[B][U]Circa-early 2001-02 school year[/U][/B]
Seventh grade at Perry Junior High. The time when all the sixth graders from the three elementary schools the year before start a new school year, together. It’s also the first time you experience having classes with kids from different grades.
Together…Especially in gym class.
All the eventful things always happen in the locker rooms at the end of class. Some kids would exchange homework questions, others would talk about their plans for the day or the week, whatever.
Me? It usually varied between getting harassed by the 9th graders or teased by my fellow 7th graders, who taunted me because I needed an aid to follow me from class to class and take notes, or help me with my class work, etc. (but that’s [URL=“http://i364.photobucket.com/albums/oo89/AKrum88/LPUscreens/NearDeathExperience.png?t=1261267681”]another story[/URL]). The 9th graders were the thing I feared the most at that time. It started with an occasional shove into a gym locker or wall. A couple times I’ve had my notebooks or binders torn apart or my gym clothes or wristwatch stolen from my locker.
Then there was lunch, which, at most times, had very minimal supervision. At that time I would sit with the same three kids everyday. Kids there, almost daily, would come over and pick at my lunch, or throw it across the room or on the floor. Then I’d sometimes get my head forced onto the table or something.
A couple times a week, usually, I would have scheduled meetings with the school’s counselor to update where I was in my school work, and to address anything that I felt was needed. At first I was a little skeptical with speaking out, thinking all she could do was tell me what to do next. Instead, she took action in telling the gym teachers what was going on, and over time, they increased their supervision in the locker room.
On my Christmas list that year, one thing I remember was asking for a "mix CD that had Limp Bizkit’s “My Way” and Linkin Park’s “In The End” on it, among other things. Instead, I received Hybrid Theory and, naturally, the first few weeks were spent listening to In The End, and occasionally One Step Closer and Crawling.
One day, in the middle of January '02, I had the HT booklet open and on my bed. I started reading through some of the lyrics to some of the other songs. As I was reading, I started putting myself in the words I was reading.
I then just decided to listen to the whole thing, cover to cover. Then I’d listen through it again. And again.
This was amazing. It was like Linkin Park had known all along who I was and what I was going through, and knew just how to help me through it. It was one thing that really kept me going and looking at things more positively.
Having not been a /huge/ LP fan at the time, I bought Reanimation in the middle of August later in the year. After that, Meteora was released and I had paid my mom the money (who was working at home at the time) to go out and pick up a special edition of the album for me the day it came out, so I could experience it when I got home from school that day. That was a day I won’t forget. Having watched the making of Meteora, then my very first listen to it solidified me as a hardcore fan. This was an album that I could let more of my built-up anger with. Especially with Chester’s face-melting screams in Faint, From The Inside and Figure.09. And then my parents had told me that I was going to see them live. In concert.
It was April Fool’s Day when they told me, so, at first I thought they were pulling one on me. It was scheduled to be the first show of that year’s Projekt Revolution tour with X-Zibit, Blindside and Mudvayne. The night before the show, the whole state was pounded with a snow/ice storm and the show ended up rescheduling, and they came back on an off day from Summer Sanitarium with Mudvayne, Cold and Jurassic 5. It was there that I could scream along with my idols, and get out everything I had in me, for one night, with thousands of others. Their live show, for me at that time, was like nothing I’d ever seen, and made me want to see again. So I went back to Projekt Revolution, in 2004.
At the time Minutes To Midnight was released, I, like many others, had grown out of the nÃ¼ metal era and was experiencing all other kinds of music, from classic rock bands to heavy metal bands, I was into it all. MTM fit right into that era, with a new, redefined sound, it made me glad to feel like Linkin Park, in a sense, was growing up with me. Especially with lyrics like
[B]I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
And let go of what I’ve done[/B]
After seeing them live at 2007’s Projekt Revolution, I started getting more involved in the online community, namely, the Linkin Park message boards. Soon I found myself spending a lot of time, and nearly my whole day on the boards. In between classes at community college, or here, at home. It was a couple months later that I bough Best Buy’s LPUnderground7 pack.
Joining the LPU was one of the best things that could have happened to me (outside of that year’s CD which had edited versions of recordings I had already downloaded). I was meeting more people who were just like me, with similar, and interesting, stories. Going into the chat room on a regular basis (and still do to this day), and interacting with some people who I’ve considered best friends over the years, which also led to a group of us meeting up at the Revolution Stage of Projekt Revolution 2008 in Hartford (unrelated, but my happy birthday sign for Chris Cornell at this show landed me in an episode of [URL=“http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_AB2DanWSY#t=1m16s”] LPTV[/URL]).
Linkin Park inspires me and keeps me going everyday and meeting them in Boston on the A Thousand Suns world tour was one moment I know I’ll never forget. The only thing I really regret from that experience is that we didn’t have enough time to interact, or to show them my tattoo (which was [URL=“http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgFnGafq1Q4#t=1m30s”]inspired by my life experiences[/URL]), which I plan to have them sign when I attend this summer’s Summit