Blogging–The Wonder Years, Chapter I

Although I started Ocular Fusion in October, 2005, it turns out that my blogging roots go back quite a ways–the fall of 1974 to be precise. That was when Ms. Fine, my 7th grade teacher at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in Wirtz, Virginia, gave us the assignment of keeping a journal. I suppose like all good teachers she wanted us to learn to write well by writing often. Also, I’m sure that she had learned in teacher school that it was good for young people to “explore and express their feelings.” Of course, maybe she was just plain nosey too.

Recently, an amazing archeological discovery was made right here in humble little Huntsville, Alabama. While rummaging through my closet, I unearthed a small blue tablet which, although quite ancient and barely readable, turned out to be the long-lost, secret writings of that Gnostic nerd of Ms. Fines’s 7th grade class, Mike the Eyeguy. No doubt, these writings will soon take their rightful place alongside other significant and earth shattering Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Judas in your local Barnes and Noble. But for my dozen or so loyal and faithful readers, in the coming days and weeks I will offer you some sneak previews via my ongoing series, Blogging–The Wonder Years. So, without further adieu, here is the first excerpt:

September 2, 1974
It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since I stumbled onto the bus wide-eyed and excited, but it sure has. I’m really looking forward to next year, because in my opinion when you start junior high and high school, that’s when you REALLY find yourself and what you’re going to be after you get out. I really have no special plans, so I’m just dying to know!

I think I’ve grown up a lot in the past 6 years. I used to get upset every time I got a question or two wrong, but now I realize that school is not the most important thing in the world. I can recall some experiences that I’m really ashamed of, but now that’s all in the past and I hope I can cope with the new challenges that come up in my last 6 years of public school.

Yeah, 7th grade is such a critical passage of life–good thing I was wide awake for that one. Little did I know that the “shame” was just getting started. All in all, though, this is a fairly boring and nonscandalous passage, not unlike the navel-gazing ponderings seen on many blogs today. But it gets better. Stay tuned for the next installment when I write my first known rant and take on a critical issue of the 1970s–guys with long hair.

Oh, and by the way, I still get upset when I get a question or two wrong.

  1. Ed

    Do you have a Home Economics story coming? Seems like it was about this time frame that I entered the Home Ec fray against the best wishes of my male friends. I was shunned and jeered for signing up for that class. However, I knew there were going to be many girls in there and I knew they were going to prepare and eat food too. The sewing part was a small sacrifice for the benefits of the class. However, I made a nice shirt and my seamstress skills carried over into the field when I became a bonafide backpacker. Also, I took typing class when it was taboo for some of the same reasons. I’m one of the fastest keyboardist around now 😉

  2. mike the eyeguy


    Aha, so that explains where all that metrosexuality came from! 😉

    Yeah, guys like us were real visionaries, eh? We were veritable prophets, crying forth in the dry and arid deserts of adolescence, but alas, without honor and unappreciated…until now, that is!

    Actually, it sounds like you got along with girls much better than I. There won’t be any home ec. stories, but there will be some tales of the Battle of the Sexes.

  3. David U

    Mike, I promise to be an AVID reader of your journals! I am a nostalgia addict. My favorite TV show of all-time was “the Wonder Years”, mainly because Kevin Arnold was my exact same age. By the way, I graduated from High School in 74. Mars Hill Bible school, in Florence. We lost a class-mate this weekend. It was not my best Easter ever.

    Keep em coming!

  4. mike the eyeguy


    Thanks, I think what’s coming will make you laugh (and reminisce a little) about the “old days.”

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. I read your tribute to him and thought it was heartwarming. Who knew in those halcyon days what challenges lay ahead? It’s a good thing we didn’t, or else we may never have bothered to put one foot in front of another and start the journey.

    Resurrection is our only hope–by God’s grace and mercy, let us cling to it!

  5. DJG

    I had to quit playing Daily Trivia becasue I couldn’t stand not to be the best….and I was not! So I feel your pain with missing questions!

  6. mike the eyeguy


    I was pathetic as a kid–lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth over a single “B” on a test. Fortunately (I think), my sons show no tendency toward perfectionism in academics.

  7. JRB

    Mike, I’ve been lurking, and we’ve been talking passed each other for a few blogging months now. With David U’s comment above, however, I am compelled to make an observation. I may have stumbled onto something mighty powerful about red dirt and church splits. I, too, am from North Alabama, being born in yon Huntsville in 1975 and with deep roots from Cullman to Limeston County. I met my wife at the Space and Rocket Center. David U is from Florence. JA Wiser, the Malibu Librarian, is from Athens. I even now live in Madison County, Mississippi.

    Thus, I wonder whether NA bears the most dense intellectual mass of CoC bloggers? Well, I mean, next to Abilene….

  8. mike the eyeguy


    Hey, I know who you are, thanks for stopping by and “decloaking!”

    As I recall, you wrote a very lyrical and entertaining post on the anniversary of the Challenger explosion in which you told the story of how you and your future wife used certain Space and Rocket Center property for “unauthorized purposes.” I used to drive by that Saturn rocket without even giving it a second thought, but now I’m intrigued… 😉

    You know, you may be on to something about the North Alabama blogging connection. Maybe we’re all just caught up in that great train of great Southern writers (e.g. Faulkner, Twain, Williams, et al.) who have gone before us. Maybe it’s the close connection to the great classical literature of the ancient world (i.e, the Athens-Florence-Corinth-Memphis Highway). Then again, maybe it’s the parasites in the red dirt (we are Southerners after all) which brings out the muse.

    But you’re right–we still have some work to do to catch up with Abilene!

    Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

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