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Monday, May 09, 2011

HS Intern Interview...

From my online interview questions for the high school tag team bloggers Phil & Ted 

1) At what point in your academic (pre-academic?) career did you realize that you had a talent for writing?

While I’d love to capitalize on the “pre-academic” part and say that I actually wrote a few pieces while I was still in the womb, I don’t think you would believe me. Basically, I’d have to say that I started to seriously develop my writing due to my fourth grade teacher. Then, in seventh grade, I had a very funny English teacher, so I began writing humorous pieces. Recently, as a high school freshman, I started publicizing my humor writings in many ways, and was told that my writing, in terms of amusement, was just below watching a cat chase a laser pointer (so, of course, I started a blog). I suppose some of you would call this a talent, but for all I know I can blame both this and my bad teeth on genetics.

2) Do you write for any other media other than the blog? (School newspaper, English composition class, paid essay-writing services for fellow students, wall graffiti...)

Yes, there is a portion of the US federal tax dollars that is allotted to professional graffiti artists, and I think I have really found a niche in train boxcars. Ha ha, not really. So far, I’ve only written for my English class, speeches, my school’s annual literary magazine, and my blog. I would love to write for many other venues, such as my school paper, community paper, and marketing venues (such as advertisements. Something like, “This product has been recommended by your doctor/dentist/favorite celebrity, and is everything you need in life [insert guy, talking fast, with legal disclaimer] except for the various upgrades and other products we sell”).

3) Why blogging? Class assignment, experimentation, fame, fortune, just for fun...?

Well, one of my various classes used a blog, and when I participated, I thought, “Wait, this is online? So, like, anybody could read this? Like, even the life forms that may or may not exist on Mars could read this (assuming that they have a cafe with free wi-fi)? That’s horrible! We must have totally ruined our galactic reputation!” So, naturally, I set out to remedy this (using the principle that too much of a bad thing will eventually become a good thing). It’s an enjoyable experiment, because it provides readers for my writings and uses all sorts of technological skills. I’d love the fame and fortune, but unless the aliens are controlling our minds and don’t mind being the butt of jokes, I don’t think that is too likely at this point (except for, “Alien spaceship descends, fries teenage blogger, and leaves!”).

4) Any goals to turn this into a future career and if so, what area?

I have no definite goals for my career as of yet (aside from not being a technical writer, but, as you, Kauaimark, pointed out, the pay is good), but I would certainly enjoy making humor writing, or another aspect of original humor, a career (such as comedian, author, or politician. You know, “I promise to fix the federal deficit,”-what a knee-slapper).

5) (Just curious...) How are your grades in the other non-literary subjects?

Well, I’m not sure if I should tell you this, but my school adopted a system where all of the grades start with an  A: Amazing, Above average, Almost above average, Average, A bit below average, A fair amount below average, and Are you joking? 

Seriously, though, I have a 4.0, and I’m in some pretty difficult classes (such as: P.E., DA (department assistant or district attorney, I forget which), and lunch).

6) Any questions you might have for me?

Well, I noticed you started blogging way back in 2004. How old ar-I mean, what got you to start blogging, and why/how have you kept it going for so long? On a different subject, what are three things I absolutely have to do before I leave high school?

From me:
Well the exact number isn't important but there are enough clues in my blog to guess that I'm older than your parents but probably younger than your grandparents.

When I got married (to my H.S. girlfriend, BTW) after graduating college, I started a handwritten journal of our life together. I think the journal lasted a couple weeks and forgotten after a couple months. Too many other things happening with life, work, kid on the way, etc.

Fast forward 30 or so years and I received an invitation to try out something called "Blogger". At the time I was just checking what "blogging" was. It's turns out that "online journal" was an apt description. My original attempt was to revive the personal journal concept when life happened again and I wandered into a totally alien career change.

...and so my life as "Just a Substitute Teacher" was born.

On a different subject, what are three things I absolutely have to do before I leave high school?

1) If you haven't already, learn how to use credit cards responsibly. If you can't pay the balance(s) at the end of the month, don't use the any credit cards until one month after you've repaid all the balances in full. Pay with cash or go without. It will save you loads of grief in the future. Trust me!

2) Realize that your parents are probably smarter than you think they are. Don't think you can't ask for and get good advice. 

3) Everything else should be pretty well covered by #1 & #2

7) ...and finally, is there really a "Ted"? If so, his writing style is indistinguishable from yours. Very suspicious.

Yes, there really is a Ted. I, Phil, run the technical aspects of the blog, but Ted is a great humor writer that I knew of from school, so I brought him to the blog, and, rather than creating another blogger account and author, simply added his name to mine to keep things simple. Normally, I would have entertained your theory, but I could come up with no motive for taking on two pseudonyms. It’s hard enough remembering that have to sign comments and e-mails as Phil, and I’m sure I’d mess up if I had a third name to keep track of.

8) Is there anything Ted would like to contribute to the interview or would he rather stay the silent partner?

Hello world. It is I, Ted. I exist, and stuff…Well, I considered ending it right there, but I guess I have a little more to say. My story ismuch the same as Phil’s. I really began to enjoy writing during elementary school. 

Additionally, I have always had a hunger for some good humor (I mean, those guys on C-SPAN are the best comediansaround. They can keep me entertained all day). Soon, I realized thatif you mix writing with a little humor, you get something that people(or at least toddlers, family dogs, vegetables, etc.) like to read.Therefore, I thought Phil had a great idea when he mentioned creatinga humorous blog about high school. So I joined in as a co-writer, and,since then, it has been my goal to write deeply philosophical pieces regarding the important issues of high school life. However, I do not quite have Phil’s prioritization skills nor ability to write substantial amounts of work at high speeds, so I am a rare compliment to the rest of the blog. But looking forward, I hope to write much more, especially considering that millions of people around the world spend their time clicking the refresh button on our blog-page. So that’s me, but please, just call me Ted.

This is also from Ted, but is not part of his answer to the question:

Thank you for taking an interest in our blog! I have had a lot of fun looking around your blog, and I'm glad someone enjoys reading Some High School Blog as much as I enjoy writing for it.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a picture of Phil and Ted. Keep up the good work.

Phil and Ted said...

Well, Anonymous, if you check out the 'About the Writers Page,' you'll see that we blog anonymously (as you post your comments this way). I think that a picture would defeat this anonymity. Sorry.

- Phil