- to know that the word "Sophomore" is Greek for "Wise Fool"
- to realize that you don't know everything but you do know a bit here and there about something;
- to have your marriage disintegrate and realize it's not the end of the world, but a whole new beginning;
- to be admitted to a university later in life, long after you're supposed to be done with school and in the midst of a fascinating "career";
- to be aware and conscious of everything that happens around you, to the point of hyper-vigilance;
- to hang out in online worlds until the real world looks about the same to you as it does on your computer screen and you wish for buffs and flasks for your every day life;
- to have moments in your life that require voice-overs a la "Sex in the City" or "Father of the Bride";
- to do your darndest to be a great storyteller. If you will, a purveyor of wit, wisdom and occasional sauciness.
Real Life -I'm Sheri, and unfortunately, I possess all of the qualities of my list. I'm 40, going into my sixth semester at UNLV as a Advertising/PR major (UNLV calls it IMC or "Integrated Marketing Communications"). I started out as an education major, but looking at the money I was destined to make, I figured it would be better to pursue my lifelong love of advertising. When you're 4 and your parents can't get you to sit still for anything on television EXCEPT the commercials, you have to know that kid was meant to write ads.
I've also been an aspiring writer most of my life. From short stories written at 12 years old, while in bed late at night, all the way up to having the kids harass me for keeping notes about my life all throughout high school, I've always wanted to keep my memoirs up to date and handy. From hanging out with movie stars at 20 years old, to diving with sharks in my late 20's-early 30's, marrying a foreigner (ugh, never marry an import, they're too taxing for words), then surviving the aftermath of being abandoned, I've had a pretty interesting life that I personally don't want to forget the great and not-so-great moments that have transpired along the way. After all, you can't have triumph without adversity first.
I could have easily written my memoirs by 30, but since I didn't really have the Internet savvy back then, I didn't get around to blogging about it until now. So, we've got some catching up to do and it's my hope that this blog will eventually be paired down, edited and published as a record of "an extraordinary, ordinary life".
Along the way, you'll see some references to some medical conditions that I happen to have. One is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. I was a bullied kid. Every day for 10 years was about the same, from the moment I started my day to the moment I went to bed, it was a never-ending cycle of abuse. But, don't feel sorry for me. I don't and I refuse to. We are all made better by the experiences we have in our lives, good and bad, and while sometimes I may have anxiety, I cope day by day with what my life has given me and I will not let it get me down even though I do suffer from debilitating depression at times. When you're dealt crap cards, it's all about picking yourself up by your bootstraps and the drive to keep on walking (even if you have to step in a few potholes along the way).
I also have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is an auto-immune disease. My body is confused, it thinks my thyroid is an invader and my body is doing it's damndest to destroy it. I take Levothyroxine every day to countermand it, so don't worry, I'm fine, just like you are. And, if you don't read up on it, shame on you, it affects a lot of people, but it's not contagious.
Also, you'll hear me talk about Breast Cancer. My sister Linda was diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ) in which she's had a double mastectomy, gone through chemo, lost her hair and she's still got an indomitable spirit along with being one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. She's one of the toughest women I know, so please, take some time and make sure you tell the women in your life to keep current with their mammograms and their regular breast exams. Early detection saves lives.
Characters -On top of hearing about Nan and breast cancer, you'll also hear me talk about my mom and dad who make life so much fun after reaching adulthood and who have been my source for human contact since 'the bomb' went off. They're also my favorite traveling companions as well. Other characters you'll meet along the way are my sweet boy and my sweet girl, who happens to be my nephew and his darling wife who were immortalized in my post called "Recovering" back in November of 2009.
KPAnother person in my usual list of characters regularly featured on the Sophomore is my pal KP. KP is a pseudonym, although my guildies in World of Warcraft will immediately know who he is. Short summary about why KP is a regular and recurring character is that KP was there at ground zero when the bomb went off in my house and my world fell down around my ankles. He was the first person I talked to after the door closed behind my ex-husband. He let me cry on his shoulder and he also relayed to me the ability to recover from a marriage gone bad. He's the guy who introduced me to the phrase "Build a bridge and get over it." He's been in the same position in his life and he's one of my most valued confidants, he's my gut check and he's the guy that I value his opinion most. He comes along with some of my other favorite characters, his three very precious kids, an 18 year old daughter and his 15 and 12 year-old sons.
Ace2011 saw the introduction of an incredibly important character to the Sophomore, and that's Ace, my partner in crime. It's not a stretch to say that Ace is my knight in shining armor, riding up on his diesel-driven steed. Ace's strength and courage is a great story in itself, but how he fits in here is that he's the man who single-handedly pulled me out of my apartment and carried me over his shoulder kicking and screaming to reintroduce me into the world.
Ace is actually the foundation for the sequel to the Eternal Sophomore, which is tentatively titled Love, War and PTSD after the post of the same name. Where the Eternal Sophomore is primarily my memoirs, the stories of my youth, bullies, marital demise and going back to school, Ace helps us shift gears as we start the stories of a healthy, heartwarming relationship that just happens to be between two people with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and just happen to be mirror images of each other as well. A couple going through PTSD together is a new topic to the world, so we're going to try to have as much fun as we can with it, and along the way, I'm hoping I can coerce Ace into writing an entry or two.
Ace comes along on the journey holding the leash of everyone's favorite Dalmatian, the adorable Lucky.
SmithThe latest addition to the crew here on the Sophomore is my editor, Smith. When he took a look at my writing he looked at me and said, "You have one of the most unique voices." So he's volunteered to come along for the ride and correct my very flawed punctuation, clean me up and make me ready for print so I can quote Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame squealing, "Look, look everyone! I'm in print, just like Edna Ferber." He's the man who is helping my dream to be a published author come true. His name will be the one right next to mine on the cover of the book with the words "Edited by" next to his name.
Like the rest of us, Smith is a Sophomore too, being witness to his own marital demise and having a comeback story of his own. Along with being the world's best investigative reporter and freelance writer, when we get this travelling show on the road, I'm hoping he won't be too far from my side as one of my bodyguards and my publicist too.
I'm an avid reader, so you'll hear about my favorite authors such as Sherrilyn Kenyon, favorite books like The Myst Reader and Frank Herbert's Dune and other great books I like to read or stories I like to relate and pass on, such as verses from the Hicks' translation of The Emperor's Handbook. So if you're a bibliophile like me, you're in great company here.
However, this blog would not be complete without it's raison de etre (reason for being), me going back to school at UNLV, the University of Nevada Las Vegas. You'll hear all about my adventures in school with my favorite professor, lovingly known as Doc T, and the rest of the great educators at UNLV.
While I'm on semester breaks, I'll deviate from my regular school entries to cover everything from movies, music, trends, technology and the like, all with my signature brand of humor mixed in.
Online Worlds -
You'll also find within this blog my adventures in online worlds. From Uru Live to There.com to World Of Warcraft, I've made amazing friends, had heartwarming adventures, taught 3D model skinning, but most of all, I've developed a sort of "Ginnyism" (Ginny was my grandmother, Virginia) about dealing with the people (who I consider to be my extended family) in the online worlds I have inhabited over time. Ms. Ginny, as she was known, kept to some very simple tenets; to always listen, to always keep the secrets that needed keeping and to show compassion to everyone, but always keep a good attitude and keep the practical jokes flowing. The most important thing that she did do is that she kept everyone fed, so you'll see me talking about food quite the little bit, not to mention my ever-constant quest to find the nutritional value in everything.
Lucky for me, through online worlds, I've really met some great people. I've even been mentioned in Dr. Celia Pearce's book, "Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds" where I'm known under the pseudonym "Maesi". I never knew I'd be included as a little piece of subject matter in a book, but I think it's a neat claim to fame. Doc was nice enough to show my artwork I did for There.com in her book and mention my contribution to the Uru Live community, the D'ni Games. Inside Uru Live I'm still part of the crew of The Cavern Today Podcast where I'm famous for my Op-Ed pieces aptly called "That's Just Me Of Course" or TJMOC for short.
Currently, my online world's passion is World of Warcraft. As for WoW, currently as of this writing, I have seven level 80+ characters:
- Relyimah - My Night Elf Druid main. (She turned 3 in November)
- Truheart - Night Elf Hunter
- Jystice - Human Warlock
- Derisa - Draenei Priest
- Jystine - Night Elf Death Knight
- Nivetine - Blood Elf Warlock
- Naturgirl - Troll Druid
I went all the way through the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion with my old guild who is known as KVN. Yes, I've got my Kingslayer title, but I don't really care about titles. To me, it's the people who make up my guild family that are the most important, so when things went sideways, I broke away and created my own guild known as The Unseen and I'll be describing my adventures as a guild master and fellow WoW sufferer, along with telling the stories of the wonderful folks who decided that being a team was more important than the quickest route to loot.
But that's what's up with my little bit of wise foolery.
Here are some notes to help you make your experience a little more enjoyable here...
- Never be afraid to comment. However, I do insist that you keep your words kind, gentle and tasteful, because you never know, I may make you step up to the table and eat them.
- Remember that this blog contains MY point of view. It's not always going to necessarily mesh with yours, but as I respect your point of view, please do me the same service.
- Please use the checkboxes at the bottom of each post to give feedback.
- If you're mentioned in a post, smile! It means I'm thinking of you!
- If you see the link to the posts on Facebook, make sure when you're done reading you give me a like or a comment to let me know you're reading!
- Don't be afraid to follow my blog. It's ok to be a follower. It doesn't mean you're sheep, it just means you're keeping up! I don't mind! Share the Sophomore with your friends, I'll probably make them laugh or roll their eyes or something silly.
- Last but not least, all of the goodies mentioned in my blog, well, these posts are my writing, so that means that you can't reproduce any of my posts, in whole or part, without express permission from me. That said, if you want to quote me or share one of my stories in a public venue, just ask and give me your reason why. I'm a really nice person and I respond well to positivity, so if you ask nicely, you'll probably get a nice reply. Most of all though, please give me credit for my writing if you do decide to share. They are my thoughts you know.
Thanks so much for being a part of the adventure.