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Steve Alvest


10 Things I Loved at Age 10

Let's see, where was I when I was 10 years old? I was finishing up 5th grade at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia (which was in the news recently... where a 6 year old shot his teacher). I also started 6th grade at Gildersleeve Middle School when I was 10. It was 1990.

10 Things I Loved at Age 10

    1. Stock market investing

    Believe it or not, I was in the stock market club in 6th grade. Our team won a citywide stock picking contest and was treated to a limo ride and lunch at a steak house. If I remember correctly, the stock that helped us win the contest was Liz Claiborne, suggested by the girls in the club.

    2. Playing baseball

    I took every chance I could to practice hitting the ball and playing baseball mini-games with my brother. Sometimes we would play with neighborhood kids with a bat and tennis ball. I wanted to join a team, but my parents were too busy to enroll me into anything.

    3. Poring over baseball statistics

    One of my favorite activities was to get the newspaper and pore over the box scores and tabulate data on paper (this was before the internet was available to the general public, and spreadsheets on computers were archaic and ran on MS-DOS).

    4. Collecting baseball cards

    Back in 1990, baseball cards were big. There were card shops everywhere. I used to scrape together my $3 a week in allowance to buy soft drinks and baseball cards at the local drug store. Every once in a while we'd get to visit the baseball card shop "Pro Sports". I would also bring cards to school to trade with my best friend in the cafeteria.

    5. Playing video games

    I can't remember if we had a Nintendo Entertainment System yet. I don't think so. I do remember enjoying going to the arcade in the mall and agonizing over how to get the best bang for the buck with four quarters. I also remember playing games on my dad's computer like the all-text Zork, a super-slow pixelated version of Double Dragon, and Seven Cities of Gold. Those were all on 5 1/4" floppy disks.

    6. Drawing

    I was quite good at drawing for a 10 year old. I would draw stuff all the time in class whenever I got bored, which was often. Sometimes I would draw crowds of curious kids around my desk when someone caught wind of me drawing something. Then since I was so shy and introverted, I would get embarrassed and refuse to continue drawing. My favorite things to draw were dinosaurs and portrait-style faces, especially of my favorite baseball players.

    7. Dinosaurs

    I wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up! But like with art, my parents heavily discouraged it. Whenever they saw me reading dinosaur books and drawing dinosaurs, they would remark at me wasting time with that nonsense.

    8. Reading

    I loved reading from an early age, especially non-fiction science books. I see a lot of my 10-year-old self in my 8-year-old son now. He's currently reading a book about algebra... for fun. When I was 10, I most enjoyed reading books on astronomy, Earth science, geology, and dinosaurs. I also enjoyed the collection of National Geographic magazines my dad bought.

    9. Riding bikes

    Just riding around the neighborhood. It was a fun way to while away time.

    10. Playing board games

    Board games from the 80's and early 90's were awesome. I think when I was 10 we just had some of the classics, like Monopoly, Battleship, and Scrabble, but it was around this time that I developed a love for board games that continues to this day. I keep a tradition of buying my kids age-appropriate board games on their birthday (singular "birthday" because all three of my kids are different ages, but were all born on the same week between October 4 and 8!)

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