Jeff’s Journal: Greatest Hits

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading all my old English journals from the past four years of high school. It’s been really amazing to see just how much I’ve changed over such a relatively short time. With each successive year, I wrote longer and more meaningful journal entries. So in order to condense some of the good things I wrote, I’m going to take the time to type out the best of the best from all four years. The entries that follow are the ones that I like best and are memorable to me. Some are funny, and some are thought-provoking, but they all represent who I am or who I used to be. All comments will be written in red, within square brackets, just so I can help fill in some details in some places. Anyways, be prepared for a long blog entry, because I have a lot of entries that I like. Enjoy.

Snakes – Sept. 10, 2001
Snakes are really cool. I like them, even if they’re poisonous. Some people hate them, but they are so cool and slithery and they wrap around your arm like a bracelet except a bit heavier. The only part I don’t like is when you first pick them up and they start peeing on you or something. Maybe they’re really nervous or scared or maybe they’re just trying to get lighter to make an escape or something. Who knows. But I still like snakes. I remember when my friends and I caught some red-bellied snakes and put them in a little tiny sand pit with some sand walls then left. I don’t know what we were thinking. I mean, red-bellied snakes burrow through dirt! We came back and wondered how they got out. Anyways, I like snakes.
[I’m still wondering how they got out…]

How Someone Knows When They’re in Love – Oct. 17, 2001
Well, they obviously have to know at least a bit about each other. They also have to like each other and not be trying to drop a safe on the other person’s head. They should have some of the same interests or personalities because otherwise what’s there to talk about? They should want to be together.
[Ahh yes, one of my first philosophical dealings with love. I thought I knew just what love was – but if only it really worked this way…]

Valentine’s Day – Yes or No? – Feb. 11, 2002
I don’t think we should have Valentine’s Day. I think it’s just an excuse for wives and girlfriends to nag us guys to spend a ton of money to buy something for them. Also, if someone likes you but you don’t like them, they’re trying to hint that you should get something for them, and you’re trying to act like you don’t get the hint. Valentine’s Day can be good, but most of the time it’s just so all females will get flowers and cards and stuff. Although I like those little heart candies.
[Amen.]

Poetry – Apr. 2, 2002
Well, I like writing poems, but reading them is really boring. Usually the poems you read are like, “Roses are red, violets are blue,” and dumb stuff like that. There’s no point to reading it, becaues it has no meaning. That’s why I only like writing poems. The poems I write have meaning to me, even if no one else gets them. So I really hope that we don’t have to sit in class listening to Mr. G read a ton of boring poems – unless they’re funny, of course. Then they’ve actually got a point to them. Anyways, I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll just stop. With a pop. I’m on top. Ugh, I can’t stop rhyming!! What awful timing. I guess I shouldn’t quit my day job. I’ll change my name to Bob. And eat corn on the cob. Aaahh…I’m going crazy!! At least I’m not lazy. It’s getting hazy. I’m purple. Good, nothing rhymes with purple.
[Ahh, the sheer insanity. Gotta love it. I think I missed my true calling as a rapper…]

I am Jeffrey’s Sock – Apr. 10, 2002
Hello! I am Jeffrey’s sock. I have a twin, on Jeffrey’s other foot. I’m black, and most of the time I’m sitting inside Jeff’s shoe. We’ve gotten to know each other very well. We exchange fabrics, tell jokes, show pictures of my sockettes back home on the floor, and he shows me pictures of his two little slippers, Stinky and Smelly. One thing I don’t like, though, is that he feels the need to jab his shoelace into my side every once in a while. Anyways, enough about him. The washing machine is a real tumble. It just goes around and around and fills up with water, then around and around again. Very boring.
[Hey, you can’t blame me for the horrible entry. I did the best with the stupid topic I was given. Sheesh.]

Homecoming – Apr. 16, 2002
Well I can’t remember a real happy time about coming home. I mean, if you’re at camp for a while, when you get home, it’s good, but I never remember jumping up and down in happiness because of it. It’s just sort of a “Woohoo. I’m home.” thing. But when you get into your bed after sleeping on basically a wooden board for a week or two, it feels like you’re sinking into a washing machine with Downy detergent. You can sleep forever – until the spin cycle starts.
[Oh man, I just love that second-last line. “It feels like you’re sinking into a washing machine with Downy detergent.” Priceless.]

Goodbye Journal – June 12, 2002
At this time, a song comes to mind, from the Sound of Music or something. “So long, farewell. Auf wiedersehen, goodbye.” And I would like to say this to my journal today. It’s been a great year. I’ve shared moments with my journal that I will never forget; I’ve grown very fond of the flipping of the pages, the writing on the blank pages, the happy, cheerful smile on my journal’s face as he greets me once again. And now, those moments will never be shared again. And it’s all Mr. G’s fault. You will pay for my journal’s pain. He will get you back. Maybe he’ll suddenly slam shut on your nose when you’re reading him. Or maybe the bookmark will “accidentally” fall out when he’s sitting on the shelf. Watch your back. Have a great summer!
[I’m not really sure what to say about this one. The insanity is just too intense for words.]

Temptation – Sept. 18, 2002
One word: chocolate. Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate fudge, chocolate brownies, chocolate ice cream, whatever. Anything chocolate around my house disappears quickly. But then there’s popcorn. Not chocolate-covered popcorn, but I love popcorn. Especially hot and buttery, with a touch of salt. Popcorn disappears quickly too. Actually, I think all food tempts me. I go into the kitchen, and it sounds like a stadium full of people; all the food calling out my name. But as long as it’s at least semi-healthy, it’s alright. After all, chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which is a vegetable. Popcorn is made from corn, which is also a vegetable. Therefore with every bowl of popcorn or chocolate bar that I eat, I’m serving myself a delicious blend of healthy, nutritious vegetables, and I make sure that every health nut knows that too.
[Not the best writing, but I certainly like the thinking behind it. And having now experienced popcorn covered with white chocolate, I must say that I love that too.]

How to Know When You’re in Love – Oct. 23, 2002
Well, I can’t say that I’m a counsellor for this subject, but hey, let’s give it a try. Well, love is when you can’t stop thinking about that person, and of course not out of hatred. You go out of your way to be around that person. You do things for that person that you wouldn’t do for other people.
[Well, the thinking is a bit shallow, but as I think about it more, perhaps this is how we should be loving God. If only we couldn’t stop thinking about Him, and went out of our way to spend time with Him. If only we did things for Him without even giving thought to ourselves and our own desires. Perhaps when this is applied to another human, it’s more of an infatuation than love, but that’s only because this sort of thinking places them in where God only should be positioned. Anyways, it’s just a thought.]

I am My Pencil Case – Nov. 5, 2002
Hi! My name is Peter the pencil case! Life as a pencil case living under the oppression of the evil tyrant Jeffrey is difficult. Oh sure I get fed my daily share of pens and pencils, but when the digested shavings get loose in my stomach, I get all black inside. I am thrown around the room like a football, drawn on, thrown in bags with little air, and neglected for days. And what is my reward for being faithful to my master and not running away? Do I get to sleep on his warm bed at night? No! I sit on his agenda on his desk, hour after hour, doing nothing except opening up when he reaches down my throat to take my food and spill it out on paper. You know, you might be wondering how I’m writing this, since I have no arms. Come to think about it, I have no idea how I’m writing. Anyways, I wish I could run away and be free, running in the tall grass over at St. Patrick’s [the school next-door to BCC], instead of living under Jeffrey’s cruel oppression. By the way, Stephanie’s pencil case is really good-looking.
[I really just like the imaginative entries that I come up with, even if the journal topics are pretty stupid and pointless. Oh, and let’s just ignore that last sentence.]

Valentine’s Day – Yes or No? – Feb. 11, 2003
Yeah, I think we should have Valentine’s Day, but that it shouldn’t be mandatory. Every year, I hear stories about guys with a girlfriend or a wife, that ends up getting in trouble because they forgot to get flowers or chocolate for them. And the excuse that “The chocolate would ruin your diet” never seems to work. Even though you though about their health and well-being, they seem to think that you never thought about them at all. So my advice to guys with wives, girlfriends, or significant others is to buy flowers or something, because they can’t gain weight off them, and they can’t complain about them. Well, unless they’re fake or dead, or picked out of their own garden. A good plan, though, is to buy flowers and chocolate, and then give them the flowers and eat the chocolate yourself. Yum! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
[Somehow I doubt the non-mandatory Valentine’s Day idea would work – although it certainly is good thinking. But a better idea would be to just stay away from those females in the first place…]

The Month of March – Mar. 3, 2003
Well not much happens in March. March Break is pretty much the highlight of the month. I mean, St. Patrick’s isn’t much of a holiday, because we don’t get a day off school, and there’s no birthdays in March. Well, except for Vince’s, but like I said, there’s no birthdays in March. I guess it just doesn’t really feel like March because there’s still tons of snow outside. If it were at least going away, that would be nice, but no, it’s still falling. Okay, I wrote a poem about March:
March is cool
‘Cause we get off school.
We can swim in a pool,
Unless it’s…er…frozen.

So don’t be a mule,
And don’t you drool,
Don’t be an April Fool,
‘Cause March is cool!
[*sniff* Touching…]

Goodbye Journal – June 9, 2003
Well, this is the final journal of the year. I’m really going to miss this journal. Well actually, not really. But I thought I should say that, since my journal is sitting right here and I don’t want to hurt its feelings. I’ll always remember those times we spent together – running in the grass, going to movies together, writing in English class. They’re all such great memories – well, all except writing in English class. I guess I’ll miss English class – not because I miss reading and writing and stuff, but because of my pen. Yes, I love my pen. So I say – goodbye journal.
[I’m not exactly sure what I was smoking when I wrote this…]

Storms – Sept. 19, 2003
I hate storms. They’re so boring, because you’re cooped up inside your house unless you can get a ride to somewhere else that’s dry. And while I’m stuck in my house, if there’s strong winds, my satellite decides to shake and there’s a bunch of interference on the screen. I think the anchor must be loose or something, because I don’t think that’s supposed to happen. And of course, if you have paranoid parents like me, the whole place gets totally unplugged for fear that lightning will blow up our computer – even though the hydro wires are underground. So basically, every time my parents feel a drop of rain, we return to the Stone Age and sing chants around a bonfire in the living room. Sometimes my dad will kill a deer or a wild boar, and we’ll have a feast to celebrate our completely voluntary power loss. So, as you might conclude, I prefer it when it’s sunny – I don’t react well to fresh meat over an open fire.
[The sad thing is that this is exactly true – perhaps not with the whole bonfire thing, but it’s pretty close to being accurate anyway. One drop of rain and the entire house is unplugged, and we have to huddle around a candle for warmth…]

My Interim Report – Oct. 23, 2003
Well, this year so far, Jeffrey Alan John Hughes has performed exceptionally well. He has excelled far above the rest of the class in every subject, and continues to advance toward perfection. Mind you, in doing so, he has caused all his other classmates to commit suicide because they don’t feel wanted, but that is a small price to pay for the relentless pursuit of perfection. I hope he continues to do so, even though class size has been dramatically reduced. I predict that Jeffrey will continue to excel far and beyond perfection, and that the world will be in awe of his intelligence and his superhuman strength. As well as his incredibly good looks of course, but that goes without saying. Now excuse me while I revel in Jeffrey’s coolness.
[When I actually got my interim report, it was strangely different in content than what I wrote here. I’m not quite sure why.]

A Walk in the Woods – Nov. 10, 2003
I walk. As I walk, the autumn breeze plucks multicoloured leaves from their perch, and they drift lazily toward the ground. The rustling of the fall trees can be heard, a soft whisper among the cascade of leaves falling. The ground is hard and cold, and as I walk it crunches beneath my feet from the leaves underneath. I feel the gentle breeze on my face, and a chill runs down my spine. It is autumn, the time when jackets come out and red noses run freely. I smell the scent of hamburgers, as neighbours barbecue their last before packing up for the long winter. I walk, and my mouth waters.
[This was supposed to be an exercise in description – using as many adjectives and adverbs as possible, and dealing with the five senses. I really just put this in, though, because I like that one line: “It is autumn, the time when jackets come out and red noses run freely.” Sounds like something from a National Geographic documentary…]

Thoughts on Macbeth – Nov. 20, 2003
Well first I must say that Macbeth is pretty stupid. I mean, these three nasty ladies appear from nowhere, tell him a few prophecies, and then disappear. First of all you should never trust a woman, because they’re usually up to no good, and secondly, why would you trust three women that look like they’re homeless? I mean, they probably stole Macbeth’s wallet as they were leaving. So if I had been Macbeth, I would have seen becoming the Thane of Cawdor as a coincidence and run away if I ever saw those weirdos again. So yeah, that’s what Macbeth tells me – first of all, don’t trust homeless ladies in the middle of nowhere, and secondly don’t trust ghost figures coming out of a bubbling pot with the eye of newt in it. Even if what they said came true, it ultimately killed Macbeth. And it wouldn’t have happened anyways if he hadn’t killed the king.
[I’m going to have to look in my history book and figure out whether they actually had wallets in Shakespeare’s time.]

“To Obey God, We Must Disobey Ourselves” – Feb. 4, 2004
I agree with what Herman says here. I’ve had many times where I had to choose between doing what I wanted to do and between what I knew was right. It might not have been some loud voice saying, “Jeff, clean your room,” or whatever the situation was, but I knew because of my conscience that it was the right thing to do. I sometimes wish that God would speak in a loud voice. I mean, that would pretty much scare me into doing the right thing. But even though He normally doesn’t do that, sometimes acknowledging the face that it is God’s will makes it easier to do. Too often I think a lot of people see the two opposing sides as two choices rather than a conflict. We weight the pros and cons of, say, lying or not lying, instead of identifying the fact that lying comes from our own sin nature, and telling the truth is a command from God. It’s not a suggestion, it’s an order from someone higher up than us. So sometimes it’s easier when you know that God is in control and He commanded us to do that certain thing. If we obey Him, since He is in control, He can reward us for it. Which would you rather have: rewards of people or rewards from God?
[I don’t know what else to add here. Sometimes what we’re faced with isn’t a black-and-white issue, so realizing that God commanded it doesn’t always work. But in those cases, sometimes the Holy Spirit can guide us into the right path. If it’s a choice between two good things, we can ask Him for help and direction, and He will certainly give it to us. I faced a decision like this just a few days ago, and as I read this, I thought back to just how God helped me. I found that the more I thought about it, it wasn’t even just a choice between what was good and what was better, but rather what I wanted to do and what I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to do. And that helped me – when I accurately realized the situation for what it was.]

Valentine’s Day – Yes or No? – Feb. 11, 2004
I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s completely pointless, and is just another excuse for girlfriends and wives to fulfill their very sinful materialistic desires and get presents from their boyfriends and husbands. It’s like, “Ooh, tell me you love me and get me a huge, expensive present or I’ll sit in my room and cry for the next 40 years because you don’t love me. And then I’ll tell all my girl friends and I’ll ruin your reputation so you’ll have to fly to China to find someone who doesn’t know about the incident.” You see? This whole Valentine’s thing is just blackmail, an excuse for females to use the males to get what they want. The only part of the day that I like is the chocolate and the cruel satisfaction I get from not getting somebody something, who was expecting something from me. It might be sadistic, but it’s sure a lot of fun. But that’s just making the best of a bad situation. I still say, “Down with Valentine’s Day!”
[Obviously my views on this subject haven’t changed much over the years. After reading this to the class, however, I believe I was pelted with pens, pencils, and erasers from all the females in the room. Oh, and cheered on from all the males. ‘Tis a hard life.]

Poetry, Valentine’s Day, and Friday the 13th – Feb. 13, 2004
Today is the day we know and hate,
Even though it’s very great.
Friday the 13th is right before
Valentine’s Day and other more
Fun days for single men,
Who can’t seem to get a woman.

I think that I should point out
That Valentine’s is all about
Romantic thoughts and red hearts;
They are all parts
Of Valentine’s Day, which is not mean,
Quite like Friday the 13.

Tomorrow is a special day,
For man women who very well may
Get a card from their boyfriend,
And plan a romantic weekend.
I think Valentine’s is kind of sappy,
But at least it makes the women happy.
[This is me showing off my sensitive side. Well, it would be if I actually had one. But honestly, I think I did pretty well with the topic I was given. Like, come on, “Poetry, Valentine’s Day, and Friday the 13th”? Pitiful.]

Report Card Comments – Feb. 25, 2004
Jeff is an exceptional student as usual. He has excelled in all his subjects and shows no signs of relenting. He has gone so far up that I’ve had to stop giving him marks and start taking marks off everyone else. On his English exam this year, I was astounded to find that he had 168% for the final mark. I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but Jeffrey has obviously shown that even conventional math is not a barrier for him. I am considering resigning my position and letting him teach the class. I could learn so much from him. Unfortunately my obsession with myself causes excessive pride, so I have decided to fail Jeff. Go away smart kid, we don’t want you.
[Surprisingly enough, this was almost the exact wording used on the report card that followed.]

Goodbye Journal – June 7, 2004
Well, this is the last journal topic for the year. I’ll have a nice new journal for next year, so I hope this journal doesn’t think I’m cheaing on it. If it does, the Grade 9 journal must be deeply scarred by now. Yes, it’s the end of the year, and summer is quickly coming. I was so looking forward to frolicking in the summer grass with my journal, but the evil Mr. Gillmore has made that impossible. Our relationship must forever end, and soon enough I will be forced into a relationship with another journal. I have such fond memories of writing in here, and alas, it is over. And I just used the word alas, which is pretty cool. I guess that’s a good way to end it off. With a final act of desperation before the summer breaks us apart forever, I will scream out, “Alas!” Okay, that doesn’t make sense, but alas, I careth not. Forsooth, mine Shakespeare hath cometh back from being banish├Ęd. Oh man. I need this summer badly before I go more insane. Goodbye journal. I will miss you for never.
[What can I say? We spent all year studying tragedies in English class…]

An Autumn Day – Oct. 14, 2004
I walk. Among the falling autumn leaves, a graceful deer gently feeds on the dying brown grass, eating its final full meal before winter storms in full force. The calm wind slowly twirls the leaves into spiral trajectories, tumbling downwards in chaos until coming to rest on the forest floor already littered with fallen comrades. I look up at the receding sunligh and see a speckled robin flying overhead, rushing back to prepare its nest for the imminent snowfall. A darting movement catches my attention. A chubby brown squirrel quickly darts to and from his home in the hollow trunk of a tree, gathering fallen acorns from the various trees around him. This is autumn. The trees shake off their dying leaves as the forest animals prepare for the oncoming winter. Scurrying creatures dart back and forth. Leaves fall chaotically. And yet, there is harmony in the autumn season. And so, I walk.
[I just like the way this is written. It was the same idea as in one of the previous journal topics – write with as many descriptive words as possible. For some reason, I started both of them with, “I walk.” I guess it just starts things off forcefully with a short sentence. Anyways, I just like how this flows. It paints a picture in my mind of a cool autumn day. I guess that’s what it’s supposed to do…]

My Response to My Report – Oct. 26, 2004
Well, my worst mark was in English. Therefore, this journal topic must be excellently written to bring up that mark. I really wish English was an open course. But whatever. If my lowest mark is a B, I’m not too worried. Yeah. I can’t think of much else to say. What else can someone say about an interim report? It only reflects like a quarter of the year anyways. So it’s not really reflective of much. Alright, I think I’m basically done. I have nothing else to say. I am done. Nothing to see here, move along, folks. Alright, I actually still have quite a lot of space to fill up. So I will talk about bean burritos. Burritos are actually quite good. You’ve missed out on life if you’ve never had a bean burrito. Let’s all have a moment of silence for the burritos lost and eaten in the Great Mexican Fiesta of ’87.
[…I’m hungry.]

If I Could Disguise Myself as Someone Else… – Nov. 8, 2004
If I could disguise myself as anything, I would disguise myself as a giant frog. I really have no clue why. Frogs are pretty cool, and their throats blow up like a balloon when they croak. It’s quite nifty. Anyways, people would never recognize that it was me. As far as I know, I don’t look like a frog. Nobody’s every told me I look like a frog. So it’d be the perfect disguise. People would say, “Hey, look at the giant frog sitting in the corner over there.” They wouldn’t even suspect that it was a disguise, hiding a person inside. So there I would sit, watching the world through amphibian eyes. I’d croak my life away. Wait. I wouldn’t have a life for very long if I croaked. Oh well. I guess that’s one of the downsides of being a frog.
[Don’t look at me. I didn’t come up with the pointless topic.]

What I Would Change About Christmas – Dec. 9, 2004
Well, yesterday I wrote about how I like the food at Christmas. But, seeing as I didn’t read last time and I don’t think I’m reading this time, I’ll now talk about what I would change about Christmas. There’s not enough food. I mean, sure, some people go all out and have massive feasts, but there’s always room for improvement. I think all cities should be required by law to put on a massive feast for everyone, free of charge. It would have to be first-come, first-serve, but I know I’d wake up at the crack of dawn to get a free turkey dinner. It’d be amazing. Massive mounds of turkey and stuffing as far as the eye could see. I’m sure turkeys would be honoured to give up their lives for such a noble cause. The highlight of the meal would be a water bomber that was filled with gravy unloading its contents on the piles of food below. I mean, then you would get all those people that get freaked out if anything on their plate touches anything else, but they should all be locked away anyways. There’s nothing better that could bring a tear to your eye than a hundred tonnes of gravy pouring onto a hundred tonnes of turkey below. Wow. I’m hungry.
[One of these days, I’m going to set this whole feast idea up and make it happen. I really just want to see the water bomber dump the gravy. As for all the turkey I’d have to have, I’d just rack it up on a Visa bill and then quickly flee the country.]

Life and Death– Jan. 19, 2005
Death is an interesting thing. Everyone faces it at one point or another, and yet people don’t like to talk about it. Death is a natural part of life – the last part – but no one likes to face the fact that someday their body will be put into the ground and covered up, never to be seen again. There is, though, something that reminds us of the frailty of life when we are faced with the death of family or friends. No matter how much we try and bury it – excuse the pun – it keeps resurfacing since it is a natural part of everyone’s existence here on earth. Why do people mourn? It’s hard to say. When a Christian dies, the death should be seen as simply a passageway into the beginning of eternal life. Death is not an end; it is merely glue that sticks our temporary life on earth to our eternal life in heaven. It is a bridge, over which we can pass on into something better. The only reason people have for mourning is because the person is missed back on the first side of the bridge. It’s understandable and shows the effect that person had on others, but it must be overcome as we realize that life here on earth is not all there is. Commencement is the end of one thing and the start of something new. It’s time we as Christians start facing the reality of where we’re really going. It’s too easy to get so caught up in this life that we forget about the next one.
[I don’t think there’s really anything I can add to explain myself better. I’ve faced the reality of death as I’ve seen the ones I love – both family and friends – pass on. But while I don’t think mourning is wrong, dwelling on it and not overcoming it becomes wrong. We need to live in victory and hope, and refusing to accept the truth of death prevents us from doing just that. The fact is that Christians should see death as a joyful event. We’re really passing from death to life, not from life to death. Death means separation, and here on earth we are more separated from God than we will be in heaven. Though we may miss the ones that go on before us, we can live in the glorious hope that one day we will follow on behind them and join them in eternal life. And that’s not something to mourn about.]

The Ultimate Valentine – Feb. 14, 2005
My ultimate valentine would be a day of eating chocolate. I don’t really care for all that mushy love stuff. I’d rather hear a sincere, “I love you,” any other day of the year than a fake one aided by chocolate and cards. So I think the most important reason to have a “special someone” is to get lots of chocolate from them. This isn’t as easy for guys, since they’re usually the ones expected to give it. This is quite sexist. I think one year, girls should be the ones that have to give chocolate, and the guys should get a break. So yeah. My ultimate valentine would be eating mounds of chocolate until I can’t eat anymore. Or perhaps it would be just having a regular day. Oh well. Valentine’s Day is a good thing. It shuts the females up for a little while anyways.
[If you ask me, Valentine’s Day is a way for the insecure females out there to feel secure in their significant others for a little while longer. Because obviously everyone who gives you presents truly loves you. Anyways, I’m still working on that Valentine’s Day switch, but I don’t think it’s happening anytime soon. I think it’s pretty much just an ingrained fact of life – all thanks to St. Valentine and his wonderful idea to just give people nice mushy love notes for no reason at all. Something like that, anyway.]

Who I Would Like to Be in the Easter Story – Mar. 8, 2005
There’s a definite difference from who I would like to be and who I would actually be in the Easter story. I bring up this point every year, but it’s an important point to bring up. While I’d like to be John, the one Jesus loved and gave over protection of Mary to, or one of the first people to see Jesus after He was resurrected, in all actuality I’d likely be someone like Judas, or the Romans, or maybe Peter. I might be Thomas, the one who doubted Jesus was alive until he actually saw Him. I think I’d most likely represent Peter, though, with great ambitions and motivations, but crushing when the pressure came. While I don’t say that with any pride whatsoever, the story doesn’t end there. Jesus later on forgave Peter three times, restoring His love for him. That has to be one of the greatest feelings ever, knowing that somoene still loves you even after you fail them. If anything, I would like to be Peter at the moment of forgiveness.
[We’ve all let God down in the past, and the most amazing thing about the Easter story is that in spite of that, God loved us and forgave us anyway. He didn’t just give up and say, “Well, you screwed up, and that’s just the last straw. Have fun doing what you want to do, and I’ll go and find someone else that might do better than you.” No way. He showed us His ultimate love for us in spite of our failures – past, present, and future. So although I might be Peter in the Easter story, denying my Lord over and over, the end of the story cancels out the earlier failures.]

Spring – Mar. 22, 2005
Spring, spring is a wonderful thing. It makes us dance, and makes us sing. Spring lets us get out and run, so everyone can have some fun! Except people without legs. I suppose they can still sing, unless they’re mute as well. But anyways, I like spring. Spring means that winter is finally over and that summer is almost here. Of course, the actual start of spring, the solstice or equinox or whatever it’s called, doesn’t mean much. We’re officially in spring now, but there’s still snow on the ground. But pretty soon the flowers will come out, and we can all trample them as we have fun outside. Spring is the start of new life. All the baby animals are born, all the flowers grow again, and all the trees grow back their leaves. All the bears wake up from hibernation, and they’re really hungry, so they go out and eat people. Yes, spring is all about life. Everyone gets all happy again and the murder rate goes down as people get along with each other again. I have no statistics to back that up, but it’s true. Spring rocks.
[It’s true. During the spring season, the murder rate decreases dramatically from 32% to 0.1%. Of course, that’s offset by the death rate as a result of bear attacks, which rises from 1% to 65%. And I back up all these statistics by saying that they’re true – because I got them straight out of my head.]

Dear God – Mar. 24, 2005
I can’t even put into words what you allowed Your own Son to go through for me. There’s just no word to describe it. And the fact that it was all because of love for people who didn’t even love You back is amazing. Here we are down on earth doing everything we can to get as far away from You as we can, and You sent down all You are as one of us, so that we can know You and be united to You. There is nothing anyone can do to repay You, and the only thing left to do is give everything we have. Thank You for everything You’ve given me. You’ve taken me out of my captivity and given me an entirely new life and a new nature in You. Yet here I am, a human, still living much of the time back in the Enemy’s camp, living like I was before I was freed. I’m just thankful that all this failure has already been covered by Your grace, and though I shouldn’t take advantage of that, I’m so glad I have that grace to fall back on when I fail. It’s Christ’s death that picks me up again. I wish I could just completely change and never sin again, but I can’t do that without Your help. I just thank You that You’re working on that. You haven’t given up on me, and that’s a miracle in itself. You’ve given so much to me, and You’re sitting up there just waiting to pour out even more as soon as I ask for it. There is nothing better than You. Thank You.
[I could write a thousand pages over and over, filled with the words expressing my love for my God, and it would never even be close to matching the intensely personal perfect and eternal love that my God has for me. And anything I can say about the love for my God is tainted by my sinful lips. There is just no way to express how thankful I must be in order to cover the forgiveness God gave to me – but God doesn’t require us to completely thank Him, because He is perfect, and we are not. But since I can never repay Him for what He’s done, I must just do my best by giving all I have to Him. That’s my entire life. I owe Him my life, and so I hand it over to Him to control me for His will. Of course, that’s a daily process considering I usually take it back quite quickly, insisting that I get my own way, but God never gives up on me. Anyways, I could go on about this forever, but I’ll restrain myself for now. Needless to say, forever still wouldn’t be enough time to completely cover everything.]

Class Reunion – 2030 – Apr. 26,2005
As I arrive, I notice many of the old familiar faces. And old they are. Bethany, my cousin, is a homeless bum who arrived first because she had nothing better to do. After all, she decided never to get married. Her brother Jordan, on the other hand, is the owner of a successful recording studio, and is sporting an expensive suit and tie. Talking to him is Stephanie, who is trying to get him to support her phony organization – unfortunately, I think he left his chequebook in his other pants. Meagan, on the other hand, flew back all the way from India, helping orphaned children, to come to the reunion. Those poor helpless Hindu kids. They’ll end up as frogs in their next life. As I look around, I see Mr. Gillmore, at the ripe old age of 74, complete with walker and false teeth. What little hair he has left is completely white. Standing next to him is Bethany Stewart, who works at a retirement home in the area – the same one that houses her own father and mother. Holly couldn’t make it because she was attending a massive rock concert, and Lana is over in Sweden or Switzerland with Jael, skiing the Alps. Last but not least is Jon, now a star basketball player and the only remaining white person in the NBA. And I, of course, am the multimillion dollar bank owner. Yes, this should be an interesting party.
[I’m really not sure why some of these people became what they became, but needless to say, I accurately reflected what they will become. How do I know? Well, this reunion occurred in my universe that I made up within my head, where everything becomes what I make it. Therefore, I must be right. Well, actually there was one change that I would make now that I think about it. Holly wouldn’t be attending a rock concert; she’d be playing in the rock concert.]

Dear Death – May 5, 2005
Dear Death: You’re such an uplifting, encouraging person. I really enjoy how you take such satisfaction in taking people’s lives. You’re so popular; everyone’s just dying to meet you. In fact, who really wouldn’t want to get to know you? Without you, everyone would be so old and wrinkled that you wouldn’t be able to see their faces because of their forehead skin. You keep the globe from becoming overcrowded, and you provide food for worms and flowers. But then, just to make it even, you kill them too to make food for other worms and flowers. Without you, the world would be an ugly place because there would be no flowers and everyone would be running into things because they couldn’t see due to their forehead skin. Some people depict you as the Grim Reaper, the guy in the long hooded robe and the scythe. But really, does it ever get hot in that thing? Don’t you ever exchange it for some nice Hawaiian shorts? Or do you have some sort of coolant system in there? And what’s with the scythe? Why would you have a need to use it when people are already dying? And what do you do with the bodies you collect? It must be awfully hard work dragging dead people around all day. Maybe you should consider hiring out some contractors to help with the workload. You really do too much. Anyways, write back soon, but please don’t come visit. Yours always, Jeff Hughes.
[Death and I are quite good friends. We write letters back and forth all the time. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had a chance to write back in a little while. I think he was suffering from heatstroke and had to take a break.]

2004-2005: The School Year in Review – June 9, 2005
This school year has been crazy. I’ve learned more about friends I already have, and met some new ones too. I’ve really changed a lot in the past year, which is a good thing. I actually grew up a bit, and horror of all horrors – I might have even matured! Overall, I really think this year has been great. It’s not quite over yet, with graduation still coming up, but I think it’s safe to say that it will just add some more fun to an already great year. Looking back, I think a lot of the emphasis of this year was not really what I learned in class, although I faintly remember a few things in that category. But the biggest thing for me was what I’ve learned about God and my relationship with Him, and also about my friends and my relationship with them. Prayer times at lunch time played a big part in that, I think. It’s helped me to discover my true identity, who I am in Christ. It’s shown me just how valuable friendships are and the importance of having strong Christian friends that I know will back me up during the hard times. I can’t say that all of this was learned at school or during classtime, but here is where I’ve found the friendships I want to keep.
[Touching, isn’t it? It’s true, though. I learned so much in my Grade 12 year, and I grew so much spiritually and socially. I figured out a lot of things about life in general, and how I need to live in order to be a success in God’s eyes. I think this journal topic really sums up what my heart is about. I mean, on the outside, I joke around and have a lot of fun. Most of the entries here show that side of me – I like my sense of humour, and I make sure to use it. But a lot of people seem to forget that underneath this exterior, I have a heart with feelings and desires. Perhaps my heart is bandaged up, broken and remended several times over. But it still beats, and this year I really discovered who it beats for. I learned that the most important thing to make certain in my life is that my heart beats for God, and God alone. He’s become the central focus of my life, and I want it to stay that way. Of course, on top of that, I found some great Christian friends that I know have certainly helped me learn these lessons, but even they’re not as important as getting to know God and letting Him work in my life. So this journal entry summarizes the year quite well. It was a year of learning and growing, and hopefully that will continue into the future.]

Goodbye Journal – June 14, 2005
Well, we come to the end of another year, and alas, one final journal topic remains before I close the tattered pages of this aged volume of literary work. This journal represents a year of my English life, and though most of that time was spent catching up on needed sleep, this journal has become very near to my heart. I feel it is only right to remember the times we’ve shared one last time. There were topics on crucial issues such as the fate and future of bellybuttons. There were inspirational words of wisdom. There were fascinating narrations of rafting adventures. There was the ever-popular series of what I like about people, which will be the first pages burned. Yes, all in all, it has been a great yaer. These legendary tales will not remain dormant, but will slowly diminish into embers and ashes as the flames flicker into the night sky. Yes, it is an emotional moment. As we honourably cremate your memorable pages, let me be the first to say, “Well done, good journal. I might miss you once in a while.”
[A fitting end to four years of torture in my life. Well, okay, I actually grew to enjoy writing in my English journal, but now I have a blog to keep me occupied with writing. Let’s just say that, though the pages won’t be burned, I’m more likely to go back and read this than go and read my journals of all four years. I don’t miss English class that much, after all.]

So there you have it. This represents four years of my life. I hope you enjoyed it, because I know I certainly loved looking back. Although most of the selections I picked out were funny, I also tried to find the few that were serious in nature – the ones that made me think. It’s really awesome to see how much I’ve changed over the past four years. I’ve certainly grown in maturity, however unlikely that may seem. But I guess I just liked my journals too much to not share them with others. If you didn’t read through this whole thing, that’s okay. I will. Reading through it brings back so many memories – some good, some bad, but still memories all the same. But anyways, before I get all emotional over the times shared, I’ll stop. I might shed a tear for English classes I’ve had. Yes, they were just that horrible.

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