The 20 All-Time Greatest Entries

February 16, 1997  Sunday

I suppose I’m just in one of those nostalgic moods, what with all these entries long since past from ragged grade school journals.  Or it could be it’s Sunday and I have nothing to write about.

This journal is growing at a rate I never would have dreamed. It’s sheer size (149 typed pages) amazes me.  At the rate I’m going (about 30-35 pages a month) in one year I’ll have 570 pages (That’s a whole bunch of Top 12 lists).  I’ve used a small tree’s worth of paper already.

Whatever will happen to me in the future and whatever I do, I am content right now.  I am happy (Everything’s not perfect, but I’m happy).  Being happy now is pretty ironic.  Just as I start to feel good about school and my place in it, it’s all about to end…

Among everything I have, this journal is now my most cherished possession.  The one thing I would save from a fire.  There are so many memories and each new entry adds a little more.

I went through my journal (boy, did that take awhile) looking for my favorite entries. And the winners are…


20.) A Study in Dreams   December 9, 1996

I guess I like this entry because it was a little different than what I always talk about.  It is important too.  After all, we spend half our lives doing it.

19.)  More Letters   November 8, 1996

As you might have guessed, this installment was about letters.  Included were brief notes really, from Monica Jackson, Jessica Franks, and Emma.  Monica’s and Jessica’s are fine messages, but it only dealt with a brief glimpse of the future.  Emma’s was dead-on perfect.  It was exactly what I wanted.  The way she related something close to her so openly was what I had been looking for.

18.)  Another Day in the Life of Me ( November 4, 1996)

If you want to know what one of my days are like, read my “Day in the Life of Me” series.  This one was extra special because of the letters I got from Jim Camp, Ronald Kroll, Jake, Leslie K, Rachel Kroll, and Trisha.

17.)  Basketfest Part III: Just a Dang Good Day  (January 31, 1997)

Upbeat, clever, and understandable (sort of).  This defines the entry, which discusses Basketfest, the pep rally, and the day ahead.

16.)  The Love Baby Turns 18  (February 14, 1997)

I really liked my birthday this year.  It really wasn’t about the presents (I got some, but not many).  It was the day itself.  Or, more accurately, it was the people who made the day.

15.) From Humble Beginnings (February 10, 1997)

What started as summarizing what I went through to make this journal turned into something much more.  I got on the subject of having to say goodbye to all of my friends very soon, something I’m not accustomed to doing.  The thought, “As long as I have this journal they will always be with me,” says it all.

14.) Will Reviews the Top 12  (December 2, 1996)

This is the more-serious equivalent of “My Future Predictions.” I had wanted to talk about many other people, perhaps my entire class.  But I didn’t have things to say about everyone, (at least without getting painfully repetitive).  So, I decided on talking about the people I talk about most anyway: the people in the Top 12 List.  The entry speaks for itself.

13.)  The Pages Speak  (January 17, 1997)

I had always been searching for evidence; evidence of how I would react to entries in the past, and how it would effect me after time had gone by.  I found two answers: one good and one bad.  The first, which was was the good example, proved things which seems totally hopeless, can work out (And sometimes for the better).

Now, this philosophy doesn’t apply to the second selection, which was the Ainsley/Holly Andrews thing.  I always knew it would end, just not as sudden and awkward as it did.  The last night I saw them they finally wrote me something, and it’s there, to remember the fun times.

12.)  Volume Four Bites the Dust  (January 19, 1997)

In two pages I paraphrased what each good entry had been about, and but also taking note of the journal’s evolving tone.  It was also an apt lead-in for volume five.

11.)  Long Time No See – Mexico

I had the task of summarizing an entire missing year in the space of several  pages.  I’m really glad I remembered what I did, a year later, because a shoddy record is better than no record at all.  In this entry was also my class trip to Mexico, which I actually had written in 1995.  It would be hard to say in words how much eye-opening fun I had on that trip.

10.)  The War of the Rose Part V: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (February 23, 1995)

A classic entry.  Though it all turned out.. eventually.  I don’t want to take away from how I felt.  That was very real and it had been a horrible day.  I will never be able to say this is a favorite entry, but it is an important one.

9.) Artistic Endeavors – Further Reflections (November 3, 1996)

I take my writing very seriously, and I enjoyed my latest works.  Again, I also got on the subject of why I write this journal, which came together nicely with my thoughts about forgetting and being forgotten.

8.) Why I Write This Thing Anyway (September 9, 1996)

The first well-worded exploration of what relationship I have as an author to this work.  “Why I Write This Thing Anyway” is this journal’s official code of honor.

7.)  The Great Fix-Up (September 8, 1996)

I really do like this entry; especially the way I retold the night’s events.  The interplay between Hoke and myself as best friends comes out.  And I like the mischievousness of it.  It could have been my #1 choice, had it all turned out differently.

6.)  The Descent Into the Maelstrom of My Mind (November 22, 1996)

Except for the ill-fated attempt of “To All Concerned, A Letter By Me,” it was my first try at self reflection.  Actually, “Descent” may be my best attempt so far.  It is short, concise, and truthful.  In fact, the accuracy was so dead-on I felt compelled to leave the entry on an up-note so it would work.

5.)  From the Heart: Reflections on Me (February 4, 1996)

This was a good attempt at explaining why I write this journal.  Then half-way through, I went into another gear.  Explaining myself, and (being completely honest) how frustrated I feel sometimes…

My entire message was in the sentence “I wanted to prove this is a more blazing flame of thought, sensitivity, and wonder in me, instead of the supposed…nothing?”

4.)  On a Serious Note (January 11, 1997)

The words in this entry are not (hopefully) poetic and eloquent without reason.  I had thought a lot about how I was going to write it, for I knew there would come a time when I would have to.  I put down how I felt into words; it just so happened those words sounded alright too.  It had to be said, and the entry had to be written.  And that is all I have to say about that.

3.)  My Future Predictions (December 9, 1996)

This was a commentary of the people around me, but more than a simple “This is what So-and-so did today.” It got down to the actual people.  The entry dealt with Hoke’s love of trains, Sidney’s perfection complex, and Leslie K’s ultra-niceness, and so on, all with a little comic twist.

2.)  The First Journals Part I: Entries From Long Ago (February 15, 1997)

You’ll find where you’re going from where you’ve been.  That is the driving force behind highlighting my second grade journal from 1986-1987.  Before I began it, I doubted how well it would turn out.  I surprised myself (literally).  The entries I found were unexpectedly insightful, human, and showed an understanding of humor I wouldn’t have guessed.

1.)  Voices From the Past (February 12, 1997)

There wasn’t a clear number one, but this one got my vote.  I liked the idea of stringing my most memorable lines together.  Like I said, it is a cribbed version of this journal, for reading ease.


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