It was an open brief, although back in high school we called them assignments or projects. We had to create a 5-10 minute presentation on an event in history. Everything was in play. To inspire us, our teacher Ms. Hauser, played "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel. One event from the song struck a chord with me and I called dibs immediately. No, it wasn't "rock and rolla cola wars", it was Woodstock. And that's when I realized that I was naturally different.
I explained to my teacher, that, "in order to do justice" to Woodstock, I had to recreate Woodstock. Also, I needed a full class period, and I'd have to be the last to present, so as to not intimidate my classmates. I spent the next weeks splitting my time between research and creative pursuits. I learned where the library was and how to look things up on microfiche. I enlisted the help of friends who were the first people I knew of with a cd burner to create my custom playlist from songs we downloaded from the internet, a completely new concept. I stayed late in art class to paint a banner. I convinced someone to lend me their powerful boombox. I bought and inflated some beach balls for the crowd and I customized my wardrobe for the presentation. I met with the principal about getting a fog machine. I met with the science department about ordering dry ice.
I billed it as "42 Minutes of Peace and Love" and did my own promotion/PR for the event. I invited the entire school, over 200 showed. On April 6th, 2000, I made my grand entrance from the side of the school, my Fender Stratocaster slung across my chest, American flag on my back and proceeded to give my presentation after Jimi Hendrix's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Then, for added educational benefit, I performed a well-practiced and choreographed routine of Mr.
The event was a success, I got an A++ on my presentation, penned a featured story in the school newspaper, the dance sequence made it into our Senior Video, and I got a standing ovation at the Senior Breakfast. All for doing what came naturally to me, creating something exciting, and memorable to convey a message.