Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Guest Post "Who Would've Known?" by Jayson

2 weeks ago my son came home with a graded work from his English class; it was a narrative essay they had to work and submit in class.
The assignment was very specific, he had to write a five-paragraph personal narrative in which he reflect on a time in his life when he overcame the odds, worked very hard, and achieved something he wasn’t sure he could achieve. It needed to be a personal story and sound like one. His teacher gave them also a few tips for their narratives
  • Show, don’t tell
  • Use description of all five senses to make your writing come alive
  • Create a meaningful conflict to drive your narrative
  • Add details to make your readers emotionally involved with your story
  • Make sure that the resolution of the story fits the purpose and plot you have developed.
  • Use details to serve your purpose
He had been graded 99% on his essay.

I read it, loved it and asked “baby would you mind expending it and have it posted on my blog?”
So there it is… My Wednesday Guest Blog of The Week…Jayson  “Who Would’ve Known?”
                                                                                                                       Period E
Who Would’ve Known?

A flash of thoughts flew through my mind like a tornado and a hurricane combined. “What am I about to do? Why did I agree to do this? How will people react? Will they like me?” My father could see the panic written all over my face and said, “Just relax and have fun.” Although his voice was reassuring, the storm continued to brew as I got closer to the party I was going to DJ. Still, the question remained; how did I get here?

There was a hot video-game out (which I wanted very badly), called DJ Hero. I decided to pester my parents until they finally broke down and bought it for me. I played that game almost every weekend, day in and day out. I started to get good at it and I bragged about it all the time, especially to my dad. I always used to tell him that, “If DJ-ing was this easy, I’d be a legend.” One day, he got tired of my daily rants and said, “If you think you’re so good, why don’t you try the real thing.” That same week, he ordered some turntables for me to use. I, not knowing how different it was between the game and reality, was blindly and overly confident. Once they arrived, I tried it out still thinking “What could be so hard about this? I got this…”

Of course, the results weren’t a pleasant surprise. Reality hit me in the face as I realized the world of difference there was between being an actual DJ and being a master at “DJ Hero” video game… From then on I viewed DJ Hero as trickery and worked on my skills with the actual turntables. About two months later, my cousin Sabrina Zikianda (Pingree Academy alumni) heard that I was pretty good with the turntables. She was so interested in fact, that she pursued having me DJ her school’s next party. The school offered me a rate of $100/hour, and the party was to be three hours long. Of course it was a great deal for me; I thought I won the lottery and found the way to save up for college (I’m always thinking ahead). So I accepted with no hesitation, again being very confident! About a week or so prior to the party, during my sixth year in middle school, I was practicing with my dad in the comfort of our home and with a crowd that would (at times) grow as large as 5 people… that I knew. What I didn’t know, was how paranoid I’d be and where all that confidence would go.
Now after all that preparation, it’s the day of the party and I’m freaking out. I didn’t know I’d get so nervous when I accepted the gig, but it feels like I’m losing it. The drive to the venue was long and kept me in suspense the whole way. At one point, I was so nervous that the only way to calm myself down was to go to sleep. When my father woke me up, we were at the high school and I was in awe. Being a 6th grader, I didn’t think schools could be any better than the ones I’ve seen but this one was impressive. All the high schools I’ve seen were reasonably big and what I had believed to be structural monuments, but this one just made those schools look like mice in the midst of an elegant cat. Plus, if the exterior is like this, I wonder what the interior was like. Seeing this school offered very little help for me to regain my confidence, which the closer to getting to the venue, the more I was losing. It made me realize how different the world I’m used to actually was, and put in view the many opportunities that were out there waiting. The whole drive to the actual campus was just so beautiful. And it made me realize, there are a whole lot of things in the world that a kid from Lynn doesn’t get to see. It made me wonder about the opportunities I could get or what I’d lead myself to if I had access to those opportunities. Would it change my view on how to live my life? Well, that’s a different story all together…

Regardless of how overwhelming the site was, all I could think of was: its show time.
My father and I got in the school to set up and once again, I was left in awe as the interior was fantastic. I was awakened from my trance as my father snapped his fingers in my face and said to get focused, reminding me why we were here. We set up and the students who attended the school were also setting up the party. By the time we both finished, people were entering the building. The party started at 6:00pm and I was scared out of my mind. Thoughts filled my mind like, “How will they react?”, “Will they like my music choices, my mixes?” “What if I suck tonight?”… My nerves were taking over…

My father started with the first song and gave me the reins to take over the horse. At first I was freaking out and making little mistakes but as the party went along, I started getting comfortable and making fewer mistakes. By the time we hit the thick of the party, I was feeling the music and time was flying by. I couldn’t remember a time when the partiers left the dance floor, except when it was time to go. By the end, I had totally lost track of time. How could the party have ended already?
I got an ovation that I never would have thought I’d get. People were coming up to me, asking me questions and more questions. I told them about my website, handed out some business cards and they were just as ecstatic as I was. I’m glad I had this blind confidence and that I took the opportunity to DJ for the party because not only did I learn that we shouldn’t be scared of facing our fears, but I also discovered they challenge us and make us stronger when we conquer them. And you truly never know the outcome of any action if you don’t give it a try. I also learned that when you do something that you like, even if it seems difficult, you will have a lot of fun! My mentor was there to guide me on the spot and teach me some techniques, but the one person that made the whole experience the success it was ended up being my dad… He calmed me down when I got too paranoid, took my spot when I had to eat or use the restroom, and showed me support the duration of the party.  DJ-ing is definitely not a one man gig, like DJ Hero, and I found my partner in my dad.

Since then I’ve ended up doing all of the parties (at Pingree) for that school year, and I was booked the following more years. I also have been busy DJ-ing for different schools and private parties but sometimes I wonder how? Who would have thought, and who would have known? 
Who would’ve known, except for my dad who claims he knew it all along…


  1. Nice! I could visualize the whole thing. Daddy did a great job mentoring and coaching...Invaluable!

  2. My sweet Jay Jay, I am so proud of you! There was never a doubt in my mind that you would be great at all that you do, including becoming a dj. And with parents like yours who are there to always support and encourage all of your endeavors you will continue to be successful. Auntie, tahari, and aniyah miss and love you dearly. I wish you continued success :)

  3. jayson,

    I agree with the previous comment. I felt like I was there with you on your journey. Thanks for I am happy that it has taken you only this short timeframe to find out that you should take your fears head on no matter how challenging. It would be a shame to allow fears to cripple you. I have only come to learn such things in my adult life. You are awesome, wise beyond your years and your parents have provided an incredible foundation. You are BLESSED!

  4. I agree with the previous comment. I felt like I was right along there with you while you were explaining your first experience DJ-ing. I am happy that it has only taken this short time frame for you to figure out that you cannot allow fears to stifle you but rather taking your fears head on. I did not figure this revelation out until I was well in my adult years...I must admit in my opinion its much harder to navigate through such anxieties as an adult...LOL. You are bright and your parents have provided an incredible foundation. You are truly blessed!!!

  5. sweet lil cuz just brought me to tears! Such a wonderful inspiration coming from such a small frame! I'm so proud of u! Although I think u gave your dad too much credit lol! Continue to keep God first and the sky is the limit! I got some new dance moves for those tunes ;)! See u soon ! Love u!

  6. Djino: Thank you I appreciate your compliment but, it was mostly me :)

    Auntie Autumn: Thanks auntie, I'll send you a CD

    Auntie Teke: Thank you, I also feel I'm blessed to have them as parents, hopefully I get to see you this summer?!

    Big Cuz: Thank you, and I also feel I gave him to much credit

  7. Hi Jayson, I really enjoyed reading your piece. It made me feel as if I was right there with you as you went through all the different emotions of facing your fears.

    You strike me as someone wise beyond your years. It would seem that you have things mapped out and seek the best way to handle each task. Even though fear may try to get the best of you, you don't let it stop you from attaining your goal. That is a very rare quality in one your age, and I have nothing but the utmost admiration for you.

    Although we have never met, I feel like a proud Auntie. Indeed, my heart swells with pride when I see young people, especially young men, pursuing their dreams, taking their education serious, and striving to be upstanding citizens.

    So, to you Jayson, I take my hat off. I wish you continued success in everything you undertake. Remember, failures, rejections and fears are nothing but stepping stones to the highest level of success.

    Congratulations on a job well done!
    Sandra Ellis

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