Be Present


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Spin back the clock. You're in homeroom (gasp!) and your homeroom teacher is about to call the roll (double gasp!)

Looking around the room you see the football jock, with the paper football (really just a triangle of paper, doesn't look like a football at all) kicking imaginary field goals over the equally imaginary goal post (created by the nerd sitting in front of him by making an H shape with his hands). The nerd gets hit in the face with the paper football.

Just to the left of these paper football playing goons is Suzie Belle in her perfect sweater with her hair in a perfect ponytail, admiring her A+ on her biology test from the previous day.

Todd Alexander!


Charlotte Baker!


The roll begins . . .

David Zack Holmes!


Suzie Belle Johnson!


Present? Why does she always answer with “Present”?

Well, lets face it, Suzie Belle will never be a cheerleader. She's definitely not going to catch the eye of the football jock (I doubt she can even make a fake goal post with her hands). She's got to do SOMETHING that makes her appear different, somehow recognizable. But saying “Present” instead of “Here” during roll call? Is that enough?

It is possible that just saying something different is a way to let people know you're different from the rest of the crowd. Or, is there a secret message in what Suzie has to say? (I like secret messages, they're cool).

My best advice on how being different is to just be yourself. And, that's exactly what Miss Suzie Belle Johnson is trying to do. Just be herself!

If this is true; my perfect pony tail wearing friend is just trying to be Present, instead of being Here.

There is a difference, you know.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “Present” as follows:


  • ent1 n. 1. A moment or period in time perceptible as intermediate between past and future; now.

    Wow, I think Miss Suzie Belle is on to something. By being present, she is not only phsically in place but is recognizing the importance if RIGHT NOW, the place between past and future. Excellent choice of words, Suzie Belle.

    Being present means that all the bad stuff that happened is the past is in the past and there is no worry about anything that might happen in the future. It's all about being in the now, in the present.

    Suzie Belle doesn't got through her day regretting never getting to be a cheerleader, and she doesn't worry about catching the eye of the football jock in the future. There's nothing to worry about because she knows she's okay at this very moment. She's “Present”, and she even says so.

    So, the next time someone calls your name, say “Present”, I dare you. Because I know you're way more than just “Here”.

    And, That's Pretty Cool

    David Zack Holmes is a writer telling his tales the best way he knows how. To read other features see

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