Happy New Year!

Hello and welcome to 2015! My name is John and I will be your host for today’s article. Well, I took off November and December to focus on other projects, and I must say I haven’t made much progress in any of them except for the rest of the articles in January. So, hooray for me. Anyway, I think I’ll give you a personal update as I did for last year’s New Year article. So let’s have at it, shall we?

A lot has happened this past year. For one thing, I’m an English major again. As I’m sure you can tell by my ever-masterful prose, writing is my lifelong passion, second only to video games and food. Creative Writing was the major I chose at Virginia Tech, but then I dropped out, took a year off, and then moved back to Nevada to take classes at community college. I changed my major to Japanese because I felt it would be more attractive to potential employers. When I transferred to UNLV, though, I discovered that said university does not offer a Japanese degree. I quickly changed my major back to English because I don’t care what degree I have anymore; I just want to get out of school. In the meantime, though, I’ve become quite involved at school.

To say the least.


I now have the honor of serving as president of Shine City Project, a volunteer group that cleans up Las Vegas. I teach Japanese to club members on Friday nights and I also have a cushy job as the chaplain (and vice-president) in SCP’s sister organization CARP; I get to offer the prayer before we eat and whatnot. Aside from this involvement at UNLV, I’m also involved in the school district as a high school substitute teacher. I’ve only been able to sub three times this semester, but it was a load of fun each time.

My favorite subbing experience was when I filled in for orchestra. I got to play through the concert pieces with first period, and then I got to help out the other classes with group and individual practice. It was really satisfying to go around the room helping various students with their parts. I can’t play bass but I was able to answer the bass players’ questions anyway, so that was cool. The second-to-last day of school before winter break, I subbed for Latin. I was really lucky that the teacher had prep first period because it gave me time to translate the assigned passages into English, so that I could help the students during class. This was not very good news for most of the students, since they didn’t want to be there or do any work. During my first class of the day, I greeted the students with, “Salvete, discipuli et discipulae!” A student in the front row bowed his head and sighed, “Oh, no.” I smiled at him and said, “That’s right. You can’t slack off today!”

But don’t let that anecdote fool you. I’m not at all a slave-driver. Just the opposite; I have a pretty loose style. As long as the students don’t break any bones or burn down the school I’m happy. In fact, I make them call me John. The juniors and seniors really like the idea and shout my name with gusto, but the freshies and sophomores are afraid to call me by my first name, so they call me “Mister.” It’s like they’re afraid it’s a trap or something. Such is the way that school works. They go all those years butting heads with condescending authority figures and then all of a sudden there’s a guy who wants you to call him “John.” And I’m here to help them realize that rules are a total racket. It’s brilliant, really. I think every libertarian should be a teacher at some point–it’s a win-win. You get to mock the system from within, and then cash your socialist paycheck two week later.

Anyhoo, not much else has been going on lately. Right now I’m hard at work on my third manga and I’m publishing it on Groundhog Day. Look forward to that. Overall I’d say that my 2014 went pretty well. I underwent a great deal of personal growth and I constantly see more ways to grow even further. It’s amazing how God works in our lives. At any given time He’s doing about 10,000 things in my life, and I’m aware of maybe two or three. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for me. Wait… we’re already five days in? Oh my gosh, next thing you know it’ll be Valentine’s Day. And then my birthday. Holy moly, I’m going to be a quarter century old this year. Mary Shelley was 21 when she published Frankenstein and Alexander was 30 when he conquered Persia.

Well, I have a cat who cuddles with me. That’s something. Happy New Year, everyone.






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