Pay No Attention to that Girl Behind the Curtain

Picture a wild-eyed brunette adolescent sitting in front of a computer at two in the morning. She keeps squinting at the computer screen like she’s not wearing her glasses—except she is, it’s just that her eyes have gone blurry with lack of sleep. She occasionally nods at nothing in particular. Her fingers are a blur as she types rather random future column titles for this newsletter, such as “McDonalds as a Mathematical Equation,” “Stacking Books to Maximize Car Space,” or “Cosmetics as Writing Tools.” Every five minutes or so she opens a different window and adds to an actual column in process. Assume that you are reading words written under these circumstances, by this particular Suspicious Character…welcome to reality.

I can almost hear your questions: What is this madness? Is she a nocturnal mutant? A native of a distant galaxy, sent to pilfer Utah’s Green Jell-O Salad recipes? No. She is merely an… unusual person—a homeschooler, if you must know. She fiercely defends her habit of reading the dictionary and just about anything else she can get her hands on. She turns pale with rage at the mention of the word ‘chipmunk,’ because she’s heard Billy Gilman’s singing described as such. (The nerve…!)

By now you may have realized: the new columnist is none other than the Great and Terrible—mostly harmless, actually—Jenn Young, at your service (or something close to it).

Salutations, everyone! (bows deeply, managing—barely—not to fall on her nose). Let me put it this way: don’t stand between me and my computer, and we’ll get along fine. However, rest assured that I do posses a packet of Keyboard Censor Stickers, which I pull out whenever it begins to look like my caps lock is stuck. So don’t worry too much.

I lead an eventful life, in which dramatic tragedies abound. For instance, the other day, we thought our hard drive had up and died on us; turns out some cable was loose. It was still very tragic. Also for instance: the other day I saw someone walking out of the library with a copy of Mansfield Park. And in fact, that’s a long enough story for next month. Plan for exaggerated—(glances warily at Keyboard Censor Stickers)—erm, completely fictional accounts of my heroic efforts to get MY book (see above, Mansfield Park).

Out of the goodness of my heart, I have decided to provide you with the answer to the answerless Public Schooler’s Question of the Month: “When are you going to go to REAL school?

Correct Response: “When the moon is conclusively proven to be made of green cheese, mermaids are discovered just off Alaska, and computer mice formulate an elaborate plot to take over the world. Simultaneously.”  (I suggest you clip this answer and keep it in your pocket for handy reference).

My editor has politely requested that I invite you to vote on what columns you would especially like to see in print in the future. Please log and vote for your favorite topics (that way I will know if you really read this column or not–and besides, then you can see my web page I’ve been working on).  To vote, click here

  • Grammar—The Necessary Evil
  • Spelling—The Next Necessary Evil
  • Spell Check as an Operational Device
  • Fending Off Crazed Librarians
  • Stacking Books to Maximize Car Space
  • How Many Computers Do You Have, Anyway?
  • Shakespeare and Captain Underpants
  • Who’s Lance Bass?
  • Define ‘Cool’
  • What is this ‘Socialization’ You Speak Of?
  • Fouler Things than Orcs
  • Cosmetics as Writing Tools
  • …And What’s Wrong With Astrophysics?
  • Of Onion Salt and Costco
  • Reading by Watchlight: Footnote to my Sister
  • Attack of the Killer Salad: One Bite Won’t Kill You, Dear
  • Do You Really Use
  • Hint to the Uninitiated: Always Back Up Your Work

Parting is such sweet sorrow, dear readers, but it’s been two hours since I got out my midnight snack, and the melted ice cream is beginning to run out of the box down the side of the counter.

I am going now… I bid you all a very fond farewell. Goodbye. Don’t forget to vote!  See you next time in the pages of history.

Cheerfully and with great grace,

Jenn Young