#tbt: Tales of a third-grade Laura

Third-grade Laura is a damn liar. This does, however, document my first attempt at bullshitting an assignment – a trend that continued well through college.




Maybe wait a little longer…

Among my 6 million jobs currently getting me to the next time I have full-time employment is babysitting. I’ve been doing a lot of hanging out with children under the age of 5 this summer.  

And that, as you may know, can come with some great stories. Because you never know what they will say. 

Take, for example, young Cooper, age 3, who talked up a storm when I took him to school the other day. 

Best thing he said though was about his future career goals: “I only have to go to school until I’m 17. And then, if somebody needs a dad, I can be their dad!” 

Been there, done that

Whenever I get stressed, I have dreams about high school or college. I think I’ve told you about this before. In the dreams I have already graduated, but then find out that there was a class I forgot to go to. Ever. Or a test I didn’t pass so my grades are all wrong and I have to go back.

No thank you.

If when I’m stressed, the first thing my subconscious goes to is high school, that should mean it was the most stressful time of my life, right?

I don’t know. In some ways it was, but who’s isn’t. At least at the time, everything seems to be the worst possible thing or best possible thing when it happens. Until you get past high school and realize there are much more important things to worry about.

My high school experience wasn’t all bad. In fact, I liked a majority of it. I met some great people that I still keep in touch with and hang out with on a regular basis. However, the only one I see constantly from my graduating class is my roommate.

I tell you that to tell you this – in one year, my graduating class will be celebrating 10 years out of high school. They’ve already started the Facebook group and messages and stuff about what we want to do and who wants to come and I could not be less interested.

Same goes for the roommate. We’ve made a pact, I guess you could call it, to not go.

Why? ‘Cause it doesn’t matter to me. If I wanted to see these people or what they were doing I could just look at their Facebook page. And if you do that, then you don’t have to talk to them!

We’re not close. We’re not like my sister’s graduating class who basically all ended up as good friends and a majority of which went to the same college so everyone kept pretty well in touch. I saw some people from my graduating class at college – besides the group of friends I went down there with – and they acted like we’d been best friends when they saw me.

Or, in one case, when they needed help with homework because we were in the same class, all the sudden we’re buddies. When, in reality, you had about 2 words to say to me the entire four years we shared several classes a day.

I’m just not interested. I don’t want to go, so, as it stands now, I’m not.

I’ll just stick to what I’ve already done – helped out at my sister’s class reunions and tried to be an honorary member of that class. I hang out with more of them anyway.

Lunch Lady Land

I take pictures for my job. But you already knew that. And write, of course. And sometimes the stuff I get to do I am amazed and excited to get paid for. Like last week, when I took pictures of a group of lunch ladies at a local elementary school who let a class full of kids spray them with silly string because they won a contest.

This first one is my favorite, it’s in the paper this week in black and white, which is unfortunate ’cause the colors are so awesome. But it’s an awesome picture.

And here are the rest. Luckily both the camera and I came out unscathed. But it was loud, crazy and one of the most fun things I’ve shot.

…and a little bit of that

In addition to the skills I have to photograph athletic events, I also haven’t forgotten I’m a band nerd. I recently shot a couple schools’ band practices. Here’s some of them. The first one I like the most, on account of the shadows. And the fact that I had to climb up the tower some to get it.

Play photos, Act I

Remember when I told you how I learned to take pictures of things in motion? Well, now, I can take pictures of things when the lighting is horrible. And they turn out well! Who knew?

Everything I’ve learned about photography I’ve basically taught myself. Yes, I took a photo class in college, but that was kind of a waste because I got bad grades on all my assignments – which is bull because that picture of the egg on the floor of my dorm room is AMAZING, my sister has it framed and hanging in her room. B- my ass.

Anyways. In the past four years I’ve been working at a weekly paper, I’ve had to take my own pictures – which they don’t tell you in school because they figure you’ll work at a daily where people are hired JUST AS PHOTOGRAPHERS. Don’t get me wrong, I like taking pictures. A lot. I’m glad I get to do different things besides writing all the time because it keeps things changing and keeps them fun. I just wasn’t prepared to be a photographer when I started my first job out of college. And if you look at my pictures from that first year or so at that paper, you’d be like, “UM, YOU WERE RIGHT, YOU SUCKED.”

I’m 99 percent convinced that photography is mostly about luck. A co-worker (who is awesome at photography) told me once if you were seeing it and your eye wasn’t behind the lens, you were missing it. Watch stuff through the lens and get to shooting. The rest of the photography process is based on focus, lighting, your subject and whether or not you have shaky hands, which effects the whole focus thing.

In the past couple years, since I’ve been at a job where people actually take awesome pictures and could help me out a little bit, I’ve learned a lot. My co-workers have helped me out with settings and f-stops and ISOs and all that stuff I should have retained from Basic Photo, but didn’t. And with lots of practice and covering several different types of events, I’ve gotten better, I think. Hell, I even won a couple photo awards. So, chew on that, photo teacher that gave me a C.

This past weekend I shot photos of a play at a local high school. I got some good shots, I think. So many, in fact that I’m gonna show you some now, and show you some later. ENJOY!

Gardening is for girls

Yesterday I went to one of the local elementary schools and shot some pictures of students planting tulips in honor of Red Ribbon Week. Everyone got to plant one, but while the girls were interested in talking about the flowers and seeing if they could have a turn to plant another bulb – the boys were more concerned with the number of worms they could collect.

Because, hello, worms are SOOOO much cooler than flowers….

Look at all these worms
Up close and personalCollecting worms