Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What an Adventure...

Dear Readers,

I am about to experience one of those major changes in my life, the last one of which occurred four years ago. I'm going to a new school. Not just that, I'm going to college; not just college, either. Tomorrow I leave Washington to go to Kings Point, New York, to attend the US Merchant Marine Academy. I will report on Thursday, July 7, as a "Candidate", two weeks after arrival I will be elevated to the status of "Plebe Candidate". The Academy promises that I will have very little free time, especially as a Plebe. To cut to the chase, I'll be blogging less often; much less often, if at all, for this first trimester at the Academy.

My readers, it has been my joy to have blogged for you over these past four years. I started blogging while I was attending my final year at the Saint Thomas Choir School. Back then, I didn't have much time to blog: free computer use time was limited to half an hour Saturday evening, and an hour and half Sunday evening. Yes; some of us entrepreneuring students figured that we could also use the Computer Lab on Friday evenings when the other students, the nurses, and teachers on duty were all downstairs watching a movie with the lights off. Not recommending current Choirboys take that liberty, but I sure enjoyed the time making and editing digital newsreels with my brother, JT and MP; and building up what I considered my "online empire"- my blog, a general website, and a Youtube account. I've heard that the Choir School has since modified its student computer use policy to reflect the modern digital age, but my memories remain in the past.

My first week at St. Anselm's was filled enough with anxieties of fitting in, or standing out in a good way. I never had to stand in the front of the room as the new kid to introduce myself, but word about this particular afterschool pursuit of mine made it around the block. When it came to what made me stand out among freshmen at St. Anselm's, it was my blog. Over the summer before Freshman year, I had gone on a paid-for three week venture with the Choir School, and over the course of five or so blog posts I delineated our daily travels, highlights, and mishaps, including that night half-spent at the Waitrose supermarket waiting for a replacement bus. Side note: The next day, my brother sent home a postcard with Windsor Castle ablaze- how fitting to the occasion. So in Freshman year, Sophomore year, I blogged just about daily. It was like a challenge to be a daily journalist. I got to blog on a variety of subjects circling my life: cameos on classmates, and "hit reports" on how tests went. It took two years to shed that "new kid" title; I was informed by a class leader that you're a new kid until a newer kid arrives, but the epithet was just tongue-in-cheek: I had already left my mark on the Class and the School.

Then came Junior year, and somehow, I found myself busier than ever. It's probably because I found myself as a two-sport man these two past years at school. You can see on the sidebar on my blog how the quantity of my output decreased. But I must say, though, that the quality, in my opinion, rose precipitously. I got into a grander reach of topics, including politics, and my running gaffe on April Fool's Day. The constraints on my time pushed me to hunker down and get into "the zone" when I did blog. I found that I'd spend more time per post than I had given before. So while I let my regular production of my Youtube video series JangooVision fall to the wayside, I kept up on the blogging.

Jangoo- where did the name come from, you may ask. I had a classmate, and we were not really on amicable terms. In English class, each of us were asked to design a concept and put it to words. This classmate had created his universe of hand puppets, a la silent coyote, and named this universe "Zoltan", which I found out to be a Hungarian composer's name. Now my automated fast food restaurant concept needed a name. Not wanting to have to ask to use the name, I found one to use. Jangoo: I found the name one Sunday while reading through a St. Thomas Church Bulletin. Jangoo is an Australian organist's first name. As I told a classmate who is a fan of my JangooVision videos, I own that name like a trademark. On that note, I've followed the Library of Congress' guidelines to ensure that my work falls under copyright protection laws, even though my official registration is pending.

During my high school years, my blog had filled a niche market: same day community feedback on school happenings. Since my Sophomore year, teachers and administrators have come to me, gently reminding me that my blog was one of the first search results for topics ranging from CUMUNC and WAMUNC, Model UN Conferences, to tributes for an alumnus. My blog got me a position on the Priory Press, which allowed me to access readily a plethora of back-issues, which have served as inspiration for a number of this year's blog posts. Blogging and Youtubing, as one particular fratriarch of four brothers would attest, really makes me someone to remember.

Thank you to all my readers, and I hope to blog again.
Atticus Sawatzki

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