Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dazz 2.0--Bidding Goodbye to Notre Dame Prep

   This article is a long time coming, partially because I have been waiting a year to write it and more partially because it is a whole month late. I thought for a second about telling everyone that this was a really emotional process, and I slaved over how exactly I was going to word my goodbye to Notre Dame, but the truth is I was a little caught up in water polo and work and people and Grand Theft Auto IV, so I was a little distracted. Intentionally distracted, but whatever. This is my belated goodbye to high school, my farewell to the Catholic institution at 98th and Bell.
    I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that I was not 100% onboard with Notre Dame my freshman year. It was one-half my parents, one-fourth me not wanting to argue with my parents, and one-fourth me thinking it would not be so bad. So there you go, I was not super stoked to be a saint. The scene is set.
   Flash forward three years. It is the summer before senior year, and I am sitting in the back of Mrs. Martinez’s Honors Econ summer school slugfest wondering how you start a blog. I wondered what I would call it. I wondered which website to ground it in. Most importantly, I wondered who on God’s green earth would read the darn thing. My mom, probably. Maybe. I went home and decided, what the heck, and googled “how to start a blog”. Blogger. Sign in. Create blog. According to Dazz. No glowing lights or gospel music or triumphant exclamations. That was it. Ta-da . . .
   I wrote a post. This thing was supposed to be modeled after my newspaper column, so I wrote an article. It was called Summer of Nerd 2011: The Lamest Movie Preview Ever, and if I say so myself, it was pretty gosh darn good. It received 18 views . . . to date. We were off to a great start (and my archives section was really seeing some traffic down the road, thanks guys). So when I say A2D came from humble beginnings, I mean it. Seeing my mother as my only follower was pretty humbling.
   I threw the post onto Facebook and dropped the name around summer school the next day. Aside from my aforementioned mother, I know for sure that two people read Summer of Nerd, Caroline Atsaves and Damon Motamedi. Oh, and my buddy Nolan Bidese too (he did not read it until the school year started, but ever since he was “snubbed” from the Awards, he has had a few choice things to say about my material—so he takes the nod simply because I do not want to deal with him). If you stuck with the According to Dazz Awards, you know that Caroline and Damon were decided as the blog’s two biggest fans. After all, they really were here since genesis (is a Bible reference too much? Nah).
   You might think it strange to call them out in a farewell post to Notre Dame, but Caroline and Damon epitomize this blog’s success. This is all about you guys.
   After Summer of Nerd, I kept chugging away and cranking out posts. Most of you know the rest: Coach Scot Bemis began his battle with cancer, the football team scored their upset over Desert Mountain, I sent a reaction-post to the Dog Pound, and soon A2D was reaching more people than I could have ever thought possible. Everything came back to you guys. The readers. You guys are the reason Dazz is where it is today, you guys are the reason Dazz is who he is today, and you guys are the ones who deserve the praise at the end of the day.
   Because of you, Dazz (yep, pulling a Ricky Henderson) did a ton of things his senior year that he would not have done otherwise. Dazz commentated Powderpuff (seniors won, still believe it), Dazz hosted Mr. NDP (complete with stellar audio), Dazz cheered with the Goon Squad and snuck into the locker room for interviews after boys’ basketball took the win (saw the Knee Brace up close, still cannot believe it), and yes, Dazz watched Human Centipede and hated every godforsaken minute of it (Jake Anderson, eat your heart out). None of it is possible without all of you. The readers. Wow.
   I remember first arriving at Notre Dame Prep four years ago and not having that 100% onboard mindset that I mentioned before. It took three years, but I finally arrived there. This blog is the reason for that arrival. You are the reason for that arrival. I owe all of my amazing experiences and outstanding moments to you guys. If it were not for everybody’s support, I would not have had the confidence or courage to do anything. You took a guy who missed homecoming freshman year and turned him into someone who went out of his way not to miss anything. It was pretty special.
    Notre Dame really was a community this year, and I can say whole-heartedly that it affected me for the better. Three years of ho-hum turned into one incredible year that made up for all of it. I hope everyone looks back on this year, whether it leads to many more like it or not, and remembers this student body as one that had a total blast together. Never thought you would hear that about good ol’ NDP, did you? Had a blast . . . sounds nice.
   According to Dazz is going to keep on keeping on, as they say. There will be college posts (just think: college party dev diaries). Dazz will keep on writing; that is quite certain. The first chapter is coming to a close, and right now, it is time to not only look at what the next phase of Dazz has in store, but also look back and remember what was so special about the first phase. You guys have been incredible. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Each and every one of you, who ever clicked any of my links, cannot receive enough gratitude. You guys made senior year for me. You made high school for me. Notre Dame, good luck. You have come a long way in not just my eyes, but most everyone else’s too.
   The next chapter begins right now. Dazz 2.0—it just sounds cool, no? Or even better, A2D2. Oh man. Yes. This is going to be great. Ok, sorry. That is for another time.
   Hey, it looks like not much has changed after all. But either way, do not forget: Dazz 2.0 came from all of you.
   Thanks again everyone.   

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