reading at desk

That time my high school principal thought yelling would be a great way to inspire me to read

I’m sure I’m not the only person that has random, unimportant memories of long-ago events. I keep remembering a time in high school where my high school principal yelled at me for borrowing a library book.

It was his idea that on Wednesdays we’d read a book for 22-minutes during homeroom. Or as the contemporaries called it, “Activity Period”. What a dumb, soul-sucking name.

Wednesday’s “activity” was silent, sustained reading, which begat the soul-sucking SSR acronym straight from some equally wretched “workgroup”.

I had finished whatever book I had been reading about ten minutes into the allotted time. Not being a psychopath, I wasn’t keen on just starting right back on page 1. So I asked to go to the library, was granted permission, and walked downstairs. After a few minutes I picked up another and walked back upstairs.

Just as I exited the library, the principal turned to me and yelled, “Where is your book young man?” It was in my hand. In fact, it was the only thing I had on me. In retrospect, I probably should have asked if he had just been staring at the sun and couldn’t see it. Maybe he thought I had come downstairs for tea.

“Just finished one and came to get another,” I said, holding up the book. I didn’t stop walking.

Then I remember turning around and standing there watching him yell and stomp around because I wasn’t actively reading. No one else was around. It was just him and me in the hallway. My only hope is that the expression on my face was clear I thought he was insane.

He told me I needed to be reading “right now”. Short of sitting down in the hallway, I didn’t know what else he expected me to do. I’m sure I just said “Okay” and walked on.

I also remember the feeling of losing all respect for the man at that moment. Now, all these years later, the fact I even remember this at all irritates me. Literally every time I finish a book or pick up another I think, “Should I call him and ask if it’s okay that I finished a book today?” What a terrible thing to think.

Today I look back on this and think three things:

  1. We know task-switching leaves “residue” on our brains. You can’t go from, say, cooking a new recipe to replying to emails without your brain thinking about the last thing you just did for a while. Most estimates are about 15 minutes to fully switch tasks. So in a 22-minute reading slot, about 7 minutes are actually useful. What a waste.
  2. I’m sure the whole exercise was designed to check a box at the end of the school year to say, “The kids read a combined 9 hours of sustained independent reading.” And really, isn’t that sad for any activity? “Over six months, we spent 9 hours reading!” I’m sure it’s also the only way they could guarantee some people even read anything at all.
  3. The most damning legacy of our schools is that they are centers for knowledge transfer, not a place for instilling a love of learning. Events like this are why fully a third of Americans admit to not reading a single book in a year.

We say that phrase “love of learning” and a lot of people roll their eyes. It is a wimpy phrase. But we should really think about it as “Teaching people how to do hard things with our minds”. Everyone has to do this to get ahead. You want to learn how to write a new programming language, drive or operate a new piece of machinery, install something, offer a compelling report, manage your health, learn new exercises, or design a new tool? You’re going to need to have sustained and focused effort at that task. It’s during processes like these to improve ourselves or our work that we have displayed an ability to grok new things. To learn!

Reading just happens to be the most common activity people do that requires a little thought. Watching TV, for instance, is passive. Reading requires comprehension of the words and, in most cases, imagining the events and people involved in your head. Like how driving to the store down the street is passive, but walking there is active. Neither is likely hard, but one is certainly more active.

For most adults who don’t enjoy reading today, we’d do well to ask ourselves why. I now recognize I struggled to find books I actually enjoyed reading. It took me over 10 years to realize I liked biographies and memoirs. I read one in 10th grade — a book I picked up from a Walden Books, but didn’t make the connection that I liked it because it was a memoir. I started reading more from time to time, but it took me another ten years to figure that out and learn that fiction just isn’t my jam. In retrospect, I don’t recall there being a lot of historical biographies on the shelves of my school library. Maybe there were, but I just hadn’t figured that out.

But militant yelling and drilling don’t help a 15-year-old, either. Maybe my principal was having a bad day. I’m sure he thought it was my responsibility to make sure I had a book to get through all 22 minutes of reading. But there he is, in the back of my head spitting fire every time I need a new book. I’ve recorded 380 read finished books since I started tracking them on Goodreads. That’s 380 times that memory has hijacked my thoughts.

We talk a lot about the educators who shape our lives and make a long-lasting impact on us and our kids. But we should also talk about the educators who did the opposite. If we do, it might remind educators that as hard as their job is, every interaction can be mind-altering.

Salem Class of 2005: A look back at High School

This is part three of a three-part series on the Salem High Class of 2005, which graduated 10 years ago this month. Monday’s post is on K-5. Tuesday’s is on Salem Middle School. Today, High School.


Upon exiting 8th grade the mantra was about how terrifying high school would be. No more “spoon feeding”, no more coddling, it was all on you from here on. It was as if history was repeating itself.

But before I get too far in, I want to take a moment to mention Mr. J.D. Martin, my 7th grade math teacher, and the staff at Salem Middle School.

My mom died on January 18 of my freshman year of high school. On the day mom died, then at 11:30 a.m., I went home and handled details around getting her moved.

But that afternoon, sometime around 4:30 p.m., J.D. Martin arrived in his pickup truck and knocked on the door. Mom had already been taken away by Ben Weathers and J.D. stood with a card and an envelope. I didn’t open it right away, but he gave his condolences to myself and my dad and left shortly after.

Later when I opened the card there was about $700 and signatures of practically every staff member at SMS, save the lunch staff and some of the custodians. That gesture, and the seemingly insane amount of money, has not been forgotten.

Mr. Stephenson, 9th Grade

Larry Stephenson had a rough few years. When my class was in 8th grade he developed a brain tumor and spent most or all of that year out of the classroom. By the time we moved into high school he came back, only to suffer a setback a year later and eventually die.

I mention this because Mr. Stephenson and I had a strange relationship. There are three over-arching stories with him.

First, he was suffering the same kind of brain tumor (right down to the cell type), as my mom. Since mom had died at the same time, I think he was somewhat forlorn about his prospects. The kind of cancer cells he and mom faced have a 99% fatality rate with almost no measurable remission time. “It always comes back”, according to mom’s doctor.

Second, Mr. Stephenson wanted a website and decided that I should do it. It was my second site ever, after Lori Hazelip requested a site. I was off to the races there, career-wise. But one day over the summer we worked on his site through the day and had dinner at KFC. Over a buffet of mashed potatoes and chicken we talked mostly about his treatment. In retrospect, I think he was trying to gauge how it felt “from the other side”. To find out what it felt to be someone who had to watch someone else suffer through cancer.

Third, Mr. Stephenson somehow came to my defense when I didn’t even know it. At the time another student, who I will allow to remain anonymous, was spouting off a tirade of derogatory terms about me online (ICQ!) and in school. Mr. Stephenson heard about this from another student (who I didn’t even know knew about any of it), and he wasn’t having any of it. After some yelling and swift calls home to a parent, that little problem went away. I like to think that this person isn’t the same today. I didn’t know any of this until weeks after it happened.

Mrs. Duffy, 9-12 Grade

Doris Duffy is about the closest living embodiment of Aunt Bea we have today. She cared about a lot of students in a very motherly way, but one remarkable achievement: she and I sent an email to each other almost every single day for four years.

They weren’t even about anything in particular most of the time. It was just what we did the night before or that weekend. It was a rare bit of routine in a time when my day-to-day life was far from consistent. Since I woke up extremely early to get mom early-morning pills, I’d be up and awake around 5 a.m. to respond to her before heading to school. (Part of the reason I showed up to work with Bonita Purlee each morning was just because she was about the only person there, but I literally had nothing else to do. Joan Barrett was always first in to school, followed by either Bonita, Derek Smith, or me).

It was (and I promise to move on from the sad stuff in a moment) Doris Duffy who received the note from the office, just as I sat down from lunch to start her 4th period class, that said my mom died. It didn’t actually say that, of course, but we knew, and she turned to me and I could tell from the look on her face that mom had passed.

Ms. Cooper, 9th Grade

On Wednesday, August 13, 2003, Ms. Cooper did the dumbest thing I’ve ever experienced with a teacher.

Why do I know that date so specifically? Because I have a ticket stub on my wall right here next to me from the Aerosmith concert she took me and Mariah Gilliatt to that night in Cincinnati, Ohio.

You can see why this is incredibly dumb: first year teacher takes two underage students across state lines to be with a bunch of Aerosmith, KISS, and Cheap Trick fans.

I think she figured this out at some point around 8:30 when a drunk guy rolled down the hill beside us. On a school night no less. We got back in town sometime around 3 am.

BUT BEST STORY EVER, RIGHT!?

Almost as good as that time Louis Snider put a numbing agent on the lip of her Mountain Dew bottle.

Mrs. Hartsook, 10th Grade

I hated doing “projects”. They took much time. I could bang out a 3-page paper in under an hour. But a shoebox diorama? That really screws with my Saturday. You can only glue shit together so fast.

So it’s no surprise that while I enjoyed the lectures and the energy and knowledge that Jeanne Hartsook imparted, I absolutely dreaded the projects.

So much so that by the time I was in 11th grade I asked to get switched into Derek Smith’s Government and Economics class instead of Mr. McKay, who was also project-heavy. I just wanted to write papers.

Mrs. Campbell, 11th Grade

I think it was my junior year, anyway. I made a habit of walking into class every day and saying, “I’m here, make a big deal.”

On my birthday they did. Office staff arranged to stall me after my 5th period class, which was weird because none of it seemed at all important. I think the discussion was just, “How are you doing?”

Eventually we walked upstairs, which was also weird, and every one in Shenan Campbell’s 6th period class, including my good friends Heather McDaniel and Rebecca Scott, were lurking in the dark to yell, “BIG DEAL!”

Mrs. Allen, 9-12th Grade

What can I say about Debbie Allen? I spent four years in her classroom, most memorably with Thomas Smith, Chad Curtis, Shaun O’Donnell and Chris Shireman.

But later on there were web courses with other folks, including Heather McDaniel and Rebecca Scott, where it felt like Thomas and I were the only ones doing anything.

I think Thomas’ site for the Washington County Community Foundation lived on for years, as did mine for the Salem Education Foundation (which I can’t even find online at all now). Though I believe they still use some of the graphics Thomas did in places, so I guess he wins the longevity award.

It was in 10th grade that I remember thinking very clearly, “Holy crap, I can make money at this, like, now. Someday I’ll run my own business.”

Mrs. Quatroke, 10/11th Grade

Early in my sophomore year Roseanne Quatroke was administering our graduation qualifying exam to me and a class full of other people. This was the morning of September 11, 2011. She stayed collected through the morning, but by lunch too many TVs were turned on and we knew what was going on. Or at least as much as anyone knew at the time.

I imagine that sort of “carry on, let’s finish this first” sort of mentality can’t happen today with a phone in every pocket.

Mr. Carter, 12th Grade

I don’t say this lightly, but my etymology course with Mark Carter has probably proven to be one of the most useful classes I’ve ever taken. I routinely run across words as an adult and think, “Hmm, this has a Latin prefix, so it must mean such-n-such.”

Mrs. Bedwell, 12th Grade

Jeanne Bedwell closed out her decades-long career with our class, and I’m glad she was there for the 04-05 year. A lot of people come back later and routinely say she was the most in-line with true college-prep of any other teacher.

But I just appreciated someone who would laugh, sometimes inappropriately, at whatever thing I would say. It could go over everyone else’s head in the room, but not her’s.

Other Notes

I remember this kickball tournament. I can’t remember if it was to raise money or was just for the sake of a game. But the late Louis Snider was playing and you had to have a custom-ordered T-Shirt in order to play and he didn’t have one.

So to make it work, him and Josh Sebastian would just space themselves out in the kicking order so when Louis went he’d have enough time to run around and get back to home base. There he’d just take the shirt off and give it to Josh, who would throw it on, kick, and keep going.

This went on for some time and I remember this only for the ingenuity of the loophole.

I imagine the model biological cells we made are still sitting in the showcase outside Greg McCurdy’s door.

Jeanne Bedwell’s “I -heart- Clean Air” sign.

John Calhoun never washed his water cup. And Bonita Purlee never drank the bottom swig of coffee until Joan Barrett bought her a coffee mug warmer for her desk. I remember this only because on my desk right now I have a cup I never wash for water and a coffee mug that I only drink every drop out of because of my mug warmer.

My famous penis-bruise came after I gave blood. I had just turned 17 and was in the gym, squeezing the little ball to give blood. Except I kept squeezing. For three hours.

I just wouldn’t bleed and the nurse kept coming over to twist and prod me to get me to bleed. By the time she was done my arm was so bruised and sore. Sadly it was in the shape of a giant penis on my forearm.

When I finally did stand up, I started to faint because the bandage didn’t hold and blood immediately gushed down my arm. I haven’t donated blood since.

Rebecca Scott ruined one of my favorite shirts by placing a small marker dot on the arm. I haven’t forgotten.

The second-most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen after Andrew Armstrong’s mustard use in elementary school was Derek Smith’s PopTart.

Every morning he’d walk into Bonita Purlee’s office with two PopTarts and place them in the microwave. With butter on top.

They came out just as soggy and bastardized as you can imagine. I’m guessing he doesn’t still do that given his success at losing a lot of weight. So that’s just good all around.

Jackie Arnold would sometimes write passes to pull me out of class, usually with “friendly” teachers like Jeanne Bedwell, so she could ask me how to do something on a website. This was back when she was in charge of the SCS website.Fun fact: the swirly marks around the SCS logo? It’s just the letter “Q” stretched all out of proportion around the courthouse.I didn’t think about it at the time, but now I recognize how incredibly ballsy and somewhat funny it is that Salem used the Courthouse in their logo, which is a county-wide symbol. So screw you, Eastern and West Washington.

Rebecca Scott, Heather McDaniel, Ian Hartsook, Heather Mannely, Shenan Campbell, and myself all went to London the summer of 2005. While in London we’re hungry and Heather Mannely just looks at us and says, “Well, we can go to a gas station for chips or something.”This has been a refrain we have not forgotten. Of all the times to skimp on dining, who would go to a gas station for potato chips in London?

About a year after my mom died, I got a pass to go see Judy Matthews. She had decided it would be a swell idea to send me and Chris Amick to this camp for kids who lost a parent. God knows what sort of story would have come out of it if Chris and myself had entertained the idea.

Obligatory mention of Terry Griffus. Sorry, bro.

Sometime after I received my driver’s license Jake Hattabaugh and I started spending every weekend together. Usually we’d head up to Seymour to see a movie, or go to Clarksville. The stories of these weekends could fill a small book.

As is the case when one of the few (and for a while, the only) openly gay people in a small town are together, people just assume you’re together. Which was never the case with us. I mean, come on, he wore a tail for, like, a week.

Judi Howey approached me one day in the hallway and just said, “I have a job for you.”

She literally had a job for me. I was to go to the Washington County Historical Society that weekend, a few weeks before my 15th birthday, and talk to Willie Harlen.

I walked in and said, “Judi Howey sent me here.”Willie replied by setting down his newspaper, turning around and saying, “Oh, good, you’re good with computers, right?”

“Uh, yeah, I guess so.”

“Good. You can start Saturday.”And that was my first job.

Tanner Terrell was the best waiter I’ve ever had. After working at the Historical Society, I’d go down to Christie’s every Saturday afternoon for lunch. My lunch hour started at 1, I’d walk in at 1:10, and he’d practically have my sweet-tea-no-lemon with a club sandwich and waffle fries ready and waiting for me.

I still remember the sincere look of appreciation on Ashley Harmon’s face when she came up to me in the hallway and said, “Justin Harter, thank you so much.”

Her home had just burned down and I remember going out to my car to write a check. I can’t remember how much I donated, but it was evidently enough to write a check. I had been working for a little while and was making solid money for a teenager doing odd-jobs fixing computers and stuff around town. I dropped it in the donation jar and didn’t figure I’d hear anymore about it, but I still remember her sincere appreciation.

What a crazy time.

 

Salem’s Class of 2005, a look back at the elementary years

This weekend Salem High School matriculated another class across the stage. I walked across that stage 10 years ago this year. A lot of thought gets poured on to high school years, but I think there’s value in looking at every year of a K-12 career.

To start with a multi-part series, let’s begin with elementary school.

Kindergarten with Mrs. Kramer

Kindergarten was where I learned I am a morning person. I took a.m. kindergarten for the first semester and so feared being relegated to the waning backwater hours of the p.m. group my mom personally requested an a.m. slot. It could also have something to do with the fact she didn’t want to miss her afternoon soaps.

I was in Mrs. Kramer’s and Ms. Geralde’s class. I would learn years later that Mrs. Kramer’s son was responsible for the biggest news story to hit Salem since Morgan’s Raid.

I would also learn the difference between “Ms”, “Miss”, and “Mrs”, because “Ms. Geralde” was such a stickler for it. I’d also learn years later that Ms. Geralde was directly related to my best friend.

I remember painting a really shitty rainbow, Bradley Nicholson throwing rubber bouncy balls behind the “cubbies”, and my determination to beat Derik Early at owning all of the McDonald’s Happy Meal toys for show-and-tell.

As an aside, my mom met Derik’s grandmother, Judy, and would routinely chat in the hallway as they waited for class to end. I remember them calling sometimes, too, and like to think they had a pretty casual friendship. I don’t know if Judy is still alive or remembers much about my mom, but I’ve long wondered if she has memories of the conversations to share today.

First Grade with Mrs. Catlett

First grade was where I learned I have no patience for people who don’t gather up a lot of evidence before making decisions.

I remember taking a spelling test. I sat next to Cassie Coleman. She and I were taking our test and the paper towel dispenser started making bizarre noises. It was like someone was using it without actually using it. You know the kind: a big metal box that you pushed the heavy metal button on the front of to let you “wind” out a towel with the side crank.

The class was super quiet and this noise of the button being pressed by itself captivated me. “How is it doing that? It can’t be from the other side of the wall because that just leads to the hallway,” I wondered. Cassie, evidently, was curious, too.

Eventually, as we both sat facing this thing while the rest of the class was either really involved in spelling or dead, Mrs. Catlett spoke up.

“Cassie, Justin, put up your portfolios.”

I would learn years later that calling folders “portfolios” was borderline insane. But there sat Cassie and me, putting up our “portfolios” to serve as barriers to us cheating, evidently. All because the wall was making noises and no one seemed to care but us.

Mrs. Catlett didn’t bother getting all the evidence of what we were doing, and it has bothered me ever since.

Second Grade with Mrs. Senn

Second grade is where I learned math was completely useless and had no business cluttering up my brain.

We received our first ISTEP test this year and math was evidently not a thing I was going to do well. There it was in black and white. I scored in the 91st percentile for “Language Arts” — a process I would repeat biannualy, culminating in a 99th percentile rank in 10th grade. I was an English prodigy; the State said so.

It is also where I scored in the 60th percentile for math and would repeat biannually culminating in my lowest math score on the SATs because I would not take the SATs.

This all warranted a parent-teacher conference about how to improve my math skills. I believe flash cards must have been the weapon of choice thereafter given the speed at which they appeared in drawers across the house. This also led to third grade where…

Third Grade with Mrs. Gruesbeck

…I met my third grade teacher in the toilet paper aisle at the Clarksville Wal-Mart. It was summer and as Salem-ites are wont to do, we went to Clarksville to shop.

As we were looking at rows of Charmin, we heard “DONELLA!”

It was Mrs. Gruesbeck, who had my mother, who’s actual name was “Donna”, as a student in third grade so many years before. Like all those years before, she still couldn’t remember it was “Donna” and not “Donnela”.

After light conversation it became apparent that the student rosters had been circulated and I was placed with someone not Mrs. Gruesbeck.

Third grade is where we learned multiplication tables. Those, I was told, were of super mathematical importance. But every parent knew Mrs. Gruesbeck had a proven record of “raising scores in math” and anything less would not do. So a trip to the school later and I was placed with Mrs. Gruesbeck. Because mom’s flash cards were not going to cut it.

Turns out I can rattle off any of the multiplication tables today. It’s about the only thing I can do reliably and from memory with math.

Mrs. Gruesbeck had this weekly table test and each student was represented on the blackboard by a football helmet. I was the Packers. Jackie Hamilton was whatever the godforsaken thing she was. All I remember is that Jackie Hamilton and I blew out way in front of everyone else and it quickly became a 12-week horse race between her and I. We were tied each week, even failing to advance on the 7s, but then retrying a week later and carrying on. Eventually we’d get to the 11’s and I think she missed something that must have been a typo. I can’t imagine anyone screwing up on the 11’s. But the important thing is that I finally pulled ahead of her and beat her a week later when I completed my 12’s. It was the first and last time I’d ever win at a math competition.

I also had a strange crush on Jackie Hamilton at the time. Which is weird and would be incredibly ironic in about 8 years.

Third grade is also where I learned that my mother thought the principal at the time was a complete idiot. This came after the principal took a small group of students outside for recess. In freezing rain.

Fourth Grade with Mrs. Holsapple

Fourth grade was a lot of fun. I remember it fondly. I was in there with folks like Brian Duffy who was already very tall, Catherine Libka who made fun of my dismal math test results, and I think Bradley Nicholson, who I feel like shared a class with me every year but third grade up to this point. In retrospect, Zeb Jones was in there, too, evidently doing recon on me for fifth grade.

I would learn years later that Mrs. Holsapple’s class was the “enrichment class”. Which is a fancy way of ensuring students lacking in discipline did not get in our way. I’m not sure how I got in with my math scores, but maybe my triumphant defeat of Jackie in multiplication tables took the world by storm.

I suspect you could look at this class as the early indication from The Adults that this was the group to watch. My class was already getting a reputation for being a terrible, awful, no-good “Class from Hell”. We’d wear that moniker proudly years later at graduation, but it was cool to be known for something already.

I think 4th grade was where I met Randy Hamilton (I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong). We would be good friends for years. We also named the two swings on the playground “George” and “Clooney”. The goal each recess: swing high enough to dislodge the swing set from the ground. I’d lose a tooth to a starburst he gave me a few years later, too.

This is also the year that Andrew Armstrong completely ruined mustard for me. He put it on everything in the lunch room. Sandwiches, vegetables, fries, fruits, applesauce, even the milk. I can’t look at the yellow bottles anymore and not gag.

Fifth Grade with Mr. Crane

Mr. Crane was the first male teacher I ever had. It was different and somewhat terrifying. His booming voice was capable of overriding everything in the room.

This was the year I learned Zeb Jones would forever be my mortal enemy. And also sorta Kelsey Hunt.

Mr. Crane awarded “rubies”, which were just beads from the craft store. But each time you did something useful or good, you’d get a certain amount of rubies. Bring in a box of tissue? That’s 20 rubies. Get a good grade? That’s 50. And so on.

The top-earning boy and girl got to teach the class on the last day of school. Each taking turns with one in the morning and one in the evening.

I didn’t even care about that. I just wanted to DESTROY ZEB JONES. He leapt out in front and it was apparent he was the one to beat. I’d scrounge up rubies everywhere I could and then-some, like a squirrel in a trash can. But he still won. I was second at the end of the year, by about 100 rubies or so. Kelsey won for the girls.

I think Zeb should be investigated by the SEC, inflation-adjusted.

Mr. Crane also hosted Bradie Shrum’s annual “Grammar Gulch”, a performance (if you can call it that) where each student is assigned a role.

I was the Sheriff (LEAD ROLE! EAT IT, ZEB.) and had to arrest “the outlaws”, which included Steven Bailey, for using bad grammar. I can’t remember who else was in there, but I got to don my best flannel and Andy Griffith swagger and “arrest” people.

But what I remember most is my “deputies” (I can’t remember who they were) running around and when asked, “Are you an outlaw?” They would reply, “No, I’m an in-law.”

All I could think was, “I don’t think that means what you think it means.”

Thoughts on Facebook

Facebook, like it or not, is a really popular website. I use Facebook and have been a fan of Facebook over  MySpace for years. Only because I’m a designer and when 20 year olds still think it’s cool to load a page with an ugly background, musical MIDI files AND videos that start simultaneously, something’s gotta give.

A conversation arose in one my classes at IUPUI once regarding the users of Facebook and MySpace. Before Facebook went open and was limited to college students with a .edu email address, Facebook became populated by, well, college students.

College students, by and large, tend to be whiter and more affluent than the non-college counterparts. MySpace was the place to go for the minorities and lower income folks as a result. I tend to get nasty stares when I mention this to anyone else, but I think it’s probably true.

Today, however, Facebook is open to all kinds of folks except county bumpkins who haven’t discovered Cable.

I’ve always wodnered why Facebook was so darn popular anyway and I think I know why. Browsing through my Facebook friends this weekend I really learned a lot. Turns out, here’s what I know about my beloved class of 2005, courtesy of Facebook:

  • I know every party every classmate has attended since May 2005.
  • I’ve seen every nipple of every male in my class regardless of their body type.
  • I know which classmates prefer Keystone Light vs. Bud Light.
  • I’ve seen every bellybutton of every cheerleader.
  • Thanks to camera phones, I can slowly watch everyone get fat.
  • Thanks to status updates, I know when most of my former classmates spent too much time drinking the night before.

I’ve detemined that Facebook owes its success to the cheap naughty pics and these important and fatty nugets of information.

As cell phone cameras continue to improve, I except the popularity of Facebook to grow.