Pausing my essay that’s due tomorrow to write about my feelings towards this random woman, The Thermals, and other bands
I rarely make posts about things that actually matter to me so forgive me, I’m new at this.
I was about 13 when I had first heard The Thermals. This happened during a point in my life where Good Charlotte was really the only thing I would allow myself to obsess over and “hot” was spelled with two “t”s. I want to say it was my first week of the 7th grade when my English class’s TA came up to me and asked me what kind of music I was into. Maybe she wasn’t a TA. She was probably between 22 and 25, and assisting my teacher for free so she could become a teacher herself. I can’t remember her name for the life of me but remember her choppy short red hair and this leather cuff bracelet she always wore that had star cut-outs around it. She told me if I gave her a cd to borrow, she’d burn it into her computer and in turn burn me a copy of something she liked. As I gave here my whole collection of Good Charlotte, Chumbawamba, Green Day, and NOFX, she changed my fucking life forever. It started with the Ramones’ Anthology, then The Thermals, The Unicorns, The Hives, Interpol, The Killers, and more Hives. At that age, I was probably the most impressive 13 year old I had ever met.
The bands she introduced me to are still in the top 10 bands that I’ve been listening to for the past 7 years of my life. Every fucking time they play, I think of this woman and can’t be more appreciative. And every fucking time I think of her, I kick myself for not being able to remember her name. I want to somehow find her on Facebook, take her out for lunch, and go to a show with her one day. I’m constantly trying to think of ways to find her. I thought of calling the school and asking for my 7th grade English teacher’s email, then emailing her asking if she possibly even remembers her assistant’s name who was never an official employee of the school. Then I thought about how awkward it would be for a former student to email a teacher about someone else that changed their life. Starting the email off with “Hi, my name is blah, I was in your class during blah and I looked like blah. Do you remember me? Good, because I give a shit about nothing you did, I was just wondering if you remembered your assistant that year because she’s my all time favorite human being.” Besides being somewhat insulting, I almost feel like Ms. Burwell wouldn’t remember her assistant’s name. Or remember her in general. She was only around until Christmas break. I remember. I made her a mixtape for Christmas. It included a lot of American Hi-Fi and other things I had collected from previous Warped Tour compilations.
I had also looked through a lot of the writing and doodles I had from that time. Okay, I’m not a hoarder, I threw out all the school work from my notebooks and kept the drawings and random scribblings I had. They’re sentimental. Anyway, it was all unfortunately during a time where I didn’t keep a diary. Mainly because nothing really happened during that point in my life.
I often think about the TA from my 7th grade English class and randomly wonder if she ever thinks about the school or schools she’s helped out at or even possibly remembers the quiet non-goth that shared Chumbawamba with her. Then I depress myself by assuming she’s moved away somewhere amazing and has thrown out that very out-of-style leather star cuff she wore every day. Maybe finally writing this down where I know someone may see it will motivate me to try? Or I can hope that one day I will be rich and hire a private detective to find all of this out. Or hope I find something on Groupon giving me a very large discount on local detective work. Wishful thinking.