Collected Essays (1997)

A little while ago, my dad unearthed some of my early “work” while clearing out the garage. Included among various sticker-based arts was this small folio of collected essays from 1997. In 1997 I finished the fifth grade and turned 11 years old. I think my teacher had us write regular essays (weekly?) and then we bound up the best at the end of the year.

Presented here for your quarantine-reading pleasure are selected essays from my 1997 collection. You will note my life-long commitment to self-confidence, general unwillingness to give a fuck about what people think I should be doing, and complete fearlessness when it comes to telling people they’re being dumb.

green construction paper with text in marker "Collected Essays. 1997. Written by: Lindsey Ann Halsell"
I provided my own cover art.

The first essay is “The hardest things about being a kid.” Mostly, this proves how not-at-all hard my life was, or perhaps that it was hard in ways I was unable to articulate at the time. I don’t know what my sister was doing that was making me so mad (probably just being a seven-year-old), but we’re over it now.

Next are some thoughts on my “plans and dreams” for the future. I was clearly very fixated on getting married and having babies (thanks, Mormon propaganda), but luckily I was able to shake that with age. I guess my life was supposed to end after having kids though? I’m going to assume that my fifth-grade self would be way more impressed with how I actually turned out.

What will I remember about fifth grade? Apparently, how much I hated it all. Yes, I do appreciate the irony of not wanting to write essays week after week and becoming a professional technical writer. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

An essay describing the many things I hate about fifth grade
Forever meta.

Finally, we have my self-assessment of my performance in fifth grade. I am a master of all that I do.

Thank you for sharing a laugh with me on this. I hope it gives you a chuckle during this time of social isolation.

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