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This I Believe - Episode 2

GHS student Bram PetersonPicture Courtesy of Lauren Quinn

Calvin and Hobbes

By Bram Peterson

When I first picked up a Calvin and Hobbes comic book in fifth grade, I was just bored after school and looking for something to do. I had never read Bill Watterson’s comic strip in my life and didn’t even know what the comic was about. Five years later, I have read every single Calvin and Hobbes comic strip at least twice, and I own nine different books of Calvin and Hobbes collections. It is more than just a comic strip to me; it is a basis for many ideas that are important in my life.

Calvin’s unrelenting imagination was always apparent in Watterson’s work, whether it was passing time in his first grade class by daydreaming about spacemen and dinosaurs or donning his Stupendous Man costume to do seemingly simple household chores. Calvin was always spicing up his day with a little imagination. The basis to the entire comic strip was how Calvin’s imagination brought his stuffed tiger Hobbes to life. This imagination is rarely found today, but I still apply Calvin’s high-spirited nature to my life.

I don’t necessarily wear tights and a mask to take the garbage out, or daydream about a tyrannosaurus rex crashing through my math class window like Calvin sometimes did. However, I do try to incorporate some of his fun-loving attitude into my life. It could be something big, like organizing a neighborhood-wide manhunt day on the last weekend of summer or something small like alley-ooping a piece of paper into the recycling bin instead of just throwing it in. I guess some of my ideas could be considered childish or immature by some people, but you only get 18 years to be a kid, and you have the rest of your life to be “mature”.

Life is too short to grow up too fast, and I am in no rush to get to that point in my life where the paper alley-ooping thing goes from kind of weird to “what the hell is that guy doing?” However, if I did everything that seemed “normal” to other people, my life would be really boring. I believe taking your own path in life is very important, finding your way in life that is unique. My uniqueness is what defines me, what makes me my own person with my own beliefs and ideas for my life.

Calvin is the same way in his comics. I bet not too many people would go swimming in a bird bath or jump off the roof of his house with a bed sheet as a parachute. Then again, Calvin isn’t “too many people”. He is his own person, making his own decisions and putting some adventure and fun into his life.

Of course Calvin is a fictional character, but there is a real person behind that carefree personality that is seen in the comic strip. It doesn’t matter through who or how it is portrayed, imagination is universal.


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