Like a little kid craning to see the car’s odometer roll over into the next all-zero milestone, I must admit it excites me every time that happens with my column, which today rolls over to 600. I looked back over the past 11 years and thought it might be fun to chronicle all my other big rollover events.
In my first column on March 21, 1999, I wrote about a smart aleck kid who set up a website giving kids ideas on how they could disrupt class. His parents actually hired a lawyer to defend his right to do it. Who could ever guess back then that technology would advance to the point where the 2010 middle school curriculum included a unit on the most recent form of class disruption known as sexting?
In February of 2001, my 100th column showcased a substitute teacher, Debbie Vickers, who instructed a group of Creekland Middle School students in making baby clothes for a charity called Tiny Stitches. Vickers no longer subs, but continues to volunteer with Tiny Stitches, which makes and distributes more than 2,500 items per month to infants in need.
In January of 2003, column 200 documented a visit to the India Market near Gwinnett Place. Back then, India Market was one of the few Indian stores in the metro area, attracting customers from as far away as Tennessee. The store is no longer in business, but most everything I saw there is now available in any mainstream grocery store.
In December of 2004, I was subbing in an ESOL class at Nesbit Elementary School where I had a chance encounter in the library with Jaime Sarrio, who was then the education reporter for the Daily Post. Column 300 told of how a Newberry Book Award poster prompted a discussion of classic books Sarrio and I both loved as kids. Within minutes, my first-graders, even with their limited English skills, entered the literary discussion.
Number 400 in 2006 was a column in which I shared a few pieces of random advice. I related that after the summer, when I put on my old jeans, they fit perfectly in the thighs and hips, but somehow I’d developed a little flab in front that wouldn’t let the zipper up. “No problem!” said my friend Joyce. “Simply lie down on the bed. The flab will sink down into your abdominal cavity and the zipper will just slide on up.” After all these years, it still works and thanks to Joyce, I can still “fit” into those same jeans.
In October of 2008, I wrote column 500 about my experience with early voting and all the wonderful people I met during the four hours I waited in line. Though I hadn’t meant for this column to have any purpose other than merely counting my own milestones, in the bigger scheme of things, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that early voting for 2010 in now full swing. Considering all the close calls we had in the primaries, I concede, that unlike my columns, every one of your votes is something really worth counting.
Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at email@example.com.