This is part of a series of sporadic blog posts about items I have in my keepsake box. If you think I’m not sentimental, this should prove otherwise.

In my 8th grade English class, we put together collages about ourselves at the beginning of the year. I opted for drawing rather than cutting and pasting, and I remember the very large set of colored pencils I used. Here’s the finished product:

08grade_01I’ll do my best to interpret this, but it’s been . . . a number of years since I did this. And I’ve never been a very interesting person, so a lot of the things on here are really a stretch to make it seem like I had hobbies and interests. Going somewhat clockwise from top right:

Obviously, my name – Mika Lewis.

U.W.C. – I have no clue! The best I can guess is that I was referring to United World Colleges, which has a campus in New Mexico. I do remember wanting to go to school in New Mexico, but the reasons for the desire are lost.

Artist’s palette – even then I fancied myself an artist, although I seldom worked with paint. I’ve never owned a palette like that, and I doubt I ever will.

L.d.s. – the writing on this entire “collage” just drives me crazy. At the time I’m sure it looked¬†soooo cool, but now . . . not so much. This was my way of saying I’m Mormon¬†(a much more unique fact in California than Utah).

Television – with a cutesy face and everything. I liked watching tv? How original. I can’t think of any shows I watched at that age, though.

Computer – with evil face. Apparently computers were not my friend. Eighth graders today wouldn’t draw a computer that looked anything like that – with the monitor on top of the stand, a mouse that has a cord, a big clunky keyboard . . .

Sun with glasses – hilariously, I think this is meant to say I like being outside. Now I just like to sit inside (or, even better, lay down on my ridiculously comfortable bed) and read a book. Or sleep.

Needle and orange thread – a somewhat inventive way of indicating orange was my favorite color. REALLY favorite. Did I sew much? No.

B.Y.U. – the college I did go to and eventually graduate from.

Stack of books – I love reading. Always.

Jukebox – I listened almost exclusively to oldies at the time.

Ballet shoe – by eighth grade I was no longer doing ballet, but it had been part of my life for years. In seventh grade I injured my knee and stopped dancing for a while.

Report card – very humble. Notice the A, A-, A, B+. Pretty sure I was trying to say I’m smart.

Phones – those are the actual phones we had in our house! A red one in the kitchen and a cordless one (so fancy) with a big antenna.

Pencil and paper – I liked writing. I’ve come to realize over the last decade that I can write personal essays and blog posts well enough, but fiction is beyond me. I used to have some great ideas for short stories, and part of me is a little disappointed that nothing will ever come of those, but at the same time I recognize that my writing is nothing compared to, say, Brandon Sanderson.

Telescope and stars – who doesn’t love stars? To be honest, I’ve never used a telescope.

Algebra 2 textbook – by this time I liked math again, and was good at it. I was one of a few eighth graders taking algebra 2 that year.

Glasses – I love the googly eyes. I got contacts at the end of ninth grade, but I’d had glasses since fifth grade.

CTR ring – stands for “Choose the Right,” a precursor to WWJD. I’ve only ever seen this in Mormonism.

Flower – I liked flowers?

$ – self-explanatory.

m&ms – my favorite color was tan. There are a few blue m&ms in the picture, so this must have been after they took out tan and added blue. Thumbs down.

Music note – I assume this meant I liked music, not that I’m in any way (or ever have been) musically inclined.

Braces – of all unfair things, I had braces twice. Once from 4th-7th grade, and again from 8th-11th.

Cookie – in home ec in seventh grade, I made a chocolate chip cookie pillow. From a kit. It came with an entire pattern and all the pieces. Very basic.

Stereo – with a tape deck! I don’t think this had a cd player at all.