Preschool – Lynnwood, WA
Memories: Absolutely none, other than it being one room.
Lake Forest Park Montessori School – Lake Forest Park, WA
Memories: A Thanksgiving party at which I ate way too much pie, seeing 6th graders while I was at the water fountain, and a girl named Tiffany teaching me how to tie my shoes.
2nd-4th Grade – Bright & Early – Lynnwood, WA
Memories: Playing Oregon Trail on Apple IIes, going on field trips, helping my classmates with classwork and generally loving the teachers. At the time, Bright & Early only went through 4th grade. The decision was made that I would start public school for 5th grade.
A few years back, there was a Bright & Early reunion. When people apologized to me for making fun of me so much, my response was “You made fun of me?” This made me realize how little I really remember from my childhood.
1) Meadowdale Elementary (1st third of year)
Memories: My dad coming to my school in a shirt and tie, before work, to tell kids to stop picking on me.
2) Beverly Elementary (remainder of year)
Memories: Outdoor camp, Ms. Axtell’s panda obsession, being forced to help kids with math.
3) Pull-out Challenge Program (once a week)
Memories: Worksheets upon worksheets and a sleepover trip to Carnation, WA.
6th Grade – Full-Time Challenge Program @ Forest Park Elementary
Memories: Riding the bus to school, having to go do art with the 4th graders (some of whom were the younger siblings of my classmates) so I could spend time with kids my own age and getting laughed at when I said I was going to go to Edmonds Community College.
Summer 1994- Spring 1997: Edmonds Community College
Memories: On the negative end, two stories.
1) I wanted to add a Philosophy class, so I went up to talk to the professor, Krys Seluwski. He laughed and said “Whose child is this? Is this some kind of a joke?”
2) Dick Davis, the Graphic Design teacher. When I asked for help on a project he said “Well, you have three options, you can do it yourself, get on your knees and beg me, or I have a bullet in my desk and you can go on the balcony.” I got on my knees and begged him to help. He also told me I drew like a 4th grader, which wasn’t so far off from my age at the time.
A lot of people wonder what it’s like to be a 10 year old community college student. As the stories above indicate, it isn’t all peaches.
On the other end of things, I was welcomed with open arms by the Digital Music department, headed by Keith Evans. I saw him as a mentor throughout my time there, someone who cared, but also expected me to perform at my highest level. His advice to keep my joy and energy while being focused and mature had a great impact on me. My fellow students treated me like a little brother, bestowing advice and friendship on me.
I graduated from EdCC in 1996 with an Associate of Arts and Science (Honors, GPA 3.61).
1997-1999: Lynnwood High School, Class of ‘99
School activities: Hi-Q, Band (trumpet), Track & Field
The funniest thing I’ve ever heard a teacher say:
“Roni, I want you to know that I am writing ‘Roni is off-task and acting like a monkey.'”
Why was this so funny? I *was* acting like a monkey. I was going around, pretending to pick fleas off people and making simian sounds and motions.
Summer 1999 – Spring 2002 – University of Washington
My UW days were occupied by two worlds: Drama and the dorms.
In UW Drama, I worked my way up the ranks of the undergrads, starting as a wet-behind-the-ears 15-year-old and ending as an 18-year-old producer, director, writer, actor, etc.
On the 6th floor of Lander (the dorm that I lived in for the 2000-2001 school year), I started as the artsy, weirdo kid that didn’t have much in common with those around and ended as the one creating events such as “Preston Brashers Day” and having the power to create couples by merely grabbing a guy and girl’s heads and shoving them into a kiss.
In 2003, I applied for law school in 2003, getting into the University of Montana (where my dad studied law) and Willamette University (in Salem, OR). Due to many reasons, I made the decision to not pursue law school.