Hey! Thanks for stopping by.

Hey!  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Growing up fat

I taught classes at a high school in Cincinnati last week. English classes, of all things, not drama or music, as some of my former teachers might have expected. The classes were working on revisions, and so am I, working on revising my fat child years into a "meaningful and motivational book" which is not easy when it all seemed so bleak for so long. But as I do, I digressed, and the classes wanted to hear my stories, which I told with gusto. I, for the day, was the teacher we all loved to get off track.

The first thing I said to them, was "Do not be decieved by the adult me, the flashy Broadway credits, the fact that I live in Manhattan, that I'm married with a child, that I'm wearing groovy pink shoes, and that I'm a reasonable weight (not thin, not really fat). It's all smoke and mirrors. In reality, I was you. When I was a student in high school, I sat in the back of the class, I weighed somewhing over 220 pounds (I stopped weighing myself...who wants to know any more than that?) and I graduated 120th out of a class of 124." The kids thought that was a riot, that I was such a rotten student, and I explained how thrilled I was not to be 124th out of 124. A huge accomplishment, considering my senior year grades. I told them about my troubles, not my triumphs, the fighting parents, the lying, the cheating, the things I did that seemed to prevent any success in my future. I told them, life is the choices you make, and just because you might feel rotten now, at this moment in your desk, I'm here to tell you that I felt rotten a lot of the time too. A different generation, but the same feelings.

I urged them to make choices. Choose to do more, not less, choose to go big, not small, choose to try.

I got a post back from a student that day, and she told me her troubles, some of them, and I hope that my book helps her. I tried to write her back, but I'm limited to this blog. So listen up. You will be okay. What your parents say to you (or don't say to you) is not the only stuff about you that is true. Find the true stuff, the good stuff about you, and hang onto it. That's your job. Oh, and do your homework, I wish I'd done a little more of mine!

Sophomore Year

Sophomore Year
My weight was going up and up...

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine
I guess I'm about 3 or so? Nice tan!