Most people who know me today would find it almost impossible to believe that I was basically insanely dumb in elementary school. I’d hate to toot my own horn but today people think I’m pretty damn special but back in my prime, and by prime I mean barely potty trained, I was not special but rather special needs.
I still remember as if it were yesterday when a lady by the name of Ms. Reed would come into my classroom and pull me and a handful of other students out for some “special” education. Being the cocky person that I was at 7, I automatically assumed that I was being admitted into some exclusive club. I should’ve known better than to assume that when the only people Ms. Reed chose was none of the cool blond girls or glasses yielding asians but instead the girl who always had drool on her face, the boy that was notorious for farting in class, and the other boy that was constantly getting into fights. I should’ve known better, but at the age of 7 optimism was abundant.
I remember walking into Ms. Reed’s cold grey room. There was nothing but a table and two chairs, I was not intimidated at all. Ms. Reed sat me down and had me read some passages to her. I’m sure the sentences were something like “the cat jumped.” But I probably read it as “the weasel delivered the mail.” Regardless of the accuracy of my recollection, the idea is that I screwed it up and I screwed it up often. I had to listen to countless audio tapes telling me different commands like “look left, look up, look down.”
I remember thinking, “Ms. Reed I can’t read!” And trust me, even as a 7 year old the irony of her name did not pass me. Could anything be worse? It was like waving a skill I couldn’t have to my face. To put this into prospective, imagine you were an amputee and your doctor’s name was Dr. Legs. Just not cool. In my eyes she was a ruthless dictator.
I needed an explanation as to why I was randomly being plucked out of class on a daily basis. Thus, in the trenches, also known as the playground, I would lie vehemently that I was doing something really awesome and top secret. I was a master manipulator when I was 7 and somehow managed to convince people into thinking I was actually cool.
At age 7, I seriously didn’t understand the concept of school. I had no idea it was a place to learn about math, reading, and science. I thought school was a place where you learned how to fight and tease people to later do so on the streets.
But through misery, laughter, and tears I trudged on and continued my one on one sessions with Ms. Reed. Years later, I somehow I managed to get into a University being on the Dean’s list for 3 years straight. Long story short? I should probably write a letter to Ms. Reed letting her know that I can read now.
The best thing about California… there isn’t one thing. California is just amazing all around. But from a photography standpoint California is beautiful. The oceans are blue, the sunsets are golden, the hills are vibrant, and the people are interesting. It’s hard to generalize because it’s so big and there are some parts that aren’t so great, but from a southern California prospective, it rocks. You want the beach? We got it. You want the desert? We got it. You want the urban jungle? We got it. You want to be a stones throw away from a wild weekend in Mexico? We got it. You want horrible reality shows based on the county you live in? We got it (although New Jersey is a fierce contender).
For the rest of the interview click here
The most difficult part of any of these interviews is the introduction. Do you say Hello? Greetings? or do you just get right to it? I think I’ll just get right to it. My professional name is Ted, my stage name is Teddy, and on my birth certificate it says Theodore. Long story short my name is whatever you want it to be. I just recently turned 23 this past September 11th (save your looks of pity it really isn’t that bad), but I really feel like I turned 50. And given that I just graduated from college about a year ago for Criminology, Law and Society and with a minor in Political Science, I’m currently studying the art of living life to the fullest with my camera along for the ride.
More from the interview here