Familiar Things ANDY STRAUSS

My Room

The sun beams that shine through the window on winter days. The sight of snow outside the window that glistens and intensifies its self. The dust that is illuminated by the sunlight. These are what I think of when I think of my room.

My Room is a safe haven, it’s where I do everything. It's where my parents sent me when I was in trouble, it’s where I went when my parents were in trouble. When I feel like everything is out of control, I go to my room, there I am invincible. It gives me a sense of power, when I have none, I choose the way things are in my room. I sit at my desk with my computer, collection of puzzles, and my bag of Wether's candies. This is where I do all my work, where I study, where I play games, and where I learn. When I turn around in my swivel chair I find myself in front of another desk. This desk is only a recent addition to my space, but it feels like it has been here all along. On my wall two guitars hang, one classical and one acoustic. I take one down, sit on my bed, and play. As I strum the strings of the guitar I look at the sun beams that comes through the window and beyond that, the brilliant snow.


Andrew is a powerful name, it was often given to the children of kings and rulers. Traditionally it means "strong", "courageous", and "warrior". When I ask my parents why they named me Andrew they tell me that they loved how it is a strong name that carries power and prestige, like a king sitting high atop a horse while he orders thousands of men to there deaths in the name of, well, himself. When they said they wanted to give me a strong name they didn't hold back, my middle name is Augustus which in latin means “the exalted one”. It is also the name of the predecessor and first true emperor of Rome. Now, I understand why the named me Andrew, it was to make me powerful, but all throughout growing up I was always annoyed at the number of people who shared my name. No matter where I went there would always be another Andrew. I can't possibly recount the number of times I have spoken out, and consequently yelled at, when a teacher calls on “Andrew”. As I've gotten older and more logical, I find myself indifferent to my name, I have no feelings on it, tho I am still cautious when a teacher calls on Andrew.


My first time shaving was not necessarily a failure but.. Maybe it was. I was in 7th grade and the fuzz that preteens often have was starting to darken. I don't know why but I've never really felt comfortable asking my parents for advice.

So, without any help, I picked up the razor and quickly found out that I must not slide it horizontally, or, it would slide through me like a hot knife through butter. This resulted in many streaks of red forming along the many shallow cuts in my face, not very attractive as you can imagine. The next thing I learned was that shaving cream is vastly superior to soap. I learned this a little later after the hair started to grow back, and some decided it wasn't going to grow properly, I had discovered ingrown hairs. Which would manifest themselves as pimples that would not go away. This was all made worse when I had to go to school the next day. Me being in 7th grade was, and still am, very self conscious about acne, so my self esteem went from its normal nine out of ten to about a five. Despite all these hard learned lessons, I still have never asked my dad for any shaving advice, but, at this point I would consider myself a shaving pro.


My grandfather is the person who, even more so than my parents, shaped me to be a person who questions everything. In fact two of the most influential people in my life independently told me the same thing: “Trust but verify.”

When I see him in my head I see a man wearing an army uniform with dark brown, neat combed hair with a part down the left side. Not very muscular more of a tech. He always tells me what it was like being a pilot, and that if i'm ever drafted to NOT be one. He never told me why...

My Grandfather’s mind is like a jet or a locomotive, it is powerful and quick. However in his later years it has become more like a really nice car. It shaped programs that would make computers the number crunching powerhouses they are today. His intelligence lead him to working with some very famous people such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Steve even presented him with the very first Macintosh to ever come off the production line. His stubbornness on certain political topics can be annoying, but he will always listen to your whole argument, which is something he has also imparted onto me. Even if he was incredibly smart one thing that is the most important lesson I have ever been taught, is that you don't have to be smart if you fake it people will believe you.


Created with images by RichardBowen - "Guitar" • Wokandapix - "chess game strategy" • vargazs - "razor shaving brush holders hair"

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