This particular episode was about school shootings. I was about to change the channel when a segment caught my eye -- the segment on Luke Woodham. In 1997, Woodham killed two of his classmates at Pearl High School, just an hour and a half down the road from me. Well, I lived in a different city at the time, so it was technically an hour down the road. But you get the idea.
The other two teens featured on this episode were from foreign countries. Most stories that make the national news take place far away from us and we are far removed from them. This kid made national news in my own backyard.
Unfortunately, my backyard doesn't look quite this nice. (source)
I've never been very good at grasping things going on around me. Sure, I know when things happen, but it takes me awhile to process the fact that HOLY CRAP THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. When I got into the Mississippi School of the Arts at the end of my sophomore year of high school, it took me a full year to realize that I had both been accepted to and attended this school that I had worked so hard for years and years to get into. And I didn't even stay the full time -- I went back to my old high school for senior year. By the way, I don't regret going and I don't regret leaving. Everything worked out for the best in the end. But I digress.
In July of 2009, I was watching the Jonas Brothers host the Teen Choice Awards. A week later, I was standing in front of them. Meeting a celebrity (or, in this case, multiple celebrities at once) makes you feel a little like the M&M's in that Christmas commercial where they come face to face with Santa -- "they do exist!"
Real M&M's, however, aren't nearly as interesting as Santa. (source)
Whether it's a band, a serial killer, or just an out-of-the-ordinary event, seeing it and experiencing it are always different. Think about it -- when you see a celebrity on TV, you're learning about them via the same medium that you learn about The Avengers and Spongebob. We see so many things in the media that aren't real, so it's natural to tend to think that nothing, not even real people on TV, are actually real. After all, if some dude carrying a hammer walked up to you and told you he was Thor, god of thunder and from some ancient civilization of whateveritscalledintheclouds, would you believe him? No, you'd probably call the cops. Well, maybe not if he looked like Chris Hemsworth...but again, I digress.
Sometimes I wish I didn't have this trait. After all, if aforementioned guy-who-says-he's-Thor-but-really-isn't did come up to me and, say, tried to whack me with his hammer, would I process what was going on in time to duck? Or would I get my brain smashed in? What's going to happen if I get a book deal? Get married? Have children? I've got so much ahead of me to look forward to. I just hope I can learn from my experiences -- and have many, many experiences, both good and bad.