Contest Two: Back in the day

12 YearsFor today’s contest you’ll need to exercise your memory, dust off the old photo albums, and think back to the good old days. As you know, we’ve just turned 12, and we want to know what to expect of the next year. So that’s where you come in. All you need to do is answer the following question:

What were you like when you were twelve?

Simple, right? Everyone was 12 once, and it lasted a whole year, so you’ve got to have lots of great stories about it. Were you the president of the computer club, or maybe a jock-in-training, or perhaps you were like, totally, the cheerleading captain. Did you have one of those awesome, giant cell phones like Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell? Maybe you liked to take apart toasters and turn them into shortwave radios, build model cars, or put together little dance routines with your friends (yes, I admit it, that was me).

Spend a little time reminiscing and let us know in the comments below – we’ve only been 12 for a couple days now and we want to know what we have to look forward to! And I promise, no matter how big of a dork – or how “rad” - you were, we won’t laugh…at least, not to your face.

This is the second contest in our week-long 12-year anniversary celebration. We will pick four winners during each contest: the winners can choose between an iTunes or Amazon gift card as their prize. First place winners receive a $50 gift card, and runners-up will get $25. Enter as many times as you like, by submitting your entries as replies to this post. Employees and friends of Ilium Software aren’t eligible to win, but are welcome (and encouraged) to participate anyway. Today’s contest closes at 12:00 noon Eastern Time tomorrow. Winners will be announced during the day tomorrow.

And don’t forget, we’ve got more going on this week besides contests! Shop for anything in our online store and get a big $12 discount off your purchase! You can read more here and start shopping now.

14 thoughts on “Contest Two: Back in the day

  1. Julie Post author

    Like I said in the post above, when I was 12 my friends were always putting together dance routines – I was the unfortunately clumsy kid they always stuck in the back :)

    I started thinking about that because I remembered when I was 12 and I met them, they were in a club, which they “let” me join. It was just some random thing they invented that they called a “club”, not a real organization. But we had to pay dues every week – a quarter – and I’m not sure what the money ever went to, if anything. Maybe after-school snacks? I don’t know if clubs were really popular that year, or if it was just where I lived, but I remember some other groups of kids had “clubs” too.

    So there you go – for me, year 12 was all about dancing badly and paying quarters to be in a fake club :)

  2. Kevin White

    Oh no, that was 7th grade, the dreaded ‘middle school’ (junior high to some people, and still elementary/primary school).

    I think I was in the process of growing long hair. Why did I have long hair? I don’t know. It was a bad idea. I think I even bleached it (???)

    On the upside, I was in the gifted and talented program, which was basically a ‘do some research projects’ thing. I was doing mine on ‘ambient energy’, using background RF radiation to provide electrical power for small electronic devices. (It’s the same principle that the active digitizer pen on a tablet PC or graphics tablet uses, along with how RFID tags receive their power.)

    I won a little grant from Detroit Edison (now DTE Energy), and got to be on public access TV during a school board meeting. Dressed like a farm boy. (Long story.)

    I also got partnered with this mentor guy who worked for Fiat (otherwise known as Chrysler these days, hee hee) and who was into all kinds of weird science stuff like dangerously powerful lasers and tesla coils. I got to play with all that stuff in front of my science class, which entailed being electrocuted (harmlessly), carving people’s names in wood with a CO2 laser, and showing how a thermal camera works.

    Then I got the internet at home and turned into a computer geek.

    On second thought… I think that fun stuff was when I was 13. I’m having trouble remembering exactly when I was in the gifted and talented program. If it was when I was 13, then year 12 just sucked all around. I’ll pretend that 12 was 13 for the purposes of this story.

    Oh, speaking of taking apart toasters, I was one of those take it apart geeks. My best moment was taking apart an old Sony Discman down to removing the laser from its housing, then putting it back together, without having any screws left over _and_ having it still work.

  3. Melvyn

    If being a dork doesn’t matter….

    My memories of being 12 are mostly about the summer of that year. A friend and I spent a large chunk of the summer playing “Risk” while I tried every day at lunch to make bigger and fatter cheese salad sandwiches. The thickest slices of bread combined with numerous layers of veg and cheese made the things ridiculous but apparently very entertaining!

    It seems like a cliche but although I wasn’t “president of the computer club” I *was* an active member of the Chess and Debating societies (that’s two separate activities not a controlled argument over whether the king is on the right square).

    I also distinctly remember my maths teacher from that year. His name was Mr. Butt (I can corroborate if necessary!) and he taught us over all of our cries to the contrary that “zero is any number you want it to be”. At the time we laughed behind his back and even to his face. While writing this comment I decided to go to Wikipedia. Apparently, Butt had the last laugh:
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0_(number)
    Almost at the end of the page:
    “Dividing by zero…allows you to prove, mathematically, anything in the universe. You can prove that 1+1=42, and from there you can prove that J. Edgar Hoover is a space alien, that William Shakespeare came from Uzbekistan, or even that the sky is polka-dotted. (See appendix A for a proof that Winston Churchill was a carrot.) — Charles Seife, Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea”

    So even if this isn’t a winning comment we’ve all had a chance to learn some things: zero can be anything you like, Shakespeare’s from Uzbekistan, and Winston Churchill may have been a carrot.

  4. Robbie

    Hayley was a tomboyish girl in our neighborhood who sent my 12-year-old pubescent hormones into turmoil. To my dismay my friend asked her to be his girlfriend. To my even greater dismay she said yes. By default her not-so-cute friend became my “girlfriend.” So I spent the summer of my twelfth year in the park kissing a girl I didn’t like dreaming of ways that Hayley (who was busy kissing my friend) might change her mind and become attracted to me.

    I had a cunning plan. I begged my parents to get the electronic TV game that everyone was talking about – you know, the thing that turned your TV into a couple of little controllable bats that bounced a little glowing dot around the screen. The height of technology that the cutest of tomboys was sure to find irresistible. Alas, my parents said no. The game damaged TV sets, not to mention eyes, beyond repair. In any case I should be outside doing healthy things instead of playing a TV game. If only they knew that was my idea, sort of.

    At last I do have the “Pong” game – as a 99c iPhone App! I haven’t dared show it to my wife for fear of being labeled a sad geek.

  5. Ken

    This was 6th & 7th grade. It was a new school, and the kids in my neighborhood walked to school. We got to go through the “prairie” at the end of our dead end street. It was a cool place with bike trails and sometimes a creek and pond (they dried up in the summer).
    We also go to walk by the convenient store on the way home. Good for snacks.
    I played a little after school flag football, and got into the rocket club; we make the Estees rockets and shot them off.
    Mostly, I played with my friends.

  6. Ellen

    I was tall. I was 5’2″, which at 12, is tall. We had square dancing in gym. All the boys were eye-level with my chest.

    I still to this day hate square dancing.

    I’m also still 5’2″, though now I’m short.

    I’m pretty sure that being tall at 12 is the reason I like being short now, even though I can’t reach anything.

  7. Melvyn

    This thread got me thinking about what I was *really* like as a 12yr old and so I just went into my old (physical) photo albums and had a great trip down many memory lanes. Thanks for the excuse!

    Here’s one I found of me at a birthday party when I was 12. My friend had a party at an indoor race car venue:
    http://img514.imageshack.us/i/melat12.jpg/

  8. Patrick Kortendick

    I was in middle school… 6th grade, at the bottom of the pecking pole. Wow those were some dreaded years. Learning about Algebra, US History and other such topics, all of which I would learn several other times in school as the years passed on. (I took US History in middle school, high school, and college!) Gained knowledge of how to use Mac Classics in my “Tech Lab,” as well as playing the textual game Zork. Learned how to cook Grilled Cheese sandwiches and what all the different illegal, illicit drugs were and why I shouldn’t take them. Daily gym class in those dirty uniforms was also one of those 12-year-old things. I remember how dreadful running the mile was. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any idea as to how Photoshop worked (not to mention it was in the early stages) so I wasn’t able to create vampires from IliumSoft logos until much later in life… :-)

  9. MikeCTZA

    Head scratching … I think I was 12 when this happened according to Mom.
    My entire family was at Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe (we lived there then) on holiday. I had been over to the “crab pool” named based on the mosiac there; walking back to our caravan I saw a boat on the beach with people getting on, so, being a nosey kid, I asked “what is this?” answer: “free booze cruise”. Ummm – did someone say – FREE? So I hope on (no not for the booze – I was 12 remember). The boat heads out into the lake. A few hours later it comes back shore as other kids are restless, I find my parents at the beach, freaking out as they thought I had drowned somewhere and all sorts of things, worrying as parents do. They never knew I was on the boat so were thinking the worst. So needless to say I got the hiding of my life. OW !! They were so pleased to see me that it was probably bitter sweet for them to dish out the punishment. Serves me right for grabbing something when I heard it was free – so …. maybe trying here to get a voucher is a safer option!!

  10. Robbie

    Hey MikeCTZA, being from Zimbabwe I don’t suppose you knew a cute girl called Hayley? See my earlier post – I never mentioned it was set in Zimbabwe too :)

  11. spmwinkel

    Hi Judie, nice to see you’re still doing the contests on Ilium Software! (Among other things of course…) Congrats to the Ilium team for their 12th birthday.

    My 12th birthday was during the first year in highschool, which was special because most kids are 12 when they GO to highschool. But since I was a fast student (I skipped a year during elementary school), I’ve always been a year younger than the kids in my class. While I was tall enough and acted mature enough to fit in well, my puberty started a year later than it did for most kids and that was confusing at times.

    I always liked school, but I did things a bit different than most kids: I used to do my homework on the day the teacher assigned it to us, instead of on the day before we used to hand it in. That way, I didn’t have to be concerned about not getting it done on time. It’s

    At age 12, I owned my first mobile phone, it was a Trium Astral Galaxy:
    http://www.mobieleeenheid.nl/afbeelding.php?afbeelding=toestellen/25.jpg It was the start of my mobile gadget hobby, even though I didn’t know that back then.

    I also remember that we didn’t have an internet connection at our home back then and I was one of the latest of our class to get one. I once was made painfully aware about that when a teacher gave us an assignment for which an internet connection was required and she asked who didn’t have internet at home. Only two people, including me, raised their hands.

    (Luckily all is fine now, there’s a desktop PC with printer + router standing upstairs and everyone in our home has a laptop with wireless connection.)

    I believe it was also the year the volleyball team I played in became champion, but that could also have been at age 11 or 13. (I stopped at age 14 and we were champion a few years before that.)

    Just pretty normal facts, I have special memories from some other years but the year that I was 12 went by without too much highs and lows.

  12. Singh

    When I was 12, I was totally different to what I am now. I used to love playing cricket(the real thing). Now I play it on my computer. We had our neighbourhood team. Used to find other teams to challange for matches. Never had seen a computer. Used to watch TV in B & W. No cable tv. The coolest gadget I had was my calculator watch. Used to love reading books and comics. Enid Blyton was my favourite author. Loved the Famous Five series. And finally I had a more hair on my head when I was 12 than I have today(Miss that most ;-)).

  13. darkcorner

    I remember that when I was 12 I wished to be older.
    Now that I am older, I wish that I was younger again… :)

    so, enjoy being twelve – you’re in a very good place right now :)

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