In Tribute To A Legendary Author

When I was little my Grandmother took me to see a doctor. He wasn’t your typical white coat, stethoscope-hanging-around his neck, clipboard-in-hand doctor. Actually he wasn’t a doctor at all. In fact, I’ve never really met him face-to-face and he’s never met me, although I do check-in with him as often as possible. His last name is Geisel, first name Theodor, but he doesn’t go by either. He goes by Dr. Seuss.

Like most other preschoolers I learned to read with flashcards, ‘Hooked on Phonics,’ and some old wives tale method my grandmothers taught to my parents. After the classic Goodnight Moon, Dr. Seuss’ books were some of the first books I read all by myself and I’ve loved them ever since. I found it fascinating that there was a little creature watching over the forest named the Lorax, animals in a zoo from A to Z, and much to learn from The Sneetches and Other Stories. Dr. Seuss taught me that it was okay to be whimsical and different, rather than fit in. I mean, how many authors do you know who make up words in a rhyming fashion?

As a young kid I was shy, but with a bit of a tomboy streak in me. Just because I was a girl didn’t mean I was going to love floral print and flamboyant pink, although my mother seemed to think otherwise. I enjoyed running through the rain barefoot, squishing, squashing and sloshing through muddy puddles while my Grandmother watched from her sixth floor apartment window and laughed. I liked playing sports even if I wasn’t all that good.

I used to hate it when my family called me weird or crazy, their horrified expressions etched into my head. Now I grin like an idiot, take a deep bow and say, “Why thank you sen-jor! I do what I can!” I pride myself on being an individual even in the most minuscule of ways. Sometimes I even went out of my way just to be so. In elementary school I once tried to convince a boy in my class to change his name because our initials were T.G. and his last name was Griffiths (no relation) — I had to at least try! I don’t go to such extremes anymore, but I still strive to be original and I still hate normal’. Normal is boring.

Dr. Seuss once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” These are words I try to live by every day. At the age of seventeen, I’ve already got my high school graduation present picked out; it’s Dr. Seuss’ last book, Oh, The Places You Will Go! (Along with a few crisp hundred dollar bills.) Personally, I don’t know exactly where my life is headed quite yet. But what I do know is that I will succeed, “98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.”

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Signature of Dr. Seuss

Signature of Dr. Seuss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This I Believe

This I Believe was a radio show broadcast during the 1950s on National Public Radio (NPR) hosted by famous journalist Edward R. Murrow. The purpose behind it was to have Americans describe what truths, ideals, and/or morals they held dear in 500 words or less. Some famous contributors to this movement included First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, #42 Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson, 33rd President Harry S. Truman, and Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. Here I have a list of ten ‘exploding’ beliefs which I created during a school sponsored summer program college essay class with my fabulously eccentric teacher Lauren Anderson.

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Image: I Believe

“Never has the need for personal philosophies of this kind been so urgent.” Edward R. Murrow

  1. I believe in a close-knit family. I believe every and anybody can be your family. I believe that as long you have people who love you as you are, you are home.

  2. I believe in tomboyish tendencies. I believe that just because you are a girl doesn’t mean you have to wear flamboyant pink. You don’t have to paint your nails religiously to impress boys. I believe watching a soccer match whether live or on the television, screaming for Brazil to win in your faded over-sized New York Yankee T-shirt is a Sunday afternoon well spent.

  3. I believe in self-expression. I believe that all your ideas should be written down as soon as possible. I believe that keeping a journal on a regular basis is a bit too much to ask for, but even one entry is a great way to reminisce on the good and bad.

  4. I believe in fun being found in anything. I believe that laughter is the best medicine. I believe a person crying is often an awkward and uncomfortable situation to witness. I believe putting a smile on even one person in the rooms face defuses the tension.

  5. I believe in trying new things at least once. I love to eat.

  6. I believe being different is normal. I believe that there is no such thing as perfect. I believe that ‘normal’ is boring. I believe in being yourself to always keep them guessing.

  7. I believe in Dr. Seuss. I believe in made-up words, in a rhyming fashion. I believe there are very few and far between authors that should be considered as great authors or even legendary. He is as much a part of my childhood as Blues Clues, PBS, Harry Potter, SpongeBob, Angry Beavers, and Aaahh! Real Monsters.

  8. I believe procrastination will be my downfall.

  9. I believe in Loser by Jerry Spinelli. I believe we all have quirks that make us who we are. I believe the imagination of child is an amazing thing to behold and lives within even the most cantankerous of seniors.

  10. I believe life is a mystery. I don’t know where I’m going and I’m strangely not all that worried. I believe the story of my life has yet to be completed. I believe it will be an epic tale for a select few to have the privilege to contribute to and observe.