Author Archives: Will

Legacy & Evolution

The TwentyEleven Project was established back in 2010 to capture the “senior year experience” before, during, and after; authors who wrote for this blog posted from their perspectives as juniors, seniors, and college freshman. The goal was to capture this unique period of time in life, and the changes that come with it.

TwentyEleven ended May 2011, when the seniors on the blog graduated that year. Now, the old group of authors has come together again, six years later, to write and share how their lives have changed since this blog ceased to be active. The new blog is aptly named The TwentyEighteen Project.

Much has changed in the six-years that have passed since this blog ended. If you were a fan of this blog when it was active, I hope that you will join us on this new endeavor.

Thanks for being apart of twentyeleven, and we hope to see you on twentyeighteen.

-Will

P.S. Outside of twentyeighteen, I’ve also been active on my personal blog, The Final Summer. Feel free to check out that blog if you want to know what I’ve been up to since twentyeleven ended.

2012.

Well, it’s official. Class of 2011: our year is over.

Yes, it did technically end way back in May, at graduation. But now, it’s finally the class of 2012’s year. They finally are near the end.

Meanwhile, we are still very near the beginning of our new lives. I wish you all the best in 2012, and hope that your endeavors in college, trade schools, work, the military, or anything else are successful.

Keep in touch.

– Will

P.S. I finally get to tag this post as “The College Perspective”…. How exciting.

The Senior Sign-Off:

Bear Bash, a.k.a. the annual school lock-in for graduating seniors, was freakin’ amazing. There was always something to do, and there never really was an awkward “well fuck, this is boring as shit”-moment (except for the slideshow— something about seeing pictures of the same people over-and-over again for thirty-minutes straight isn’t exactly “fun”). The hypnotist was hilarious, and seeing people do some crazy shit was awesome.

ANYWAY, getting back to the original point of this post, I wanted to give you a breakdown of the swag I managed to leave with. You basically get prizes for having a pulse at Bear Bash, but you can also make some cash off of the various games they have scattered throughout the gym.

Here’s what I left with:

  • $25 in cash. I probably could have made more if I kept playing “money pong” (it’s beer pong, basically, but instead of someone drinking after you make a shot in the cup, you get a dollar), or if I went up to the blackjack tables though. I can’t really complain though— leaving with an extra twenty-five Washingtons is better then nothing.
  • a $25 gift card to Wal*Mart (everyone who was at Bear Bash got one of these)
  • a $25 gift card to Conoco for gasoline. (I won this from a raffle.)
  • a pair of cheap sunglasses with “Class of 2011” printed on the side

…and that’s it. In reality, that’s a pretty decent haul, but there were people who left with over $40 in cash, and much, much better prizes from the raffles. They raffled off a laptop, two 19” flat-screen TVs, Blu-Ray players, and other awesome stuff. They also had some pretty odd prizes too (seriously, who wants a gift certificate to a floral shop? or a random plant?) that seemed completely out-of-place. I realize that most of these prizes are donated, but maybe the people donating things could choose more relevant prizes (read: electronics, electronics, dorm stuff, electronics).

Awkward prizes aside, it was an awesome night. I had a lot of fun hanging out with my entire class for the last time. And while I’m semi-consumed with a feeling of bitter nostalgia, I’m also excited about what the future holds. College is a much bigger and better place then high school could ever be, and I would gladly skip over my summer to be living in Bozeman right now if I could. But time, like always, passes at it’s own pace, and we must live in the present regardless of our wants.

So let’s enjoy this last summer before the real world hits us, class of 2011. Let’s hang out with our friends who are moving away for one last hurrah. Let’s tear up Billings for everything it’s worth before we leave the city lights behind. And most importantly, let’s leave for college without regrets, because this new beginning is the mark of a clean-slate; your independent life begins now.

Use it well.

– Will

The Joys of Working in Retail

This post was originally scheduled to be published way back in November, but I never got around to it (or totally forgot about it). The message/content is still relevant though, because I still deal with the same shit whenever I clock in at work. Ah, the joys of working in retail…

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Work sucks. Like, a lot.

Ironically, when this post appears on the blog I will have been working for one hour of a four-hour shift. I will probably be at the top step of a ladder, dangerously reaching for some stupid shirt that somebody bought at some point during the day. Eventually, after grabbing several other items, I will take a cart filled with tons of shit out to the sales floor and begin restocking the items.

At some point during the night, I’ll get a page to assist a customer at one of the cash registers. It’s usually a stupid question that I will immediately respond to by saying, “No, I’m afraid we don’t carry that item in our store…” At other times, it’s just a ridiculous question that no teenage-male should ever be expected to know the answer to– even if he happens to work on the apparel side of a major retail store. For example:

Customer (female): “What is the biggest waisted pants you carry in the store?”

Me: “Well, what do you mean by “biggest waisted”? We carry pants in various waist widths, ma’am, and we also have a plus-size department…”

Cashier (also female): “No, she means like pants with the loosest-fit in the waist-area.”

Me: (Thinking: How the hell am I supposed to know that– I’m a dude! I don’t know shit about ladies pants– they never trained me about this stuff!) “Um… Well, I would probably try these pants, they have a special-fit waist… I would also try these pants over here… If you would like to try anything on the fitting rooms are over there.”

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Along with awkward questions about women’s clothing that I haven’t the faintest idea of what the answer might be, I also get questions about bedding. I find these customers to be especially stupid– honestly, if you as a middle-aged consumer are confused about whether or not a style of sheet will fit your 17-inch deep mattress, do you really think the 17-year old sales associate will have a clue?

NO! He won’t have a damned clue, but he’ll read the packaging and give you his best guess and a reminder of the awesome return policy.

I believe my most memorable encounter with a customer occurred last weekend. A lady was looking at some stainless steel cookware and asked me to bust open a box so she could see the coloring outside of the packaging. We didn’t have a display out, and I wasn’t really aware of our policy on opening boxes for customers to examine merchandise, but I figured that if I resealed it appropriately, nobody would notice.

So we broke open the box, pulled out a single pot, and discovered that it was, in fact, not the same color on the box. Major disappointment. I quickly put everything back in the box and sealed it back up when the lady asked me to grab her two sets of another cookware set (red, like the original set was supposed to be). She then had me grab a red toaster. And a red coffee pot. And a red can opener. And a red toaster oven. And a red crockpot. And a red blender. And a red food processor. Essentially, if it was red and it was in our small appliances department, she bought it. She was buying all of this kitchen stuff for a friend for Christmas, but the friend was shopping with her and would be back soon. She then asked me to put the items on hold and quickly move the three carts of kitchen appliances out of sight. I hastily moved the few thousand-dollars worth of merchandise back to the hold room, wondering in my head whether or not it was “legal” for me to allow a customer to place this many items on hold. I assumed that because she had said she was coming back the next morning AND that she had left a business card that it really didn’t matter that much.

I also knew that I wasn’t working the next day, and that I really didn’t care whether or not it was against the rules. That’s just another reason why it rocks to only work on the weekend.

– Will

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Ironically, I had another customer ask me one of these “ridiculous” questions last weekend. I mean really, would you honestly expect a teenager to know anything about f***ing draperies?!? GAH! People are stupid.


The Boss-Man Returns…

As the unofficial “boss-man” of the twentyeleven project, I find it a bit disappointing that I have neglected to post on here regularly during the past few months. Life, or rather senioritis, overcame me during the past couple of weeks, and I was just too damned lazy and unmotivated to post anything on here.

That, and I was also “cheating” by posting stuff on another side-project blog. (I know, I’m disappointed in myself too.)

LOLcats give depth to emotion like disappointment, ya know?

Fortunately, you can still read the stuff I was posting on my side-blog when I was away from twentyeleven. There’s a bunch of stuff there that only a select few people have seen, so consider it bonus material. It’s like the extra features part of your favorite DVD, without the shitty ads for other movies that are “coming soon.” Where should you go to see these posts? Behind the Scenes: the official blog of OP13 productions. The most recent posts on BTS are mostly about my new camera, the Sony a390, and a few pictures that I’ve taken with it. If you dig back further, there’s other random stuff– some of it more personal, others about “behind the scenes” info involving The Final Summer and even the blog you’re currently reading this on, the twentyeleven project.

( ^ Hurrah for shameless plugs.)

There is no legitimate reason for why this should be here.

That’s all for now, folks. Look for a legitimate, ad-free post soon.

– Will

P.S. Yeah, I totally stole the lolcats thing from Joshua, aka The Professor. This was also done shamelessly.

P.S.S. LEAVE US SOME COMMENTS, DAMN IT! It’ll help us to shape our content to what you would like to see.

Dear WiFi Router:

image

I know you don’t like me, but a friendly “F*** you!” would have been better then just randomly dying. Damned DSL-modem/wireless router combos…

Thanks (or rather “I hope you rot in the ninth ring of Hell, you dirty electronic P.O.S.),
  -Will

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Hey TwentyEleven Crew,

    I know that we’ve been MIA for a few weeks (again), but look for new content to begin coming in on a regular basis soon. The school year is coming to a close, and teachers are slowly lowering the insane workload to a semi-reasonable level (either that, or I’m just getting used to it). Videos and postcasts will be hittin’ the blog soon, so stay tuned…

    –  Will

If A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words…

…then an incredibly awkward video should be worth at least a hundred, right? After watching a few Geico commercials that were made in fifteen minutes or less (remember the “sexy grandpa” one?), I felt inspired to make my own video. Enjoy.

Music Monday: Go Radio

Music Monday is a new opinion column that discusses new releases. In this edition, Will discusses Go Radio’s newest album Lucky Street, which is scheduled to be released on March 1st.

Album art for Go Radio's next album.

As a fan of Mayday Parade’s hit-album A Lesson in Romantics, it would seem only natural for me to also love Go Radio, a band created by former MP member Jason Lancaster. Go Radio’s first EP (Do Overs and Second Chances) sounded like an extension of the musical vibes found in Lancaster’s last album with Mayday Parade (in a good way). Do Overs and Second Chances seems to contain all of the right musical elements that Mayday Parade lost with their most recent album, Anywhere But Here. Whether or not Lancaster’s departure from Mayday Parade affected them so negatively that they effectively lost their mojo is debatable, but his ability to bring the same energy to Go Radio is unquestionable.

However, after listening to a few of singles from Go Radio’s next album Lucky Street (coming soon on March 1st), I feel that Lancaster is trying to lead the band away from his Mayday roots. Lancaster’s vocals seem weak, and the strong, emotion-charged choruses one would expect from this album seem non-existent; his voice still sounds good though, just not very powerful. The singles “Any Other Heart” and “The Truth Is” come off as a major disappointment in comparison to songs from Do Overs and Second Chances, and suggest that the band is moving in a different direction.

I’m hoping that the rest of Lucky Street is less of a disappointment then it’s first two singles, or else I probably won’t buy it. While I can appreciate a band’s decision to move in a different direction and embrace new styles, it seems as if Go Radio is messing with an already perfect recipe. In an attempt to establish their own trademark sounds, they may be ruining what led them to success in the first place.

What do you think Mayday Parade/Go Radio fans? Let us know your opinion in the comment box below (even if you don’t like either band).

We’re Not Finished Here Yet…

If you’ve been checking the blog in the past two-weeks, you’ve probably noticed a lack of fresh content. For whatever reason, it seems that all eight of us decided to take a two-week vacation away from the blog. Regardless of what the actual reason for the extreme lack of new posts is, I feel the need to emphasize that the twentyeleven project is not dead! Look for new posts on the blog in the next couple of days– I imagine the appearance of this post on the blog will inspire the other authors to quit slacking. 😉

– Will

College:

Its interesting to look back and see what my plans for college were seven-months ago. I felt pretty confident about going to Missoula at the time– it seemed like the best place I could go in-state; it had my major (I was seriously considering journalism at the time), the perfect distance away from home, and a “new-place-to-explore” atmosphere. I shared these plans with my friends and family, and even began to buy a few things for my dorm. It seemed like my path was set, and that the only thing between me and my future was senior year.

Fast-forward to today: I’m planning on going to college in Bozeman and majoring in Biochemisty.

Why the sudden change? There are multiple reasons: 1. I decided that journalism was no longer a feasible career choice. 2. Missoula is a very odd town… 3. I don’t like being around mass populations of people who don’t shower regularly, play disc-based games obsessively, and play acoustic guitars in awkward circles.

Those are just a few reasons, but I’m sure you get the picture. 😉

Basically, Bozeman is just better (and they have a really sweet-looking dorm building that I’m hoping to get a single room in).

I’m looking forward to the months ahead. With all of the college activity,  it seems weird to think of myself as a high school senior. It reminds me of something a former English teacher once said while discussing why she enjoyed teaching Sophomores the most. “Freshman are wild– they’re too ‘new’ and still trying to figure out who they are. Juniors are looking forward to being the kings of the school next year, and seniors are mentally lost in the months ahead.” Looking back on my high school career, I find myself agreeing with her. If there is any “normal” version of the high school student, it will probably found in the sophomore class, where the students are too young to be lost in what’s ahead and too old to be excessively awkward.

I’m also a bit sad to let West go. I remember walking through the halls of West on my first day of Senior year, thinking of all the people I was excited to see. When I realized that some of these people were gone (they were former seniors who graduated last Spring), I was pretty depressed. It’s almost as if seniors “fall off the grid” after graduation; they are no longer apart of the enclosed high school community. They are now a full-time member of the “real” world. I realize now that in a couple of months I will join them. I will abandon my younger friends at West and officially enter the “real” world.

I will be one of the “missing” people next year.

“Anyway, I kept standing next to that crazy cannon, looking down at the game and freezing my ass off. Only, I wasn’t watching the game too much. What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.”

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

How will you say good-bye to high school?

– Will