Let me get this out of the way: Long time, no see. I’m sorry.
Okay, I feel better. June has been, in the best possible word, hectic.
Here is the book that started my love for the series. Look at it and tell me how it wouldn’t jump out to a Seventh Grader looking for a good book to read. I clearly enjoyed it back then; I picked up Animorphs books after it and eventually became obsessed with the series. As much as I enjoyed it back then, reading it now, I feel like not much happens in it. That’s both a good and a bad thing. Some of the later books are more exciting, but this one is nice because it is slower. I enjoyed getting to know Rachel even though she hadn’t really come into her own yet. Seeing Rachel interacting with the other Animorphs and learning that they don’t fully trust one another yet was interesting, because they become so tight as the series goes on. I’ll get into that a little further down.
This is just the second book in the series, so Applegate is still world building. The Animorphs are still learning about their new powers, about the Yeerks, and about themselves. So, too, are we, so let’s go ahead and jump into the book.
I told you guys an Animorphs recap was coming. Before I jump into the first book, I want to talk about this series for a little bit because it is more than nostalgia to me. Animorphs was my childhood. I have so many friends I’m still in contact with today that I made from reading this series. Lori, Margie, Matt, Lawren, Holly, Izzah, Laura, Alex, Connor, Tina, Dustin, Katherine, and Vega, I’m talking about you! And those are just the friends I made that are still social enough to be on Facebook today. I know it sounds silly, but this series and the people I met while reading it helped me discover and accept myself. Let’s go back to the beginning, though.
In seventh grade, my Middle School put an emphasis on Language Arts. I guess the school had low reading and writing test scores. As a result, We spent nearly two and a half hours in Language Arts compared to 50 minutes in Math, and poor Science and Social Studies were combined in one 50-minute class. I remember my Science and Social Studies teacher was a man named Mr. Lowe that year, and he was a Social Studies teacher. He was so annoyed that he had to teach Science that year. I digress.
New Year’s Day has always been a day of reflection and hope for me. I look back at the previous year and try to think of my accomplishments. Then I look ahead and try to think of actionable decisions I can make to better my own life. I believe we bring our own happiness in this world, and it’s up to me to ensure I am living life in a way that makes me happy.
2017 was actually a pretty great year for me. I was trying to think of things I’d like to change in 2018, and although I came up with some resolutions, it was difficult because I feel like I accomplished so much in 2017:
I have known I have wanted to teach for all of my life. I have always loved school, and as a kid when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I answered quickly and distinctly: “I want to teach.” I’ve felt a calling, a tug, and when I’ve worked other jobs and put college on hold, I knew I was making a mistake. I knew I was delaying my destiny. I kept feeling the tug. I’m going back to school now to finally pursue my dream, and for the first time in my adult life, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be; I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
When I was young, I lived in a children’s home. I lived in a cottage with seven other boys and two cottage parents. As you can imagine, I didn’t get a lot of attention. I was in Band and Dance, and I had various recitals and performances where I would look out into the audience and see parents of my classmates cheering their kids on. I didn’t talk to anyone about it back then, but it was defeating. I wanted more than anything to have someone in the audience there for me. I vividly remember one Band performance where one of my sixth grade teachers, Mrs. Lewis, walked over to me from somewhere in the bleachers, and let me know that she was watching me, and that she was so proud of me.