The Page Of Me
by me, Chas Schweizer
Chas(primary use) El Chive(secondary use) Chasmobile Chasly Chasington Chuck(only Charles Hall calls me this) Chasarooni(Don't use this one in my presence) Chasdol Huggybear(Yes, that's 1 word--my mom's) Chasovich Chasbo
I am from St. Louis. A live in St. Louis. I have always lived in St. Louis. I guess this makes me a St. Louisan. Heck, I'm at college, and I'm still in St. Louis!! I was born here circa June of '78 (I maintain this vagueness to support my "switched at birth" theory) and given to my overly affectionate mother (aren't they all??) and my fly-fishing, mountain-climbing, stock-brockering, now-lawyer, yuppie father. Actually, he's not a yuppie anymore. He can't afford to be now that he has 4 kids, 2 in high school and 2 in college. So in a fine Schweizer tradition, I have taken over that role and proceed to spend his money on expensive computer equipment. Actually, its not his money, but my money. Actually, its not so much my money as my grandparents money, in my name. Thus I owe my grandparents a great deal (as if I didn't already) and I have gotten away from the prefered topic, which is me. I went to an assortment of schools for Kindergarten, pre-K, and before, where I had started a notorious career of kissing redheads females and hitting other males with building blocks to protect my prize, which in fact was not the redhead, but a huge building block castle significantly taller than I was. Actually, I have no recollection of the redhead, but my Mom swears it happened, so it must be true...right? What I do remember from Ladue Chapel is running out of the wooden building blocks for my castle and having to use those stupid imitation bricks-- you know, those large unweildy hollow cardboard rectangular prisms? I soon gave up on using those-- they just didn't go with the general design. This is probably where I ran into trouble with the other guys. Now that I was lacking my engaging activity of designing and building my wooden castle, I had nothing to do but patrol its outer walls and be generally wary of skulking 4 year olds out to steal my blocks for their own diabolical purposes or, even worse, to HELP ME!!!! If there's one thing I hate, its people messin' with my stuff, especially things I created. That kid got just what he deserved (grr..rrr.. trying to help me...[grumble, grumble]....[more grumbling]), though I have remorse to this day from having to take a much needed block from the infrastructure of my masterpiece to bring about this piece of justice.
After that it was on to the Village School, in which the most notable events were getting a burgundy shirt for my birthday from a pair of twins (it had a VW bug on the front, I think) and digging up grubs in the playground amongst the rolly-pollies (you know what a grub is, right? It's one of those thick tube-like deals that is white and has an orange thing at one end. They are common, but not nearly as plentiful as rolly-pollies (have I been spelling this right?)). Then 'twas on to first grade at the Wilson School, where I was destined to spend the next four years having "cows" and "spazzes", playing four square, teatherball, and kick ball, reading useless books, not learning science, and wasting my time in general. I remember much more from this era, but wish I didn't. It was not a very worth while stay at a school that was less than good. The only good part that I can note is in the third grade, with the dreaded Mrs. Oar (their best teacher, whom they fired the next year), when I got moved up to the upper level math group. A couple of funny things-- I don't even remember knowing that there was an upper math group, or being in a math group at all, before this. I think I must only remember things when they interest me, because I can't recall anything about math before this event, which seems to me very strange. The other funny thing is that I was "promoted" at the same time as Tova Carlin, who happens to have the same birthday as my official one, who left after that year, but who, 3 years later, went to the same high school as I, for 6 years. Maybe we'll meet again in graduate school? Not likely, but who knows? While being in the upper math group now brings many a good memory, it also brings one bad one. One night I was having an inordinately hard time firguring out one of the problems. I finally got frustrated (this happens often, and trust me, you don't want to be around. Last time I put a foot through a wall, and the time before that I put my hand through two panes of glass (both of these incidents had happened before, they are not really unique)) and wrote several bad words in my math book. It was one of those soft-cover write-in-the-book deals, not a real text book (I would never deface a real text book), and of course the next day in math, Mrs. Oar instructed us to exchange books so we could check eachothers' work. I had not had a second thought of my little discourse in profanity until then, but I as soon as I remembered it was there, my mind immediately fabricated a hope that would provide an excuse not to pee in my pants (such was my fear of authority/humiliation/disappointing elders). That hope was, of course: "Maybe they won't tell". Then that thing-that-called-itself-reason, which was very very small in my stage of emotional/intellectual developement, stated: "But you have to pass to the left!" On my left sat the bane to bad behavior, the prim and proper and perfect little Erika Hatridge, whose dad drove a Porsche 944, like mine, though his was red and my dad's was brown, so it was generally accepted that she had me beat...where was I? Oh, yeah. Well, that little impossible hope held on to the last minute, which was actaully less than a minute, when EH raised her hand and tattled: "Uh, Mrs. Oar? Can you look at this?" I will never forgive her, not that it really matters now since she went god-knows-where after the fifth grade. Now it seems like nothing. I sure didn't turn out too badly (I suppose I'll let this be democratic, so you should decide for yourself), and the language was not so bad. I mean, it wasn't nearly as bad as what I hear from college students on a regular basis... but then again they are college students, so that's not really the best comparison. Well, on to the fourth grade-- no let's skip that (the idle of my fourth grade teacher, Mr. McKracken, was, believe it or not, Alf. What a dork!), so fifth grade-- let's skip that too, sixth?--no let's move on to Burroughs...wait, wait... I just remembered something about sixth grade: We got to read Ivanhoe. This was the best book I had read up to that point, and started my interest in reading. We also got to read a re-written Ulysses, which was a real treat. I was into mythology at the time, as was a 1 year friend Doug Lewis (he went to Clayton High, I to Burroughs. What's worse, his parentls got divorced at the end of the year, and I didn't see him much after that.) Unfortunately this insterest was submerged by Burroughs' horrible summer reading books-- they made me dread reading, as I think they do many kids, which is a shame. I think they would really get more out of reading junk books that are entertaining and easing their way into more intelligent complex stuff...but that's just my opinion-- at any rate, this interest was submerged until something like the ninth grade when a new friend (Brad G) gave me a book by David Eddings called Domes of Fire. I am a generally thorough person, though, so when I saw that it was the first book of his fourth series, I decided that I wanted to read the preceding volumes first. This involved reading thirteen books each in the 400 to 500 page region. I finished these in record time-- I just couldn't put them down! One of the things I am most proud of doing with respect to the family is introducing enjoyable reading to my brother Jeff at an earlier age than it was revealed to me. I got him reading Eddings and Robert Jordan by the end of seventh grade, and he's still chugging along. I think he may have read the eddings books faster than I did, but it was all such a blur, and I can always use the excuse that I had to wait to get mom to go get them.
Well, I have digressed much from my chrono-illogical bio-not-very-graph-like-story, so we'll move on to my stay at John Burroughs, the best high school in St. Louis, if I may say...er...type so. Well, in short, I got into the best private high school in St. Louis, which was a good thing because it was the only school I applied to. At Burroughs I excelled in Science, math (except 8th grade where I had a little incident regarding a small lie which I told my evil math the teacher, who I swore spent first period in Hell because he had these HUGE sweat stains under his armpits-- sometimes they almost met in the middle --which were really disgusting. I suppose that said incident, which will never be reffered to again, might actually have been beneficial, as it was the last lie I told to a teacher. At any rate, I also excelled somewhat in Latin, and did decently in History and liked it (probably solely because of good teachers --Mr. Nicholas and Mr. Johnson). No mention will be made of my career as an English student, and no mention will be made of the hated Mr. Dee (Kinda reminds you of a Catullus poem, don't it? Praeteritio, I think it's called). I had an interesting time in robotics, in which I excelled in design and implementation of the physical robot while lagging in understanding of the electrical relay board and such. The funny thing is now I am probably the best solderer of those in the class, and understand the concepts as well as most. I attended neither prom, as I had discovered early on (that rash of 7th and 8th grade dances and Bar/Batz-mitzvas (spelling?)) that I hated dances. I was on the varsity swim team for four years, but not the football team- so don't ask. I played chess, and competed in all the math-programs. I was introduced to AD&D by Brad, which I got obsessed with. Strangely enough, I got introduced to Brad through John. This is only strange because Brad was only a year behind me for all six years of Wilson. I didn't even know him until like 8th or 9th grade or something. Mmmm... that's about it for highlights. Maybe I'll expand on this later...
I am now a student at Washington University, a very good school for most, a safety for me. My expectations have been much surpassed in the engineering department, however. It seems to me that the engineering school is almost up there with MIT or Princeton. My theory is that the only reason no one says this is that they are always talking about how great the Med. school is. I live in Wash. Hall, am continuing my studies in theoretical mathematics and Latin, while picking up German and spending the rest of my time in the school of Engineering and on my computer. I taught myself virtually all of the HTML language in under a month (it is now Nov. 14, 1996), and even some Java, and have made a wide variety of pages with it. I still like Chess, AD&D, and most of all Diplomacy, I still play computer games (my favorite is still Quest for Glory 1 (VGA)).... I suppose you can find out about all my interests by browsing my pages so I need not waste both our time. Just let me say this: Life goes on, and so will this story, but probably on a different page-- this one's too long already.
me with suggestions, comments, or questions.
This page designed and programmed by Charles Schweizer.
All graphics and layout ©1996 Charles Schweizer.