August 15th, 2009

Ice King, Adventure Time

Memories of a Computer Lab Typing Class

There was one summer I decided to take a class inbetween my 8th and 9th grade. The class was keyboarding, and I didn't like it, mainly because it seemed menial. I mean what is the point in doing an exercise that made you type "fffff fff fff ff f ff fff fff ff f"? I remember thinking a bunch of f's next to each other looks like a fence.

I'm getting off track, sorry. Anyways, the class was held in the now low-tech computer lab. There were wires everywhere, the monitors were big blocks sitting on top of metal desks, and there was little wiggle room in the aisles. It was also warm. The school didn't use air conditioning during the summer, and being stuck in a room full of loud computers really gets warm. 8 hours a day for about 4 or 5 or so weeks. It was uncomfortable. Thankfully the class was small, only 5 of us and the teacher.

We had a typing program that looked like a modified version of Q Basic, only instead of blue and white it was yellow and white. It timed us, made a beep if we mistpyed something, then graded us on our WPM's. One time I cheated by typing "a a a a a a a a a a a a" over and over during one of our freeform exercises. These never counted for anything, but as long as our score wasn't abysmal, say 20 or lower, we were considered ok.

There were daily assignments that we got, and when we were done we got to do whatever we want. We brought in cd's (Smash Mouth was played all day), videos, and, of course, we got to play on the Internet. Now keep in mind that this is the year 2000, and the Internet was still in its imfacy. Flash was considered relatively cool, java was the thing, and website designers were able to master the art of CSS and HTML. I was an Internet fanatic back then, as well as a Pokemon fan. Yes, the anime. I collected VHS tapes as soon as I could of the series, and I loved the snot out of Psyduck. He's still awesome.

Anyways, I was young, but I remember going to a fan site, so I could see some screenshots or some synopsis of an episode. There was a link on the site for something called AAML. I had no idea what that meant, but it was Pokemon related, so I clicked on it. What I saw impacted me for a while.

The site was called AAML, which is short for Ash and Misty's Love, and I was a Misty lover back in the day. I knew those two would make an awesome couple, and I squeed when I saw this fansite. There were a ton of great fan art, some ideas about the characters, then the fan fiction. Now, as I mentioned before on here, I don't care for fanfiction now. I think 99.9% is fanservice junk. However, I was young and unexperienced. I thought it was art. The story took place during the first season and continued through the second one (though Brock as in it because the site doubled as a Tracy bashing site. Heh.) and it was in script form which made it easy to read. I was entranced.

The story had potential. There was actual character development (unlike the anime) and while it had some mild romantic themes, it also kept the humor and made the relationship seem natural. It was art, in my opinion. This may have been the start of something in my life. Here I was, alone in a corner of the room, reading fanfiction (romance no less!) about an anime, between two fictional characters. Nerdom had never reigned more supreme then at that moment.

The story was called "Realization of Love" and was copinned by a couple of people who called themselves "Ash" and "Misty". I looked on the wayback machine for giggles and grins, and it could not bring the site up. Sad. Then again, I'd probably end up reading the material again if it were still up.

Why do I bother telling you these things? I don't know. Maybe I want people to remember that I am a romantic guy at heart, or maybe I wanted to talk about the genesis of my geekdom. Perhaps I just wanted to recount for no reason whatsoever.

All I do remember, though, were those overly warm days, cold metal desk frame cooling my legs, reading something and smiled.

I want that feeling back.

The Allengator