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hi. i'm feeling much better now. i was just at my kroger, working a 6-close. i went in there mad at the world, and now i'm feeling fine. i like that place. it's so cheerful. i had worked there sunday night, but i didn't go in until 8, so tonight was the first night i really worked with anyone. all the people who knew me were so happy to have me back, and it put me in a good mood. jennifer, the one girl who i actually did stuff with outside of work (not including the one work party i went to and the year i played basketball with holly), was really excited. we had so much fun teasing each other. she does almost as many stupid things as i say, so we were both full of ammo to tease each other with. and there were new people there too, who i didn't know, but when i'm not overwhelmed by things, i can make a pretty decent first impression. well, maybe not the one i'm looking for. i'm sure if you asked them to guess my age, they'd put me right around jennifer's age (she's 16), and they think i'm a goofball, but god, that's fine. compared to what the people at that fucking internship must think about me, goofball is spectacular. anyway, a little update on my life, since all we've had lately is a lot of hatred:

first, my grades. i emailed my programming teacher to find out what i got on the final, and i actually aced the thing. the problem was that she had me written down as not turning in THREE homeworks. when there are only 9 or 10 homeworks total, that can really pull your grade down. i know i did every one of them. i was supposed to email them to her, so i can't see why i wouldn't have turned them in. i went through my sent mail folder and found one, but i couldnt find the other 2 anywhere. i could find the assignments themselves, but i couldn't find the email to prove i had sent it in. i sent her the one email and attatched the other 2 as text files, wrote out a little explanation, and she moved me up to an a-. she said she couldn't give me credit for those 2 assignments becuase i had no proof i had turned them in, and neither did she, but she gave me full credit for the one. so i don't know where that puts my gpa. it probably won't change it all that much, but every little bit helps. and at least i know that had nothing to do with me not going to class. it makes me feel a little better.

now, columbus. jim emailed me again. i haven't answered yet. i don't know what to say. and how about molly? i wasn't happy when she got the job, but now i am thrilled that she has it. she is my only link to christine, and every time i talk to her or email her, i grill her about everything at my store, and i get answers that sometimes mention christine's name. and even when they don't, they can make me feel good. like she told me that jane was asking about me, and how my internship was going. and helen asked too, at a completely different time. it's just nice to know that they haven't forgotten about me. it would be even nicer to know that christine hasn't forgotten about me. maybe that will come in the next email. i miss christine. a lot. i think i'm going down there to visit molly one day next weekend, but i'm not sure. and alana was talking about some great sale they're having next week, so i told her if she went there, she'd better send me a full report, and she promised to. i miss jeff too. and i miss talking with anthony, rex, teena, and deshawn about music becuase they don't have a problem with me and rex being white. if we know enough to hold our own in a conversation, then we like the music, and it's ok. i miss christine.

next, kroger. i guess i pretty much covered that. i still haven't worked with holly, but she did come in today to get a paycheck. she said hello to me very friendly-like. she can be really fake, though, so i'm not counting on her not hating me, but i've come to the conclusion that i really don't care. i don't. there's enough people in that place who like me that her hating me isn't going to ruin my day. and if she doesn't hate me, well that's great too. holly has a friend named ashley, who i met today. holly talked ashley into working there too. ashley seemed to really enjoy the conversations i was having with jennifer. she couldn't stop laughing. ashley is hot. i don't care. my mind is elsewhere (columbus...)

k, how about my age? strange topic? yeah well there's this law, that you have to be 18 to sell alcohol, which means that jennifer can't scan it. so she called me over there to scan it for her today, and the customer does a double take. she asks 'what's the rule, do you have to be specially trained to scan it or something?' we tried not to laugh, and told her it was just an age thing. she said that's what she thought, but was i REALLY older than jennifer? i told her yeah, 4 years. you could tell she wanted to know how old we were, but we let her struggle without telling her. finally she says 'so you're [me] like 18 and you're [jennifer] like 14?' we just laugh. after a while, we finally tell her we're 16 and 20 and she's amazed. she says there's no way we look 4 years apart, and there's no way i'm 20, and she would guess us both at about 15. i am insulted. i know adults don't realize that they could be insulting me becuase they all WANT people to think they're younger than they are. they expect me to take it as a compliment. so i shrug it off. and later on, eileen, a lady who i worked with before, for quite a while, was talking about my age and says 'yeah, i remember that you're older than you look... what are you, like 18?' someday, this will all be a compliment, but for now, i kinda wish i could just look/act/sound older.

and finally, my internship. i suppose i've already mentioned that i hate it. i think i'm going to actually discuss it calmly now, instead of screaming hate to the world. the first day was just orientation. me and about 10 other people, all adults who had come from other companies, were getting oriented. it was boring. this wasn't your typical, minimum-wage job orientation. this was a full-blown, 8.5 hour orientation, and it was boring. i am bad at dealing well with boredom. i was handling it for about 4 hours. then, the guy starts discussing benefits and insurance and all this stuff that, as an intern, i'm not elligible for. boring, i could almost handle. but boring AND irrelevant is just too much. i fidget and play with anything i can find to play with. i'm not doing it on purpose; i want to make a good impression, but i can't help it. i concentrate on sitting still, and then the next thing i know, the lady next to me is asking me to please stop using my new pen to play the drums on the table. it's something different every time, but i wind up distracting them way too many times to count. the guy giving the speeches notices, and starts making comments to the group as a whole like 'if you have questions, you can ask me later, becuase i think loser's about to explode' and 'i'm trying to hurry becuase i don't want to know what would happen if loser got any more antsy.' i feel 7. these people are old enough to be my parents, but i'm not supposed to be showing it. this is my first real job, and i have to act like a real person. being 7 just isn't going to cut it. the next day, it just gets worse. i am in a small department-just me and 12 other people. all except one are over 30. the one is a hot girl, 25, named anna. my first problem is that my boss (whos name is jim terry, which sends my mind off to columbus every time i hear it) planned on me spending the first week learning the basics of c++. i tell him, as politely as possible, that i programmed c++ for 2 years in high school, and a year in college, and i pretty much know the basics. he is taken aback, and finally says well, he wants me to learn them anyway. he gives me a book covering only basics, and tells me to do some of the sample exercises. i flip to the last section, do a few of those, and show them to him. he wants me to do more. i do every fucking exercise in the book, and i'm done partway through wednesday. he says there's no way i could have read the whole book. i tell him of course not! but if i can do the exercises without reading the book, doesn't that mean that i already know the information from the book? he says that's probably true, but why don't i go ahead and read it anyway. i suspect that this man had some sort of lesson plan already set up for me, and it involved spending a week learning c++. i could have programmed him a fancy video game in c++ and he would have still told me to read the book about the basics. i hate reading. i especially hate reading boring books. and i ESPECIALLY hate reading boring books about things i already know, and didn't really care about the first time i learned them. finally, partway through today, he tells me i can start learning the basics of html. fuck. what the hell did you go to school for if your employer is going to force you to spend hours pretending to learn stuff you already know? why didn't i take fucking german or something irrelevant like that? i don't bother to tell him that i have a little html background. instead, i tell him i'll look for html tutorials on the internet, and i do. i also keep another browser window open for whatever else i feel like doing-emailing molly and alana, looking up baseball stats, checking the weather, reading about people who said whitney houston was high at the bet awards... yeah, pretty much anything besides html. i get fidgety. i hate doing nothing. i hate getting paid for doing nothing, becuase if i wasn't getting paid to do nothing, and if it wasn't benefiting my future, i would much rather be doing something. anything. so that's bad. what makes it worse is that besides not having a job, i am just not fitting in socially. this is intimidating, to me. i sit around doing nothing all day, and i feel guilty, like if someone catches me, i could get in trouble, even though nobody has told me to do anything i haven't already done. everyone there is older than me, and i know the second i try to talk to anyone, i am going to sound 10 years younger than i am. so i keep my mouth shut, and they all think i'm some sort of very quiet snob. and so far, every time i've opened my mouth, something stupid has come out. like i go eat lunch with anna, brian, and some others from my department. they talk and talk and i'm dead silent the whole time. finally, they start talking about a man and i'm not sure who they mean, and i'd like to learn my department. i want to ask if his desk is in the next cubicle over, to make sure i'm thinking of the right guy. but what comes out is 'does he live in the box next door?' they all go silent and stare at me. it's not funny. it's not cute. it's fucking strange, and they don't even understand what i'm trying to ask. i miss big bear, where half the people there can translate me. they make the people who didn't understand feel like they're the dumb ones for not getting it, instead of me being dumb for not saying it right. i try to explain and they still don't get it becuase i can't quite find the right words, and they think i'm talking about living on the street in a box. they think i think they're talking about a homeless man. i say never mind. and that's the first time most of them heard me speak. what a great impression, huh? i wish i could just talk... when i dress up all professional, i can make myself look a little older, and as long as i keep my mouth shut, i might pass for 20. so far, i've decided anna is fairly nice, and so is brian, a 30-year-old from my department. brian asks me to go on breaks with him and some others. i guess becuase i'm new, they're still watching out for me. and anna is hilarious. she jokes with everyone, and she jokes with me too. my reactions are always very serious becuase i don't want her to laugh at me. laughing at me makes me younger. but her joking with me makes me feel a little more like i fit in. but all in all, this internship sucks. i feel way too young, and i'm too terrified to try to talk, and every time i do, something goes wrong. i get yelled at for acting black, or (more often) i just get lots and lots of blank stares. i don't have a job to do, and i can't stand doing nothing. and i don't know how to fit in in a professional environment. i do know how not to fit in (if you have white skin): don't discuss bet with anyone.

ok i think that's that. i have the weekend off from my internship, which is good becuase i could use a break from the hate it fills me with. i work with holly tomorrow, so maybe i'll get a better feel for what she's thinking about me. and i am going to continue to anticipate emails updating me on christine and the columbus grocery gang. oh yeah, and someday i'll probably answer jim. not tonight though. i'm going to bed.