I wrote this post as part of my personal anthology project in 2009 during my sophomore year of high school. I was 15.
The writing could be better. But, at the time, my teacher found it good enough to mark a grade of over 100 percent on the grading page.
So the spacing’s a little wonky and the writing isn’t quite up to par, but it’s the post that gets me the most traffic on this site and has for years.
“I bet you forgot about Gertrude McFuzz.
Well, that’s nothing new –– I mean, everyone does!” (Seussical The Musical)
No, Gertrude. I definitely haven’t forgotten about you.
You’re part of the namesake of this blog and get to serve as its banner. You’re the reason why I’m as strong as I am and why I keep pursuing the difficult things in life. You taught me how to build high self esteem and to never let it topple. You gave me confidence.
I brought your book (present in Seuss’s Yertle The Turtle and Other Stories) back to school with me and have it on my desk’s shelf. Its cartoon-y colors stand out among the works of Chaucer, Margaret Atwood and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but it still belongs.
I’ve even thumbed through your story several times, searching for strength in times of need (and soon a quote from the book will be up on my wall).
Your story is still relevant. You taught me to be comfortable in my own skin. That confidence currently thrives within me.
I’ve had lapses. I go through stages where I don’t think I’m very pretty. I change and grow, but smoothly transition to the many shifts. I’ve been practicing since playing the role of Gertrude McFuzz in Dr. Seuss’s Seussical Jr. nearly eight years ago.
I know myself well enough to know the hard times don’t last. One day I don’t want to get out of bed and the next I practically jump out in excitement for the day.
So, no, I didn’t forget you, Gertrude. I doubt anyone could after reading your touching story and taking the time to really relate to it like I did.
As a sophomore in college I am gearing myself up for the professional world. And you, Gertrude, are still as relevant as you were when I was 12.