On the Cover
By Kate, age 17, New Hampshire
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
I pondered for quite a while about this bio I was to write. I knew I had to write about me; it's my time to shine and tell the world who I am! Who doesn't want to be the center of attention? I knew what I wanted to say, but I wasn't sure of exactly how to begin. My first idea was to explain about how every person is made up of the same things - bones, muscles, organs, even down to atoms and molecules, and then talk about how we're all different, and lead into why I was different. But who really cares about bones and molecules? Even I yawned at that.
So after pondering different types of leads and hooks I learned about in my Journalism class I came up with this. Pathetic? Creative? It's me. And isn't that what this is about?
For seventeen years, I've been Katie, which is a nickname for Katrina. Not Kathryn or Katelynn - Katrina. Names seem to be an interesting topic, and everyone always wants to know where everyone else's name came from. My story is kind of pathetic, but I'll share it anyway.
Originally I was named after a truck. "Katie Lee something-or-other" painted neatly on the back, and my mom liked it. She also decided that she wanted two girls, so she could have a Kate and an Allie, after some TV show she used to watch. My Nana (my father's mother) said it was too short for a baptism name. My Nana suggested Kathryn and Kathleen as names, neither of which my mother liked. Then my Nana came up with Katrina. Third time's the charm, right?
I come from a very Italian family. My dad's grandmother, whom we call Mom-mom, and who turned 101 last April, was born in Italy. When she was a baby, she came to the United States with her family through New York's Ellis Island, along with many other immigrants. You probably learned about this in some history class. On my mother's side, my grampy is also Italian. His wife (my grandmother) is where we get our French blood from, since her family came from Quebec.
My family consists of an embarrassing mother, an obnoxious-in-a-funny-way father, and a typical, annoying yet loveable little brother, Frank. The not-so-human members include a rather fat, black cat we call Jessie, and eleven chickens - Huey, Duey, Louie, Peep, Jimmy, Timmy, Annie, Fleur, Hermione, Ginny, and Alice. To be honest, we can't tell any of them apart except for Annie. The others are named based on their color. The white ones are Huey, Duey, Louie, and Peep, and the black ones are Fleur, Hermione, Ginny, and Alice. We recently lost our dog Tye. He was part Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and Lab. He will always be in our hearts.
I guess you could say my family is the "let's spend time together" family. My dad always went out of his way to plan random little trips over the summer, from hiking mountains, to visiting Niagara Falls. As little kids, of course we fussed about it, but in the end we really enjoyed ourselves, and I will always be grateful for what my dad has done for us.
Now that my brother and I are in high school, the trips are few, but we still do a lot together. My parents are certified scuba divers, and just last summer, my brother and I became certified as well. Though my mom doesn't dive anymore, my dad, Frank, and I go out every chance we get and splash around in the water. We usually stick to lake diving, which is probably my own fault, since the first time diving in an ocean didn't go over so well. Hey, the ocean is cold! Maybe I'll get myself a dry suit. Everyone says there's so much more to see in an ocean. So far, I've seen sand, rocks, brown fish, and sometimes I barely see more than ten feet in front of me. Not very exciting.
My family is also involved in a Civil War reenacting group. Geeky? Maybe. But in all seriousness, I don't think there's a "funner" way to learn about history. Yes, funner! Not many people get the chance to say they've fired a real live cannon. I have! I'm really not one to brag ... but have YOU shot a cannon?
I'm mostly in it for the horses. Yes, I was one of those little girls who wanted to have a pony. But as some girls grow out of that childish passion, mine stuck with me. My bedroom is a bit of an embarrassment. From wall to wall horse posters to blankets with galloping horses, my room is the ultimate horse lover's room. Though I'm not lucky enough to say I actually own a horse, I can guarantee that, instead of buying an apartment like most people want after school, I'll be living at home and buying that horse. Okay, so maybe I should have a house and somewhere to keep it first ... but it's a work in progress.
I am also a writing enthusiast. Writing, along with horses, is my way of life. It's not just a hobby, but something I am passionate about and will do for the rest of my life. Being a senior, I have the opportunity to take classes I'm interested in taking, now that I have all of my required courses out of the way. My schedule consists of Playwriting, Short Story and Its Writer, Journalism, Creative Writing, Creative Book Transformation, and Portfolio Writing, along with the random, almost misplaced band class.
Band fag, band geek, call us what you like, but band has given me so many opportunities that many people will never have. When I was little, I always played the piano, and I even sang. In fourth grade, I was given the opportunity to play an instrument, and I picked up the alto saxophone, and have been playing ever since. High school, by far, was the best of my band life. I've had so many chances to play at football games during halftime, and with that, I've walked away with so many amazing, memorable nights. And I can say, "This one time, at band camp ..." and have an actual story to finish the sentence with.
I've met so many amazing people that I am still close with today, and I can actually read music, which many people can't. I am in wind ensemble, which is like an "advanced band class", and was recently informed that the wind ensemble was invited to play at Symphony Hall in April. You know, that big stage where the Boston Pops plays? Where hundreds, maybe thousands of people watch and applaud for you. Again, how many people get that kind of opportunity?
By now, I probably sound like the girl with the perfect life and bright future, but I can assure you I am not. Everyone has their hard times, some worse than others, and I've certainly had my share of those. At age 17, I'm just pushing 115 pounds soaking wet, due to the fact that last year, I lost over twenty pounds in less than a month, making me anorexic. This was not because I thought I was "fat" or wanted to look better for someone, but simply because I was depressed. Last year was one of the hardest times for me, and it showed. I was always tired, sick, and as I mentioned, unhealthy. At one point, I admit, I was even suicidal and attempted to drive my car off the road. Luckily, the worst of the damage was ice caught under the car and some branches caught under the hood.
This bit of information isn't to beg for sympathy, but to show that I am nowhere near perfect. I just prefer to look past the bad times and remember the good times. I have grown from the bad. I've learned lessons and made mistakes, but all of this has only made me a stronger person, and made me who I am today. With the help of friends and family I make it through each day, whether it's a good day or not, and always look forward to the next. I guess I've always been an optimistic person like that, but why not? We could use some optimism in the world. Ever seen the movie Pay It Forward? Yeah, I'm pretty into that theory too. (If you haven't seen it, I highly suggest you watch it).
There's so much more I could say. I could go on and on about memories, inside jokes, and the moments of laughter and tears, but I'll save the autobiography for a later day. I wish I had some great thing to say that would change everyone's lives, something to make your day a little bit better, but let's face it, I'm no prophet. I was just given the opportunity to tell people a little bit about myself, and that's what I did. I do hope, though, that I've inspired you in some way to live your life to its full potential. Go out and do things and enjoy what you do. You've heard it before - you only live once, so make it worthwhile.