A Year

Sebastian Blum

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Note: This was written before December 14th, and whatever opinions or facts are written does not mean that I still hold them close to heart today. Like all other things, I change. Thank you for understanding.


On December the 14th, it will have been exactly one year since I have come to Michigan. For almost a year, I have witnessed, experienced things I never believed I would have ever had to experience. In Sydney, I was fairly naive and didn’t imagine anything (really), out of what I knew, much like the kids here, and it has been quite something. A good something? I wouldn’t say that.

When I first came here, it was the coldest day I have ever had the unfortunate pleasure of enduring and I was welcomed by the Meyers family into their son’s home. From there, we ate Thai food from the fabulous, but small fast food joint by the name of Sweetie Thai. I was faced with terrible pain after ordering a meal with a level four hotness, not realising that it would nearly cost me my life.

I continued to get adjusted for about two weeks, before going to school for the first day. The school’s name was Calvin Christian. Upon arrival, we (my mum and I) were met with strange looks from people and then met by the principal. She then led us to the school’s chapel and my mum and I were bombarded with Christmas songs and prayer. At that very moment, we both knew this was in no way the school for me, but it would take some time before any drastic decision was to be made about a possible movement to a different school. For the time being, I was stuck in a perpetual hell, which when you think about it, is quite ironic.

On that very day, I was met with little talk and was left quite disappointed after nothing meaningful happened. The very first question that I was asked, was relating to how big the spiders were in Australia; I of course thought this was quite humorous at the time, but reflecting now, is honestly shameful. Some teachers were thrilled at the idea of having me as a student, but the few that were, were either arrogant, or quite simply, simple. One teacher, however does stick out in my memory, I of course forget his name, but he was my teacher for Religion. The school focused heavily on religion, that you ended up thinking that it was some cult, but he managed to ground it down to a human level, which I appreciated. He was a big fan of U2, and thought very highly of both me and Christianity. He one time pulled me aside at the end of the day (I had him for last hour), and he asked questions on how I am, how I feel about being in a situation like this, and told me that if ever I needed help, I should not hesitate to go to him. For this, I respect the man. He genuinely cared, you could see it in his eyes. He also did not indulge in asking maddening questions about the animals of Australia.

I remember fondly, a kid named Carter. He reminded me very much of Rowley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but he was also a good person. He was very nerdy, and quite intelligent. He also taught me how to complete the Rubik’s Cube. It did take me a while to approach him, though, because I was a very shy kid upon arrival here, since I was new, but also since the school was full on narrow minded, sheltered, and Christian influenced kids, that if you were to show them a naked figure from an anatomy textbook, they would probably faint at the sight of it, or snicker like a infants. Nonetheless, I approached him, and he took me in, and I didn’t feel so lonely anymore. He was in turn, shy to me, and talking to him felt awkward and at times bizarre, but he was good people.

However, “fun” times must come to an end, and my mum noticed how upset I was, when going to this school and through her help, and from the help of Peter Meyers, they managed to move me to Wyoming High School, the school that I currently go to, and the school in which I am writing this for.

It wasn’t just that simple, it took quite some convincing, and was not going to be the first time going to Wyoming, since I went there for one day, beforehand to see what it was like. At the time, I wasn’t disappointed, since the school was full of people that were not just white privilege, and were in a more relaxed environment that I believed to be more fit for me, which to this day, I still somewhat believe in.

On the very day, I was shown around by Seth Martin, a fellow journalist, and he made the day fun for me. It was the kind of fun that I hadn’t had for sometime, so it was a nice change of pace. I met some kids, like Nolan, who I haven’t talk to since my party, and again, I thought at the time it was all great.

Now, within this time, I had been keeping immense contact with my friends from Sydney. Almost everyday, I would be on Skype with Cyan or Beckham, making sure that our bonds would continue to stay strong despite the great distance, and screens keeping us apart. This of course would not last for long. Months will pass, and I would be too busy to do such things anymore (or is that just a lie I tell myself?), and my contact with them will slowly be decreased into nothingness. I have forgotten so many names in from Australia being here. Names that I wish I could remember, but can’t. Funny how you could know someone and feel like you have know them your entire life, but you forget them so easily when they are gone.

Starting Wyoming, I again was fairly nervous. But to make this worse, I was faced with a more daunting challenge. I had to attend Frontiers, since I had join half a year late. This, by far may have been one of the worst, unpleasurable places to learn, that I have ever experienced. I was put there, if I recall correctly, because I did not have the right amount of credits needed to pass the tenth grade, so in order to do so, I had to makeup all of the first semester, while taking the second one. Lunacy, I know, but nonetheless I did so. I managed to pass all of the tenth grade in six months. I was obviously met with applause by those who knew this and I did feel happy doing so, because I felt like I had shown everyone I was not to be taken lightly, but such a feeling slowly degraded away.

During the tenth grade, I met many people, some I still talk to; to this day, however, some have been forgotten along with many other things in my mind. The most memorable, must  be the great, one and only, Ms. Tran. Nowadays, I sit with Ms. Tran in her room for lunch, and she still is, for the lack of a nicer word, grouchy. Funny enough, Ms. Tran is unliked by many students, because she’s strict, but if they were to actually treat the woman with some common decency, and cared to understand and learn more about her, their opinions would change, I think. Ms.Tran, is quite a human being. She deals with students that treat her like garbage everyday (such students deserve a beating) and she still gets through the day. If she were to read what I had just written, her brow would not only raise in surprise, but also hesitation. “Is he being sarcastic or is he being a little shi– pain in my bottom,” she would most likely say, but everything I wrote about her is true. She is, in essence, a good person, and a woman who deserves more respect, not only from students, but from teachers as well.

One of my favourite teachers when starting was Mrs. Higley. She also taught me English and she was always nice to me. She always got my sense of humour and understood my anger towards Michigan. I would also meet my friend Destinie in that class. Mrs Higley was so nice, that she went out of her way, during the three month break, and wrote me a card. It says, “Dear Sebastian, It has been great to work with you this semester. Your writing and ideas are wonderful. I wish you all the best this Summer– may you have plenty of fun and relaxation. Sincerely, Mrs Higley.”

Though I can’t go into full detail, because I need to have a limit on how much I write, I would like to also mention Mr. Kordich. He has helped my mum and I feel a little better in Michigan and he has helped me enormously in my studies and has been a very good friend to me. He is a man I really respect and I am not scared of speaking my mind to him because he may be the most calmest and chilled person in this world. Not only this, but he is understanding.

I thought now it would be only right if I were to address my mum. Without her, I would be nothing, and vice versa. She has always cared for me, made sure I have never wanted for anything, made sure that my childhood would be better than hers. For this, I love her more than anyone or anything on this entire planet. What she has done to hold this family together, is nothing but absolutely astonishing. If Hercules had to face a labour that requires to do what my mum has done, he would not be able to do so. My mum is that amazing. She has had her breaking points, she has cried many times, she has wanted to give up, but she hasn’t. It’s not that she can’t, she could easily just give up without a problem, but she stays strong and fights to get my stepdad out of prison. She does this because she loves him and because I love him. She does this because for six years he has sat in a prison for a crime he did not commit. No words can describe how great she truly is. I wish that I only would be nicer to her. She doesn’t deserve to hear all the crap I have to say.

A post she made on the Free Jeffrey Pyne (https://www.facebook.com/freejeffreypyne1/?fref=ts), Facebook page, “When you have a loved one in prison, that has been wrongly convicted of a crime, there is no beginners manual that you can read in order to know how to proceed in helping your loved one regain their freedom. It has taken many years of making calls, writing letters, attending meetings and praying, to make progress in Jeff’s case, and it hasn’t been easy. Once someone is in the prison system, it is an uphill battle to get them out, because you come up against tremendous obstacles, and at times it seems like a losing battle, however I can tell you that faith and determination are essentially the most important factors that you must have, because giving up is not an option. For every 100 doors that have closed in our faces, one has opened, which has brought us one step closer to bringing Jeff home. After every visit it is heartbreaking to say goodbye, to leave Jeff behind those prison walls, and to know that he sits in there for something that he did not do. No matter how frustrating, heartbreaking and sad the situation is, we are a team, and we will not give up or give in until the wrongs have been made right. If you have a loved one in prison or are dealing with a difficult situation, never give up no matter how hard it is, because there truly is light at the end of the tunnel.💖”

I have seen so many stupid things while being here. I have heard kids say that people in prison have “hella” aids, and I have heard someone say they have fourteen toes only to later correct herself. It is just truly shocking to see how many people know nothing about anything. This ties in with an article that I recently wrote about Political Correctness (https://wyomingwolfpackpress.com/958/editorial/thoughts-on-political-correctness/).

I have also just recently been told off for saying the word “ass” in class, as if it were some vile word to say. That truly left me speechless, as I felt as if I were in a pre-school, and saying anything would lead to a scolding. So many people here lack a spine, because they are afraid of speaking what is on their minds, in fear that it could upset someone. Contrary to popular belief, I have been taught exceptional manners and I do know how to be diplomatic. My mom has always taught me to have an opinion, speak my mind and she will call me out if I do say something inappropriate, however  saying the word “ass” can not possibly be offensive to anyone.

I tend to use fact when saying such things like these, but it has gotten to a point, that I must use pure bias fact, which sounds like a contradiction, but is not since what I say is fact that cannot be backed up by written evidence, rather orally from some teachers or adults I have had the pleasure of meeting. What I say can been seen as an attack, but to those who open their eyes, may actually see that what I say makes sense.

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A Year