#1: I just want people to think…

I am here because I am salty about too many things. There’s this weird, fiery passion I have for proving people wrong, a need to do… something. I have this impulse to fight people, an impulse that is somewhat squashed when I once again realize I am five foot three and have no muscle mass. Yet, I still find myself calling people out on their behaviour, because I care too much. I suppose I am here because I need a less destructive way to subtly influence people. For a pacifist, I have an unhealthy amount of anger (it’s all social justice based, but that’s not the point). The logical part of me says, ‘why punch people in the throat when you can just change their minds with emotions.’ I’m pretty sure it’s that part that has led me to participating in this program. Besides, violence never solved anything anyway, and I’m far too self centered to get into a situation in which my face might get damaged. 

The real, REAL reason I am here is my family. When you come from a multiracial, middle class family with extensive mental and physical health problems, you come to realize that the calm and beautiful reputation Vermont has gathered is somewhat ridiculous (especially if you just happen to be transgender on the side). I want to show people that supposed, perfect bubble world they live in is not as good as they thought. Fear not, dear reader, for I do not wish this project to simply make people feel bad, I want this to inspire the change people seem to think we do not need. I realize that I, a mere sophomore in high school, cannot change Vermont, but at the same time I don’t give a shit. I just want people to think. 


Nathan DeGroot

3 Responses to “#1: I just want people to think…

  • Nathan, I love this post! I completely understand caring too much… That’s one reason why I’m here too. Even just based on this, I’m excited to see what your project will end up being!
    Just for future reference so I don’t mess them up, what pronouns do you prefer?

  • Nathan, I’ve enjoyed reading your initial blog posts here immensely. In just a few short paragraphs, you’ve demonstrated your willingness to grapple honestly with your motivations, limitations, and objectives. Recognizing your own tendencies and realizing that your energy can produce more positive change when funneled intentionally is not only healthy, it’s a real sign of maturity – as is your un-self-centered desire to raise social awareness for the benefit of others, including your family.

    I’m sure you’ve been thinking a lot since Friday’s kick-off meeting about what you might want to focus on for your What’s the Story project. I’ll be eager to read about how your thinking progresses throughout the fall and winter. By way of introduction, I work at the Bread Loaf School of English and contributed to last year’s project as a blog responder as well.

    With all best wishes,

  • Dear Nathan,

    I can tell that reading your blog is going to be a blast! I discovered through this process last year that reading someone’s blog on a regular basis is actually a very personal experience. In this, your very first post, you have gotten my attention, and I’m eager and ready to read on…

    I agree with you that violence solves very few problems, and especially not the problems that seem to be on your mind. In fact, I often tell my students that their writing utensils are the most powerful tools they will ever know. Here are some thoughts on this topic:

    Ferdinand Foch: “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”
    Rudyard Kipling: “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
    Nelson Mandela: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

    I think that your clear, articulate writing; unique voice; personal experience; and your passion are a powerful force through which you can effectively channel your frustrations, thoughts and findings.

    And I can’t wait to hear more.


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