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Kraggh's Works ♫♪


How is this plagiarism?

Posted by Jean Valjean , in School, Literature Sep 12 2012 · 500 views
school, literature
:kaukau: I was told to write a brief testimony in class starting with the phrase "Life hit me hard when". The teacher said it was okay to write something fictional if we didn't feel like sharing our actual experiences. So I wrote a note at the beginning of my writing:

"The following journal entry is a fictional account, due to the author's current inability to express his own feelings directly. Instead, he has opted to write about the feelings of an imaginary individual whose experiences and emotions he shares in a more general sense."

I wrote the rest up in five minutes. In-class writing is so much easier when you have a keyboard at hand. Anyway, the next time class met she handed the writing back to me and told me that she thought it was plagiarized because it didn't sound like the way I normally talk. Dude, how is she supposed to know? I hardly talk in her class, let alone in the way that I normally would have talked when in my own element. Meanwhile, the fictional account comes from the perspective of someone who's writing her thoughts on paper, which is far more patient than man. I think that our thoughts naturally come out differently on paper than when we express ourselves verbally. Just saying. The language I used didn't seem all that unnatural to me, but she kept on emphasizing that I be natural. Well, I got a perfect grade on that miniature assignment anyway, so I'm guessing she was just looking for something to criticize.

Anyway, this little bit of literature is based off of a character of mine, Nixie from the IDES continuity (not that anyone has been keeping track), and I wrote it thinking that I was going to share it with you guys anyway. Enjoy!

Dear Journal,

Life hit me hard when my parents got divorced. I was lucky I was eleven and old enough to appreciate the reasons. My poor brother Mickey never heard of the concept before. To imagine Mother and Father officially apart must have been alien to him. I at least saw it coming. Dad was never around home. He was married to his work. I guess he loved us in his own way, but he was silent and didn't talk to us. The most I ever saw of him was around the holidays, but even then he was a man of few words. He would mostly let Mom talk to us, and when he spoke on his own it was usually only to solve disputes between me and Mickey.

It still hurt that he didn't know how to love us in the way that we wanted. I love him, too, but I just don't know how to have a relationship with him. He's a very smart man, so in part I found that I could connect with him. In some unspoken way, he understood me, understood my desire to learn, to sharpen my mind. Mom understood, too, but in a factual way, like it was cute, but it wasn't a reality she shared with me first-hand. With Dad, I guess he saw a bit of himself in me. I didn't know how to acknowledge that and still don't. I'm definitely different and set apart from him, but he's a fundamental part of my existence, half the story to my very origins in this universe. Yet, I can't have a relationship with him?

The saddest thing is that things aren't very different. I don't live with him anymore, but I still see him just as often. he and Mom merely live in different houses. The biggest change is that I don't get to see Mickey at home anymore. Now I have to look him in the eye and know that I get to live with Mom's attention and he doesn't, that his life at home is empty and lonely. Then i can't help but wonder if it would have been better if we switched places, for he surely needs mom more than I do, and if anyone can feel a bond with Dad it's me. How can I be a comfort to Mickey? When I go to school, will I be his proxy mother? I'm too young to be feeling this much nostalgia for a simpler life.



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The Roommate Connection

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, Relationships, School Aug 20 2012 · 593 views
school, life
:kaukau: This doesn't come as a surprise to me, since I've seen it happen to others and people who have experienced it have told me that you feel as if you've known someone your entire after a few hours of being their roommate, but nevertheless, this is still the first time I have actually experienced it for myself as a reality instead of just an idea.

It's not the same as high school friendships. Heck, what is? The relationships I had in high school were built over the course of eight years, spanning over several stages in my life from my preteen years to my early adult life. It can't be replaced. Yet that doesn't mean that all successive friendships are inferior. In all my high school history, I was never invited to hang out after school. My social wasn't day-in/day-out, just day-in, and with the exception of my cousin these relationships didn't extend beyond the walls of education.

The friends I've made in college are people I will come back to after my classes and get to know more in my spare time. I will actually live with some of them, and we will share the same home. It's a more adult relationship. It's about a bunch of guys being in the same boat and creating roommate agreements that they carry through with. And really, I am sure that I will do things that I wished I could have done with my high school friends, such as hang out and have our nights out, doing whatever we think will be entertaining. I also look forward to the many friends I will be making in the clubs that I will be joining as I begin to discover people with similar interests and energies.

It's not a replacement for high school friendship. As a matter of fact, I still think that for a long time I will still consider my best friend from high school to be my best friend, even from a long distance. I will arrange to meet him on the holidays and I hope that we're still there for each other over our lifetimes. He was the one person in high school who was close to a college friend, because at times our personal lives would intersect and we would lend each other helping hands. I'm not an old man yet, so I can't say what means the most to me yet. Nostalgia might win me over in time, as it usually does. My all-time best friend, in my mind, is still my first one, the teenage young woman who was nice to me when I was a broken eight-year-old child of divorced parents.

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Welcome to College!

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, School Aug 19 2012 · 474 views
school, life
:kaukau: I moved into my dorm earlier today at Western Iowa Technical Community College (known colloquially as WIT). Due to cultural osmosis, it feels very natural, as if I've been here before, but I haven't. This is the first time I've ever been in this atmosphere. having college friends and classes in high school definitely prepared me, though, because I can't shake off the feeling that I should be suffering from some form of culture shock.

Unpacking was very easy. With the exception of a few things I didn't know how to categorize, I found a way to make my room neat and crisp. Hopefully I will be able to keep it that way. There are a few items I'm missing, including soap, body wash, and sticky tack for posters. Soon I intend to buy a miniature refrigerator, which will take some money. Part of the desk is missing, but no major fixes are necessary. What really worries me is the loft, which sways a bit when I climb up to bed.

The good news is that I don't have to share it with anyone. There are three other suitemates; one of them will move in tomorrow. I really couldn't be more fortunate, since these dorms are the closest to the school building itself, and they overlook a nice hill and forest beyond. The folks I've met so far have been fine. This could be a comfortable arrangement.

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BRAVE Poster

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Humor, School, Life Jul 19 2012 · 461 views

:kaukau: For the last couple of years I told people that "When I live in a dorm, I'm going to have a totally hot poster ... of the Periodic Table of the Elements."

It was funny how that would always take people off guard. Plus it's true, because I have one hanging over my bed and I'm so used to it by now.. However, it seems that my sisters, who bought me early birthday presents to prepare me for college, decided I could do with something more human. You know, to give people the impression that I wasn't a robot.

It's awesome.

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My Dog Ate My High School Diploma

Posted by Jean Valjean , in School, Life Jul 10 2012 · 449 views
life, school
:kaukau: That didn't literally happen, but they did somehow get to where I kept it and they chewed it all up. It really made me angry. As they are female dogs, I sometimes use words to describe them when alone or around people who don't judge me by my language, though I remain profanity free when around my super-sensitive sisters. This time, though, I didn't hesitate to unload a couple of choice words on those dogs.

I never wanted them anyway, because I knew stuff like this would happen regularly. But no, not only did my sisters have to go out on a whim and by one dog, but a second dog, too. I still don't forgive them.

Know that no matter what, I will always hate those dumb, dumb, stupid dogs.



Graduation: The Main Event

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, School May 24 2012 · 390 views
life, Graduation Series
:kaukau: I went to church, got a ride home, and was able to introduce one of my good church/college friends to my mother, who had come down from Minnesota to visit. It was, after all, my graduation.

In the hours before the big ceremony, we did the only sensible thing, which was to eat at a restaurant with a buffet. We talked, we joked, and my Godfather wouldn't stop giving me a hard time about girls when I mentioned some of the events that happened at the senior campout. Somehow I couldn't convince him that I couldn't care less about the opposite sex at this point in my life.

Then I left to get dressed for the big occasion. This is the point where I say that bowties are cool.

Anyway, there was a slight problem, and it sort of snowballed. When I got to the chapel where we were to hold the ceremony, I realized that somewhere along my walk there I had lost the tassel for my had. I sort of freaked out. Stupid, I know, but it's what I did. I really freak out when I lose things. I began say in a high-pitched voice "I'm a loser" over and over again while a teacher tried to calm me down.

Fortunately, not a whole lot of people saw me. Unfortunately, among the people who did was a former-crush-turned-good-friend. Ouch. That right there made me feel very shameful. I swear, I only ever get embarrassed when she witnesses me making a fool of myself, because then I realize that I could be a much better person, and I realize how downright unacceptable my behavior is.

So we got ready, walked down the isle, and got up to the stage. A friend gave a prayer. My best friend, the student body president, gave a speech. The class president gave a speech. The local Mary Sue sang a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" that was supposed to sound good but wasn't. There were a few choir songs and another speech by a member of the school board.

The whole while, my head was shaking. It's what happened when I get tense. It looks like I'm nodding, except it's in one snapping motion downward and then back into place. It's how I normally nod, actually, but that's besides the point: I was shaking.

Surrounding me on all sides were people with National Honor Society robes and honor chords. Graduation's supposed to be such a happy occasion, but just about every insecurity I had tucked away resurfaced and whizzed by.

Suddenly I was struck with a mega inferiority complex.

I could have done better. I could have done more community service. I could have made fewer jokes and more serious attempts to get out of the hole. I could have dwelt in my self-loathing less, but instead I got trapped in a never-ending paradox of hating myself because I hated myself. I could have got more scholarships. I could have planned for college sooner instead of waiting until the last moment. I could have finished high school stronger. I could stop shaking my head and looking so stupid up here.

Well, I got my diploma. When we all stood and turned our tassels to the right side of our cap, I acted out turning an imaginary tassel. Then when we left, dropped my diploma in the trash, because right about then I was feeling that depressed and worthless.

Don't worry, I retrieved it later. My mother also said that the only funny thing in the entire graduation process (which she thinks is boring) was me pretending to turn the tassel (favoritism?).

Most importantly, I got rid of the depression right away. Heck, it was my last official event at high school, and it was time to celebrate. Most of all, I wanted a picture taken with my former-crush-turned-good-friend, just because that was something worth being optimistic about.

Well, we didn't find her right away, so instead I took pictures with a ton of other people instead.

Finally, I decided that she had apparently already gone off to her graduation party. Long story short, I was right, and it was a pleasure for her and my mother to officially meet. There was a bit of a complication when I explained our friendship.

"She's a really good friend. Or rather, someone I've been sitting next to lunch lately and am glad I got to know better. Or rather..."

"Don't try to explain it," my mother said. And we took a picture.

So it's interesting how one person can instantly take me out of depression and realize that even after a million failures, life has still been worth its while. To be clear, I still realize that I'm imperfect and could use improving, but until people give up on me and really give me a reason to feel down, why should I hate myself for it? There are still things to be happy for, like friendship.

Speaking of which, I met Mr. Tacke outside of the graduation party. He had read my blog entry about him, and he said he was really touched. He put his hand on my shoulder, and I could tell that he really meant it.

That's why I love myself.

Your Honor,
Emperor Kraggh


Graduation: Senior Campout

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, School May 22 2012 · 973 views
life, relationships and 1 more...
:kaukau: At first I thought that the last day of school was boring, except it wasn't. The school day itself was nothing remarkable, but the rest of the day was a blast from 11:59 PM onward.

What we traditionally do as seniors is have a senior campout in the school parking lot. It's sponsored by nobody and everyone who comes brings their own food. We decided to start coming around around 8:30 to 9:00. The thing is with these kind of unofficial events is that we make like the Spaniards and come at least an hour later than the expected time. Except I made like an the all-American man I am and I headed there slightly early, just a few minutes before 8:30.

Go figure, no one was there.

I happened to bring my own food, which included soft chocolate chip cookies, chips, and the remaining half of an apple pie I had cooked earlier and had been keeping in the fridge ever since. Not wanting it to get too warm, I walked back home again, which was a pain.

So I stayed home for a while and looked for some stuff to sleep in. When my father got home at 9:15, I was afraid that I was totally late for some nighttime fun. I hurriedly packed up a tent that I ended up never using, my blanket, hot dogs, and the all-important stick for roasting hot dogs on.

I arrived finally at 9:30. There was still hardly anyone there.

Go figure.


Well, to make a long story short, people did eventually arrive. Absolutely none of them were interested in my pie. Nobody ever cares when I bake pie. Why don't people like pie? Why?

However, I know plenty of people who like it when I offer them pi. They may be eccentric, but they're still sane.

We moved our supplies and started a fire. Everyone who had a pickup truck backed them up to form benches for John & Jane Doe's convenience. We found ourselves a cozy group.

All of a sudden, a van came rushing by with its lights out. We recognized the vessel. It had only two seats, but otherwise was a giant floor on wheels. Within its walls contained our resident future Marine Corps recruit, the mighty Prince Alexander, the glorious Russell Crowe of the senior year arena! He and two accomplices - the Ferret and our Valedictorian - jumped out of the van and grabbed the first person they came across, carrying her into the depths of their villainous ride and whisking her off into the night!

Don't worry, it was only a prank. They ultimately only drove her half a mile or so out and dropped her off so she could walk back. The local Mary Sue laughed and wondered if she should record their next "kidnapping" on her phone, only deciding against it when she figured that our buddies with a sense of humor would get in trouble if there was ever proof that they had even pretended to be kidnappers. We have a strong sense of trust in one another, but we knew that this was technically crossing the lines on what was appropriate.

They drove up again. We were all laughing. They had their lights off, but they made it as obvious as possible that they were coming. It was like watching somebody overact in one of those silent films, except it was with a van.

They pulled up again and started acting casual, only they sort of surrounded my friend Emma.

"If you kidnap her too I'll punch you!" I said. I meant it. Hey, she was the self-proclaimed "best prom date ever".

Suddenly they pounced like tigers. They grabbed Emma, pulling her to the van. I pounced as well, but like a lion. I punched the one known as Ferret, and as they attempted to shove Emma into the Villain Van I grabbed the Valedictorian by the leg. The Villain Van began to jolt, and I kept holding on, because I was one Jack that would never let go.

Well, they drove off anyway. Emma was enjoying herself, anyway. She later told everyone that she was actually pretty scared for the Valedictorian.

Don't ask me why I did that. She wasn't in any danger. I don't have a crush on her. She's just a good friend at school and at church (we had even shared our first communion together), and perhaps I didn't want to see her disrespected. I would have done the same for my best friend.

So ended that particular episode.


Later on that night Emma told a scary story over the campfire, a variation of the dripping tap urban legend. Cool stuff. I had never figured that my peers would find a campfire story fun to listen to.

We continued to do nothing for a while until our future Marine decided to play music. It's an otherwise completely irrelevant detail, because for one I don't like the modern music that everyone plays (save for "We Are Young", which is a dang good song), but out of nowhere he brought up the song from Hercules "Go the Distance". It's one of my favorite Disney songs, and it was amazing that, without any prompting, someone else decided to play it without prompting, purely out of his independent interest. I thought it was amazing because it's the perfect song for us at our point in life, and it perfectly describes how I often feel, both looking back and looking forward.

We also talked about random memories, frequently starting our sentences with "Remember the time when..." There were a few funny ones about me. I had a few funny ones about the stupid things I did when I was a kid and some ridiculous, immature things about me when I was young that I thought were perfectly sensible at the time. We shared our dating stories, our embarrassing moments in front of the classroom, and some of the most priceless memories we could muster ("Remember when Amber's hair got set on fire?"). I found out some amusing things about my friends that I never would have guessed.

And our resident Mary Sue, I swear, has dated almost everyone! I think reasoning for her nickname has been confirmed.

There was a moment where a girl we call Kitty said she knew I had a crush on someone that I was neglecting to mention. Eventually she revealed the name of a certain underclassman girl who was 6'2" that I once admitted to being attractive. It's not the same thing as having a crush. However, I admitted to "making it to first, maybe second base".

That got a huge reaction from everybody. Then I explained. "First is helping her with her homework wile wearing a bowtie. Second is doing all of her homework for her. Third is if I can actually teach her the material. Home plate is if I convert her into a Nerd."

"What game are you playing?" asked the Marine.


We decided to go out to the nearby soccer field and play soccer. It was a fun, intense game. We chose the student body president and the class president as captains, and SBP chose me as one of his first comrades. We didn't have much difficulty telling the teams apart at first because we were small teams.

The hotshots on the enemy lines were the team captain himself, the Valedictorian, a guy we call Aubie, Ferret, and my cousin. On our side, we had our team captain (who was an incredible goalie), Jason of the Argonauts, Kreegar, and possibly me. There was also Kitty, who hung around the enemy goal and conveniently scored several points.

It was an amazing game. I amazed myself, because suddenly I turned very aggressive. Normally I sit back and let other people be aggressive while pretending to myself that I'm not up to it, but I was surprised at how easily I could flip that switch.

Basically, wherever the ball went, I ran for it. Whenever a teammate had the ball, I got in the way of members of the opposing team or ran off to a place where they could pass the ball to me. While I was never the person who got the ball across the field, I was always there to take the ball away from the enemy and get it back to our team.

There was an instant where I was running at the ball and kicked as hard as I could, only the Valedictorian appeared out of nowhere and I ended up hurting my foot on his shin. It was the same leg I had been pulling earlier. I apologized for that the rest of the night, even though he shrugged it off.

There was also the moment when Aubie was chasing after the ball when it was kicked out of the main fray, and I raced him to it. We collided and went sprawling across the ground. He got up right away, but I ended up limping off the grounds.

Soon thereafter, Aubie tried skidding to kick the ball when it was right in front of our goalie. Our Goalie picked it up at the last moment and Aubie skidded straight in-between his legs. It was hilarious.

So we kept on playing, and several times I came close to hurting myself. By the time it was over, I was pretty sweaty.

Our team dominated over the other team, even when newcomers came over from the fire and constantly joined the other side. Eventually we distinguished between the two teams by establishing that our team was "shirts" and the enemy team was "Skins".

It was the ultimate tactical failure. The guys on the skins constantly looked back behind them instead of at the goal, trying to get a glimpse of the girls. Fortunately for me, I honestly didn't care, so I wasn't distracted either way.

There were a few more moments, a few times when I took a ball to the head, and several betrayals as Kitty joined the other team and scored goals for them!

Then the lights went out, and we were all ticked off.

But that was the best soccer game of my entire life.


There's a version of hide-and-seek called Sardines. Debating on this and Gray Wolf, we decided on the former. I had never heard of it, but the rules were explained to me. Basically, someone goes out, hides, and waits for people to find him or her. People who find the hidden person sit down and don't make a sound, not letting anyone know that they have seen the target. The game ends once everyone found the hidden person and sat down.

At first people were going to pick me. I hat put on a fairly dark shirt. And a bowtie. It would have been perfect.

But then Ferret and a guy we call Wobbler decided to go first, since I didn't fully understand the concept yet. I knew from the start that it was a bad idea, because these games only ever last one round.

Basically, my intuition proved right. Wobbler was wearing black. Ferret is black. It was so dark that we all immediately realized our error and gave up, since they literally could have been standing out in the open and we would have never found them. Plus, the territory we were operating in was about a square mile of area. In other words: if they didn't want to be found they wouldn't.

We walked about, checked under every tree, and called out their names. "Look guys, we made this too difficult. You have to at least say something."

Fortunately, the game did end after an hour because they did hide out in the middle of an open field. That was the only reason why we found them.


We spent some more time talking and hanging around the camp fire. I can't remember everything that happened. There was a point where Emma told me to start singing "Under the Sea". At first I felt awkward, but she sang along. There's a story behind why we sang that song, but that's for another day. Basically, we sang it together in class back in middle school and had a blast.

Finally, I gave up on staying awake. Emma, my cousin, and a few other good friends had gone asleep. I got out my blanket, used my sweaty soccer shirt as a pillow, and went to sleep on the concrete.

Apparently there were some things that I missed out on between 3:30 and 7:00 AM, but I didn't really care. I still had the most awesome night I've had in a long, long time.

I wish I had done this more.


My concluding thoughts are thus:

While it was not an intellectually productive experience, it has a certain emotional appeal to it that's difficult to explain. I typically prefer sophisticated experiences, but I think I'll have to accept reality and compromise with its way of establishing good social connections. It was a chaotic experience, and had little to do with my interests, but I was accepted in part for who I was. It was great that for a moment I could forget about judging myself by my academics, citizenship, and accomplishments, and rather by how much I could enjoy my friends.

Your Honor,
Emperor Kraggh


Graduation: Last Day Of School

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, School May 22 2012 · 335 views
life, school, Graduation Series
:kaukau: How do I describe my last day of school? It was weird and hazy. I really wanted to start a food fight, but was talked out of it. Failing that, I really wanted to have a picnic, but nobody was in on the idea, even though I brought the food. Then I found out later that other people in my lunch period had served themselves a picnic, and I felt a little cheated and left out. Then I found out that it was purely among people in cooking class.

Then I had a special lunch with my best friend. That made me feel a lot better.

The classes were all a blur and unimportant, save for Physics. Lo ad behold, the teacher still pressed us to do lab experiments and collect data on the very last day. We ended up finding out that the older light tubes actually flashed really, really fast instead of staying straight on in order to save energy. I also still had a ton of homework to turn in.

And that is why I love my science teacher.

When I was all signed out, it felt so weird. Really, really weird. And it felt so awkward that I was just about the last senior in school. Looking back, I wish I was faster at signing out, just because it would have been cool to rush out of school with friends. I even had one of those flying ring things to throw around for fun.

In total, the last day of school was nothing special, other than an odd feeling that came over me. To people who aren't seniors yet: it's less exciting than it is weird.

Your Honor,
Emperor Kraggh


Graduation: Baccalaureate

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, School May 22 2012 · 369 views
life, Graduation Series
:kaukau: Immediately after the Awards Ceremony, I was offered a ride to the baccalaureate that night by the principle, since I didn't have any means of transportation myself.

I shared a concern with him, that I was afraid I wouldn't be remembered. He thought that was ridiculous. I think he's right.

The baccalaureate was out of town. Most people came. The first person I saw when I arrived was a girl who recently I've been becoming friends with. She was wearing her blue robes, and underneath those, a dress.

Here's the surprising thing. Right then she looked very feminine and very beautiful. I had even once had a crush on her for about five years of my life. Precedent dictated that it should therefore be impossible to acknowledge her existence without feeling awkward, yet things have changed. We've been talking a whole lot more recently, and right then we sat next to each other and talked like it was the most normal thing in the world.

Suddenly I lost a lot of the bad feelings I had earlier. It wasn't a conscious thing, but I think it has to do with being accepted by someone I appreciate so much.

It was a nice time, and I was already beginning to miss people, even as we all lined up together.

The service was good. If I can remember correctly, part of the message was that we're always learning. As I write this, I make a connection with how I'm still learning about relationships with other people, even people with whom I thought my relationship status was set in stone only a year ago.


On a side note, I wore a fake bowtie. It was the only one I had on me at the moment. It looked rather stupid to me, because I can spot fake ties from a mile away.

Your Honor,
Emperor Kraggh


Graduation: Awards Ceremony

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, School May 21 2012 · 438 views
life, Graduation Series
:kaukau: It was on the Wednesday of May 16, and I apologize in advance for what I am about to say. Normally I am calm and collected in my writings, as if I have everything all together. A person like me, with such a clear vision of the world, shouldn't be so blind when it comes to himself, and yet this is a fine example of how my reasonable and my emotional realities don't align.

All my friends won numerous awards. Pretty much everyone got mentioned. Tons of scholarships were given out, and there were tons of other honors. Overall, a ton of people got a lot of love.

Once upon a time, I used to get called up every once and a while during those ceremonies, too. Of course, nowhere near as much as my friends, who always outranked me in their impressive accomplishments. This year, there wasn't any competition between us. Literally, my friends each were recognized for their outstanding academics, character, skill, and so forth. I got nothing.

I was mentioned exactly once during the ceremony because I had participated in speech, but that was immediately before the speech teacher gave a speech about how the local Mary Sue made it to all-state twice in the same year and couldn't stop talking about how great she was.

Moving on, what really hurt me the most was that so many people were applauded for their hard work, citizenship, selflessness, dedication, role-modeling, leadership, service, and good character. I'm happy for them, and I'm proud for the strong moral standing of my community. However, more and more I came to doubt my own character.

I belong to a circle of friends where pretty much everyone's a servant leader. They're great people and they amaze me, and I thought that by having them as friends I'd become more like them, only over time I've become more and more frustrated with how I can't live up to my values, and I feel weak. They can do extraordinary things, and they have outstanding work ethic. They're such amazing role models that they're lights on a hill, and their lights are very plainly seen, as can be inferred from the results of the awards ceremony.

Then there's me. Of course, I don't need any awards to tell me that I'm good at what I do. But I struggle. Afterwords, people tell me that of course I'm special, and though I agree with them intellectually, my emotions tell me that they're just telling me that because it's the nice thing to say. The problem is that I know that I'm not living up to my fullest potential and that I could easily have played a strong enough hand this year that at the end I would have been showered with official acknowledgments, too, not just lip service. The indisputable fact is that I want the plaques and I want to be the best. I want evidence that I'm ready for success, that I'm strong, that I can go the distance. I want to know that I'm living, not just getting by.

Then the ceremony took a break and got back together for the climactic NHS induction. That was a ceremony for people who everyone thought had a higher calling. Which, obviously, I don't fit into because I've never been a leader, having always been slightly awkward. I left and didn't bother watching, because it always hurt. Up until then, all my anger was directed toward myself, but the last time I watched friends walking around in robes I felt a hatred toward them that shouldn't have been there. I didn't want to feel that.

I found a private space in a room, and a special ed. teacher told me I was being immature. I knew that, but I just didn't want images echoing through my head that would continue to hurt me for a couple more years yet.

It was at that point where my self-doubt turned into self-loathing. "I hate many people, but absolutely no one more than myself."

"Is that how a Christian should feel?" he asked me, since he knows how high I hold my faith.

"No." It makes me hate myself even more.

Perhaps I need a counselor. At least I know that I have a personality flaw: I'm an achievement-oriented person who doesn't achieve anything. I hope that later in life I'll at least get done with the things that I want done, and I can feel better about myself.

Your Honor,
Emperor Kraggh


Username: Jean Valjean
Real name: People literally don't have names in my family
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, Quarter Hungarian, Eighth Swedish, Sixteenth German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
Favorite band: Queen
Favorite singer: Billy Joel
Favorite song: American Pie
Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Favorite play: Les Miserables
Favorite color: Silver
Second favorite color: Brown
Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, drawing
Political Caucus: Iowa Republicans
Religion: Christian
Language: Iowegian

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