“What does an old school photo to­day?” re­veal about who I am

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - david camp­bell J. Wood. ood. Year 8 Science. ence. David co-hosts To­day Ex­tra, 9am week­days, on the Nine Net­work.

has a mes­sage for the teenage boy he was in 1986.

It’s not the sort of de­liv­ery you re­ceive ev­ery day. My sis­ter turned up for a visit and dropped off a pack­age some­one had given to my fa­ther with the strict trict in­struc­tions: “It It must be hand-de­liv­ered d-de­liv­ered to David.” How thrilling! As the theme to tomis­sion: Mis­sion:

Im­pos­si­ble ssi­ble played in my head, I fan­ta­sised tasised about the planes I’d hang ang off as I cracked the code ode that would stop the planet et from tee­ter­ing off its axis. NASA would thank me. The Queen would knight me and nd even Pres­i­dent Trump mp would for­give whatt I’d said about him and call me a “Re­ally, re­al­lyy great guy, one of the best and smartest I know, ow, and I know all the he best guys, I am sure you will agree.”

Thee Wal­ter Mit­tyesquee dream­scape dis­solved olved quickly whenn I pulled out a sim­plem­ple old reg­is­ter book.. Its faded green n cover was non­de­script­de­script and, hang g on, there’s hand­writ­ing dwrit­ing in thee cor­ner! My Year 8 teacher had sent me an old class photo and my re­port from that year. A deep dive into what made me the man I am to­day. What clues would it un­lock in my psy­che to em­bolden m me for the rest of my life? Prov­ing once and for all that I al­ways had a spark. Per­haps I was seen as gifted in high school and nev­ern knew it. I flicked through the p pages of notes on the school and found mym name. CAMP­BELL, David. Asse As­sess­ment 1 com­ments… Here we go! Well or­gan­ised. G Good book­work and atte at­ten­tion to de­tail. B. Wait. That w was it? No. Surely there w was more? This was it. I was an av­er­age B stud stu­dent. Just nice. Well or­gan­ise­dorga (read: needy), had goo good book­work (nerdy) and at­ten­tion­at­ten to de­tail (early OCD).OCD I looked over thet photo and the mem­o­ries camec flood­ing back. The bowl hair­cut neatly framin fram­ing ears al­ready too big for my head. The ner­vous sm smile and arms stiff at my side so as not to stand out. NowhereNow near pu­berty and the re­bel­lion that would creep­cree into my school years in t the com­ing years. I would tr try to dis­tract from my crip­pli crip­pling acne and anx­i­ety by show­ing off and mak­ing my school­mates, and with any luck the girls in my class, laugh and see beyond all that.

My grades would slip to C, then some Ds, and my at­ten­tion to de­tail be­came fo­cused on my won­der­ful mul­let and my at­ti­tude, which was less OCD and more un­di­ag­nosed ADHD.

I think of my lat­ter high school years as what de­fined me to be the per­former I am to­day. I had “more front than Myer”, keep­ing most peo­ple at bay while my life and iden­tity were be­ing chal­lenged daily and ty­ing me in knots.

How­ever, when I looked at that boy in the sec­ond row in 1986, I re­alised I’m more like him now than ever be­fore. I was too harsh on him. Too quick to force him out of my mem­ory. He was a good boy. He cared, per­haps a lit­tle too much. He loved comic books and just wanted to be liked. In fact, I wish I was even more like him.

Ex­cept for the hair­cut.

When looked at that boy from 1986, I re­alised I’m more like him now than ever. I was too harsh on him”

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