirely new set of friends. You'll be put in the G.A.T.E. program, because somebody thought you needed a gifted and talented education. As a result, you'll have class with the same group of people until you graduate from High School. You will be friends with them for the rest of your life. In the seventh grade you'll play the trumpet in the band but wish you were in the choir. In the eighth grade you'll quit the band and join the choir. Your voice will change somewhere in the first half of the school year, and in the second half you'll make it into the Vocal Ensemble. You will also be the Tin Man in the school's production of The Wizard of Oz, a big step for the shy person you are. You won't be able to make all the performances though, because your grandma will pass away during production week. You won't mind and prefer to be with your family.

In the ninth grade you'll join the choir. That year you will also meet your new best friend, Amanda. In the tenth grade, you'll be in the Boyz Chorus and you'll have to play the boy playing the girl in Officer Krupke, not because you want to, but because your choir director makes you. You'll also join the newspaper as a writer and you'll be in Academic Decathlon. You won't get your license 'cause you don't have you Eagle yet. You will resent your parents for a while, but then they'll let you get your license before you've actually completed the project anyway. Your dad will be on hiatus from Nissan, so your first car will be a Honda with a stick shift, and you will learn to drive the California freeways like you were Mario Andretti. Your dad will wonder why your tires and brakes are shot, and you'll tell him it's because your driving a Honda, which is clearly not comparable with the quality of a Nissan. He will admit that you are right, but will still be upset that you've managed to do in seven months what it takes others years to do.

The eleventh grade will be your busiest. You'll be finishing up your Eagle project, working as the news editor for the school paper, slacking off on the decathlon team, and you'll make it into the school's Vocal Ensemble. You will be at school (and seminary) from 6 AM to 5 PM every day. You'll love it.

The twelfth grade will be your most involved. You'll keep on at the newspaper as the news editor (and as one of the unofficial editors-in-chief since the actual editors-in-chief are friends with you but hate each other). You'll still do decathlon and Vocal Ensemble, but you'll add student government to your resume as the Commissioner of Publications and Promotions (whatever that means).

Each year you're in high school, you'll be in the school musical. First, you'll be a knight in Once Upon a Mattress. Next, Lazar Wolfe in Fiddler on the Roof, Agwe, God of Water in Once on this Island, and Percy Browne in The Boy Friend. Your director will brag to your parents that she's seen you change from beginning to end, and you'll give her some of the credit. You will lose your voice during The Boy Friend's production week, but your dad will give you a priesthood blessing that you'll be able to hit every note, and you will.

After high school, one of your best friends will run away from his past and his friends while your other best friend comes with you to BYU. You will spend every minute together over the next two semesters, which will prove to be too much, and you'll avoid her before you go on your mission. You'll come home from BYU, work with your mom in a dental office cleaning bloody instruments (and love every minute of it), and in June you'll turn in your mission papers. The next month your sister will get married, and by divine providence you will attend the ceremony in the temple. A week later you'll receive your mission call in the mail in California, and you'll open it on the freeway in Las Vegas on your way to Utah for your sister's (and brother-in-law's) open house (you won't be able to wait any longer). You'll set up a conference call with your sisters to see where you're going, and you'll get called to the Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission. You won't be able to pronounce Tegucigalpa off the bat, but your trilingual sister will do it for you. Immediately you'll be at peace, knowing that's where you were supposed to go.

Enter the MTC on August 25, become best friends with your district (who are all going everywhere but Honduras). Leave for Honduras, feel like you're in the most ghetto-fabulous country in the world, love it there for six months until you realize how dirty everything is, and gain a great appreciation for the States and the blessing it was to be born there. Never forget that. Get dengue, feel like you're gonna die, live through it and be grateful for the good story it'll make in the future.

After two years, show your parents the country you've come to love and then fly home with them. Be greeted at the airport by your sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews (it was nephew before you left), and niece, who are all wearing "I Love Michael" t-shirts. When you get to the parking lot, be astonished by how new all of the cars are and that every other one is a luxury car. It will feel great to be home.

But don't get too used to it, 'cause school starts at BYU in two weeks and your parents will be moving to Nashville at the same time. You'll get back to BYU, wander around like a lost puppy for a while, make new friends, and then feel like you'd never even left. You'll get your second real job ever with BYU catering. You'll kind of date a girl, but you'll be distracted by all the other girls. You'll swear off dating for a while, and then you'll find the one you want to pursue...so much so that you don't feel interested in anyone else. Problem: she doesn't live in Provo anymore... ¡Así es la vida!

As far as majors go, you'll vacillate between biology, dietetics, and nutritional science and then you'll stick with Latin American Studies. You'll love all of your classes, and you'll feel excited to work with Latinos for the rest of your life.


RobynandJoe said...

MICHAEL! Since you're my brother, I forget how darn talented you are! You have accomplished SOOOOOOO much! It's funny because I tried to do my own things, but also sort of tried to do things Kimberly had done. You, on the other hand, have always known what YOU wanted to do and have done it. Neither of us were ever in any musicals, editors for school newspapers, given a best friend in Kindergarten, etc. Hopefully the O's don't read your blog.... I loved it!

Kimberly and Devon said...

It was cool to hear about all that you did in Elementary and Junior High. I was away during a lot of those years at school and never knew exactly what was going on. I loved reading it all! Good job!

Kimberly and Devon said...


this was all very interesting, but seems to be a little puff piece. No mention of Pop-Rocks anywhere?

Also who is this girl? and I hope she has this blog address to read!


Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Yay! I love that you guys are doing these roadmaps - they are so fun. Glad to get to know all about you - as I can still only picture you as a little boy who had a pound puppy. Also want to hear more about this new girl of yours...

Grandma Hand said...

I really love the way you have grown up and how you are so much alike meaning your sisters and you, but are so different. You really have accomplished a lot and I love the MICHAEL you are. WHO IS THIS MISTERY GIRL????

Diane said...

Michael, Michael, Michael!!! I can't take any more of this roadmap stuff! All I do is cry when I read them!! I laugh too, but, the crying... You were and are such an amazing person! You put up with a lot during your growing up years. I can't imagine any young boy being willing to take seriously the assignment of being friends with someone who is being left out. Your heart is bigger than you! You have always had a mind of your own and have been able to accomplish goals via a different route than the norm. It will be exciting to see what comes next in your life. Thanks for the painfully fun walk down memory lane! Love ya!

Susie said...

Michael- you seem to be holding out on everyone about this "mystery" girl. You can tell me and I won't tell anyone- I promise!! Thanks for making the trip down for the wedding, Whit has always loved you lots. Can't wait to read the next installment in your life...

Mandy said...

Michael that was so fun to read! All I can remember is you being Robyn's little brother that liked to hang out with us and watch the Simpson's! I didn't know you did all those plays...that has always been something I wished I could do! I can't wait to find out who the mystery girl is!!!