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life as i know it (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Life as I know it started on October 16, 1976 in St. Peter’s Medical Center at 5:12 p.m., to Edward and Barbara Katko. I was happily named April Cassandra Katko. I weighed eight pounds & eleven half ounces. My first words where mom and dad. I took my first steps at nine months old. My troubles began at the age of two when I was diagnosed with epilepsy, which is a seizure disorder.1 by the age of three I knew had to read. As a result of my mom teaching me to read when I was 3 years old I now have a great love to read. I started school when I was three & a half years old. The first day of pre- kindergarten was scary. I didn’t want my mother to leave. Slowly but surely I began to make friends with the kids in my class. Mrs. Kent was a nice teacher, and made me feel comfortable. Mrs. Kent also made me want to learn. My grades weren’t the best in the beginning, but I managed to pass pre-kindergarten. At the age of three and half I started school.
In kindergarten I was diagnosed neurologically impaired.2 Two things happened in the middle of kindergarten. Though there were a few kids close to my age, most of the kids in the class were older than me. The few kids I managed to befriend took it upon themselves to become my protectors. Two of those were boys named Michael Lopez and Sam Lopez. I think they were either brothers or cousins. I spent the rest of my kindergarten year in special education class. My mother got pregnant with my younger brother while I was in kindergarten. He was born on February 1, 1982, about four months after I turned five years old. My parents named him Edward Louis Katko, Junior, my brother was born in St. Peter’s Medical Center at 1:50 p.m. I became jealous of my younger brother because he took up so much of her moms’ time and attention. At age five I was used to being the only child in the house. I hated my brother from the very beginning. My brother and I did nothing but fight. When he was born, I was very jealous of him. I used bite him; pinch him, and anything else I could do to him. One time I gave my brother a hair cut and in dong so I cut his scalp. I was mean to him till he was 12 and I was 17.3
The following year in the first grade I was put in a class with kids my age, where I met Sam Lopez again. Miss Baxton was a patient & kind teacher I worked hard with the students in her class. While in school I was well behaved. When I was in the second grade Lincoln School decided to mainstream me into a first grade reading class. I loved to read, compared to the other students in her special education class; I had a higher level of reading. Though I made friends with the kids in the class, I felt out of place, because I was seven or eight years old and the students were six years old. At the age of six I went through speech classes because I either had a stutter or a lisp.
Also at that timed I joined an after school club called the Girl Scouts. In troop 395 I made friends with a bunch of girls who were named Jen McCoy, Wendy, Peggy, and a few others I can’t remember. During the three years as a Brownie Girl Scout I earned badge after badge. My mom and the girls did all kinds of projects to earn badges over the years. Brownies is three years first to third grade. During her last year as a Brownie Girl Scout the girls in the troop slowly began to move away. After the third year as a Brownie I got my final badge the Brownie Wings. The Brownie Wings indicated to the junior level. However in the fall of 1984 all of the girls except Jen McCoy and me had moved out of the city of New Brunswick or the state of New Jersey. So my mom searched for a new trop for Jen and me. The third grade was my last year at Lincoln school. During the course of the year Lincoln school was planning and processing a transfer. Even though Lincoln school went up to the eighth grade, special education didn’t; it stopped at the third grade. During the summer I had to take an entrance exam, before I completely transferred from Lincoln to Roosevelt. After I took the entrance exam I was placed into my class at a second grade learning level in my subjects. By the end of my first year at Roosevelt I began to notice a new girl around the school. During my second year at Roosevelt I was in the fifth grade, and was introduced to the new girl. The new girl was named Abigail. At first Abigail seemed nice to me. I was mainstreamed into a regular second reading class. I left class for period a day for reading, the rest of the day was spent in my own class learning what the rest of the class was learning on the border of second grade/third grade learning level. After about a month or so I began to realize that Abby was putting up front when it came to friendliness. Abby always pretended to like you and when your back was turned, I stabbed in the back. In turn I started to pretend I was Abby's friend. During the day at school I felt like the kids in her class were jealous of me because I got leave class for one period. After school, however, I had dance class, choir practice, and girl scouts. However, in the sixth grade I ended up with a permanent substitute. My teacher, Mrs. Williams, had some kind of illness that kept her out of school for the whole year. Over the years I disliked school, especially Abby more and more. Though I had friends a Roosevelt, I felt like I didn’t belong.
When I was ten I started taking dance lesson at Dance Dimensions taking ballet. After taking a year of ballet I decided that I didn’t like it. For my recital my class was supposed to be butterflies. After a year of taking ballet I decided to take up tap dancing. I liked tap dancing a whole lot better than ballet. A few of the recitals that I danced in was the following themes: Broadway we salute you, Hurray for Hollywood, and Dancin U.S.A. I always enjoyed my recitals; I even invited my best friend Julia. Julia enjoyed watching her best friend perform at her recitals.
She found troop 513 where the leader was a women named Marge Koleser, and co-leader Loretta Koleser. In my new troop I met a girl named Julia Deri. In the troop there were a couple of girls named Peggy, and Judy. Peggy and Judy are sisters. Julia befriended me from the first time they met. Even though I knew a few of the girls in my new troop, I still felt shy and awkward. When Julia welcomed Jen and me into the troop, I began to relax. I was upset when Jen my friend and neighbor moved away. Outside of Julia Jen was my best friend. Through my friend Julia I got into a group called New Kids on the Block, created by a guy named Maurice. They were the hottest band at time. I discovered that Julia and I had a lot in common. They were the most popular band around. Julia’s favorite New Kid was Joey Macintyre. My favorite new kid was Jordan Knight. Julia’s parents considered me to be their second daughter and they treated me like one of the family I also liked groups like Color Me Badd, singers Paula Abdul, Duran, Duran, and singer/actor Joey Lawrence. I went through a lot of changes in my taste of music. School was pretty much the same as far as classes went.

When I was nine or ten I met a girl named Nicole; her mom, her father, and her and her brother Jeff moved to New Jersey from California, because Nicole's dad was interning at St. Peter's hospital. They lived down the street from me at 72-Duke Street. At the time the hospital owned that house and only rented to people who were studying to become doctors or families. After about a year Nicole and her family moved back to California. Nicole wrote me with her new address and I wrote her back. After I wrote Nicole back I never heard from Nicole again.
At age eleven I got my first period. I didn’t know what was happening to me. One day in July I noticed brownish/yellowish spots on my underwear and I became nervous, so I went to my mom and started asking questions. My mom told me that I was going through puberty, and that those brownish/yellowish spots were the sign of my first period. However, my mom didn’t know how to explain this to me, so she got me a book called Julie's story. Julie’s story helped me understand what was happening to my body. My period didn’t come the following month. My first period lasted seven days. I got my second period in September and it was a lot more painful than the first. At age twelve my period got shorter, it became six days. My period is pretty regular too, every twenty-eight to thirty days.
Julia and I did everything together as we grew into teenagers. At age twelve I met a boy named Shawn who was fourteen. Sean and I did everything together. We hung out at the park not too far from our houses. Whey went to the movies. We hung out at his apartment. We hung out with his friends who were in there thirties. The most important thing to me was that hey kissed. This went on for two years. At age sixteen Sean told me that he had go live in the school he was attending and I would never see him again. Before Sean met me he got into trouble with the law. His mom had enrolled him into the Bayard Street Correctional School for Boys. One summer at the age of twelve I met a boy named Shawn. He was fourteen at the time. I guess you can say Shawn was my boyfriend, but he considered me nothing more than little sister. But I remember how we used to kiss on the lips even though it was no more then a peck. We would hand out a lot at my house or his apartment. He went to a special school called the Bayard Street Correctional School for boys. He told me as long as he followed certain rules he could live with his mom; otherwise he had to live the school and never leave till he graduated. After two years of bliss and fun Shawn broke the rule and one cold day in October in 1990 after I turned fourteen and he turned sixteen he told me I would never see him again and I was to forget about him.
Through the years at Roosevelt, I spent at least one period in another Reading/English class. In the eighth grade my class merged with another eighth grade class for social studies class. As my eighth grade graduation approached I grew restless. I couldn’t wait to graduate the eighth grade. Although I made a few friends at Roosevelt, I felt out of place there. Before I graduated the eighth grade I was taken on a tour of New Brunswick High School. The eighth grade prom was cancelled because not enough eighth graders were supporting the prom. I vowed to go to my junior and senior proms.
I was almost kidnapped while going to Roosevelt. One rainy day after school, my bus had broken down and was going to be late. I didn’t know that, and when a guy singled to me I, crossed the street. I should have realized that the guy wasn't there to pick me up when Marcos didn’t understand what I was saying. Instead, I got into the white van and went with Marcos. Marcos took me to his house, where I had to wait for his friend, Fernando who spoke English to come take me home. I was very scared, and I didn’t know what to do; I started to cry. Finally Fernando came home, talked to me, and got me to calm down so he could take me home. After I was calm, I gave Fernando directions to my house. I got into this red car and Fernando took me home. My parents were so worried that they called the police. After this incident, Mrs. Macy my eighth grade teacher decided to have Mrs. Spade, her assistant teacher walk, me down to the bus stop a few minutes early and made sure I got on the right bus. The year before a boy named Veglio Jiminez was kidnapped from school property, but it took a long time before he was returned. Although Veglio was safely retuned, Roosevelt started taking precautions to prevent that from happening again. When the school found out I got on the wrong bus, they were worried about me making the same mistake. Now the school year came and went. When I graduated the eighth grade, I decided to wear the same dress I wore for my confirmation. The dress was white with very, very light lavender flowers on it. You couldn’t see the flowers unless you looked really close at the dress. My hair was pulled back by a home made headband. The headband was made out of something I got at the spring festival. A spring festival is a Girl Scout program. This particular spring festival was about the basics of camping. In Julia’s and my case it was something we did to get credit towards our sliver award, the second highest honor a cadet Girl Scout can earn. The highest honor a Girl Scout can earn is the gold award.
I graduated the eighth grade in June of 1991.
But before that I was in a share time program going between Roosevelt Elementary School and Woodbridge Vocational Technical High School. At Woodbridge Vo-Tech I met a girl named Ginger Drape, a boy named David, a second boy named David, a boy named Dan, and a girl named Wendy. At first Ginger, David, David, Dan and Wendy like the Roosevelt Crew as we were called. Since most of my group were made up student from Roosevelt. From October 1990 to February 1991 all of us went through three shops. The first shop was cooking/leather design. The teacher Mrs. Rothchild had this jar on her desk that you had to put a quarter into if you cursed in her class. By the end of this shop the Dunellen School District and the Roosevelt Crew started to get along.
The second shop was computer skills/silk screening/engraving. The teacher Mrs. Lystad taught us how to make note pads, engrave key chains, and silk screen t-shirts. She also ran a small store in which she Charms Blow-pops and they were good. The third shop was wood shop; the teacher in this shop was Mr. Clumb. Mr. Clumb taught us how to wood burn, make a lamp, and how to make a well. When cutting the pieces for the well I cut my thumb real bad. I don’t know why it happened but I must have had a small seizure and went blank for a few minutes because the next thing I remember is screaming and being rushed to the nurse at Woodbridge Vo-Tech. The nurse at Woodbridge Vo-Tech told me I didn’t need stitches and all she did was wrap my thumb in gauze with some ointment. The next day I had see Nurse Annie Brown to have bandage changed. Nurse Brown said I should have had stitches put in my thumb. At the end of the share time program I had asked Dan to go out with me. Dan said he couldn’t date me because of his religious beliefs.
On the first day at East Brunswick Vo-tech, I felt shy and awkward. The first two days of school was testing. The testing was to see what your learning level was. I was originally placed in a 9-2. Nine -two means ninth grade level two, which is good. Nine-one is the highest, nine-two is the next highest, nine-three is average, nine-four is below average, and nine-five is the lowest you can go. After about a month and half, I was promoted a nine-one. My guidance counselor, Mr. Massarelli, felt that a nine-two was too easy for me. My friend, Ginger also went to East Brunswick Vo-tech. Ginger and I met at Woodbridge Vo-tech the previous year.


Senior Member
My first rotation was health services. Upon entering the Vo-tech I wanted to be a nurse. In health services I met a boy name Mike, another freshman, a girl named Dawn a sophomore; and I recognized a girl named Raquel, also a sophomore. I knew Raquel from Roosevelt. Raquel's mother was an assistant teacher to a couple of my teachers while I was going to Roosevelt. Raquel's mothers’ name is Mrs. Cancel. Everything was going fine in my first rotation, until the last day. On the last the teacher, Mrs. Geld Hauser, decided to show slides. The slides were of bedsores. The slides were magnified a thousand times. With each passing slide I started feeling light headed; dizzy and shaky to the point were I passed out. As a matter of fact, I was lead to a bed in the classroom to rest after I fainted. Mrs. Geld Hauser said that I blended into the white sheets. I became that pale and sick. That’s when Mrs. Geld Hauser and I decided I wasn't cut out to be a nurse.
My next rotation was bakeshop. I liked this particular rotation. Of course there was this cute boy in the shop named Chad. I had a crush on him. My next rotation was food services. Foodservice is a fancy restaurant cooking shop being a freshman I was an easy target for practical jokes. One day while I was washing the dish one of the sophomores told me go into the freezer and get frog legs. I was soaking wet; I left the freezer door open so I could get out. The reason I was soaking wet; I had on a baggy white sweater and a pair of jeans. While, I was in the freezer Jared closed the door on me. I didn’t find the frog legs and I couldn’t get out of the freezer. I was getting cold. Mr. Allen noticed a commotion by the freezer and came over. He left me out of the freezer. Then he asked me what I was doing in the freezer? I told Mr. Allen that I was looking for frog legs. Mr. Allen yelled at me for being so gullible and told me there are no frog legs in the freezer. Only one student befriended me while I rotated through food services. That was a boy named Craig. Craig was the only one who was nice to me, while I rotated through food services.
Now during my rotation in foodservices a few other freshmen’s and I lunch period were switched from second lunch to first lunch. Normally first lunch is for the juniors and seniors. There were so many freshmen; they decided to put some of the freshmen into first lunch. The reason the school decided to do this is because a lot of the students weren’t getting a lunch or if they got it they didn’t have a chance to eat it. One day Mr. Allen decided to send Ginger, Anne Marie, and I to first lunch. I didn't get anything because I thought I’d be going to second lunch as well. I soon found out that I was mistaken. Mr. Allen sent me to second lunch in the end because I explained I would become ill if I didn’t eat something, but not before yelling at me. When it became official that the freshmen would be joining the juniors and seniors during first lunch, I met a girl named Debbie.
One day I went into the cafeteria to get my lunch and found a table where no one was sitting. First off I was a freshman, second off I was still quite shy and I didn’t make friend easily. A girl got off the lunch line and asks if I could sit with me. The girl introduced herself as Debbie Radimer. I introduced myself to Debbie as I Katko. We started talking about this thing and that thing. After talking to Debbie for awhile, I began to realize I made a friend.
During the food services rotation I had to wait on assistant principal Mr. G. Bohr. I messed up the whole thing. I filled out the check wrong, I forgot to ask if he wanted desert. Another student had to fix the whole order for me. I was awfully nervous; I was waiting on the assistant principal. That’s why I messed up the order. Needless to say I didn’t pass the foodservices rotation.
The next rotation was fashion design. Mrs. Andrulia seemed like a nice teacher and I was. I couldn’t believe it a shop with Abigail Felcino ten whole days ugh! This rotation seemed to be going well, until I broke a needle on a sewing machine. I was having other problems as well. However I didn’t tell the teacher I broke the needle. I just started using another machine. I made some pillows in fashion design, plus a few other things that I can’t remember what they are. About three days after I broke the needle Mrs. Andrulia to use the sewing machine to show me and noticed that the needle was down. When I lifted the needle was broke and asked me if I knew anything about that. I said yes and apologized. However I was still a little upset and I said I should have told her sooner. Not that I was into fashion anyway, I felt bad anyway.
The next rotation was retail sales; the shop teacher was Mrs. Blotzer. The shop was ok; I didn’t like too much. You can’t learn too much about retail sales in ten days. The only thing you learn is how to type and make bagels for the school store. The finial rotation was clerical skills. This basically teaches you sectary skills. I thought was the most boring shops out of all the shops I rotated through. One day my guidance counselor call me into his office, the reason for that was to rate the shops I passed rotation in. I only passed baking, retail sale, and clerical skills.
My favorite shop was baking, and then retail sales, and finally clerical skills. Mr. Massarelli asked why I rated each shop the way I did, I really liked baking, and I thought it was fun. I thought retail sales were boring, however not as boring as clerical skills. That is what I told her guidance counselor Mr. Massarelli. Later that day I found out from Abby that I didn’t pass any of her rotations, and how I was being transferred to New Brunswick high school. Abby asked I to walk around with her, while I said goodbye to the friends I made at East Brunswick Vo-tech. all of this took place during lunch. By the time lunch was over Abby had said goodbye to everyone.
Abby and I made their way back to the special needs section of the school. During this walk back Abby tells I that her father is very ill and dying. Once Abby and I were back in the special needs section of the school; Abby and I didn’t have much time to talk. I said goodbye to Abby. Abby's mom was there to take Abby home. After Abby was gone and out of sight, I said yes! The way I did that a couple of the passing students looked at her like I was crazy.
The next day at school I was changing classes and I slipped and fell. I had banged her left knee. The day before I was placed into her permanent shop which was retail sales. The teacher was Mrs. Blotzer. While doing one of her class assignments, my knee began to bother her, so I started rubbing her knee. Mrs. Blotzer noticed this and sent me to the nurse. Mrs. Haines examined my knee and told her that I had a minor concussion to the knee. What away to spend Christmas vacation. I had to nurse my knee the whole vacation, and it was a pain. I was very uncomfortable the whole time. My shop mates were Mike Christie, Flora, Natalie, Heather, and a few others I can’t remember.

Dan and I started dating on February 28, 1992, two days after Dan's birthday. Dan called me to ask me out. However before he could call her he had made several phone calls to get her phone number. The one person who had my phone number was ginger. Ginger gave Dan my phone number. Dan called me and asked me out. I said yes. The next day in school I talked to ginger and thanked her for giving Dan her phone number. I was so happy. Dan had invited me to his house to watch a movie. Dan and I watched a movie called Death Becomes Her. It was an all right movie. Dan and I never kissed. After about a month Dan broke up with me over the phone. I was so upset that I burned the picture that Dan and I took. Two years later Dan called me up and asked me to be his girlfriend; I agreed. We dated for about a month, and shortly after that Dan broke up with me. Throughout high school I had several small short relationships with guys. My first kiss was with a boy named Tom and it was awful. One I was till dating Dan. Two the kiss left a nasty taste in her mouth. My first kiss was a French kiss. I kept trying to pull away. The harder I pulled the more Tom kissed her. After the kiss ended I only saw tom around school. They didn’t talk to each other. The following year Tom wasn’t at East Brunswick Vo-tech. While I was dating Dan this guy named tom took me outside to try and kiss me. He pulled me close and gave me my first kiss. (Later I was to find out he did that on a dare). My first kiss was awful and it left a bad taste in my mouth.
My sophomore year there was a few shop mate changes, Flora and Heather didn’t return. Anthony S joins the class; Nat, Mike and I remain. It is time for a new freshman rotation. Now I have to explain how to do certain things to the freshmen that rotate through the retail sales shop. One of the freshmen is a girl named Jen Clark. Jen and I become fast friends. I also met a boy named Charlie Webb and another girl named Kerri. All of who seem nice enough. One thing we have to show the freshmen is how to make bagels. Mrs. Blotzer would order bagels from Manhattan Bagels and we had to put butter and cream cheese on them. I showed Jen and Anthony showed Kerri. From that moment on Kerri had a huge crush on Anthony. Anthony had a girlfriend and couldn’t stand Kerri; he said that I was retarded. I can’t stand Kerri after a while either. Jen, Derek, Charlie, and I form a secret club called the I hate Kerri club. Throughout the rotations I met a lot of freshmen, including a boy named Derek. Derek seemed like a nice boy. I hate Kerri club was formed because Jen, Charlie, Derek and myself couldn’t stand Kerri. I know that sounds mean that’s how we felt at the time. Basically when we were together we would make fun of Kerri. At some point during the year Kelly was picked on a lot because his first name was Kelly and secondly his last name was Newton.
I met a girl named Valerie Krisko Michele’s younger half sister. Same father different mother. When I first saw Valerie I thought that that Michelle had a twin. The only difference was that Valerie wore glasses. My sophomore year I made a few more friends. At the end of my sophomore year Charlie and I started dating. Although we didn’t see each other too much over the summer. By October I decided the relationship wasn't going to work. Charlie and I broke up. Jen and Kelly had started dating. Jen, Kelly and I started to hang out a lot. It used to make me sick to see them kissing and everything. They were always together kissing. Kelly didn’t want me to hang around with him and Jen. Kelly kept trying to get rid of me. I wouldn’t have any of that. Jen had begun trying to kill herself shortly after I started dating Kelly. One day Jen comes up to me and said look I tried to kill myself. Jen was so proud of the cut, which went straight across the wrist. Then there was Valerie I wanted to kill herself because of her ex-boyfriend Mark. What was I supposed to do? I didn’t know what to do. Jen seemed fine for awhile, then one day came up to me to show me her latest attempt to kill herself. This time it was on her right wrist on an angle. Jen also claimed that I was pregnant with Kelly’s baby. Despite all of this I went to Jens house for a Halloween sleepover. I was beginning to worry about Jen. As it turns out so were Jen’s parents. At the Halloween sleepover Jen got a little crazy and started bouncing on her stomach in attempt to kill her unborn child. Jen and I went trick or treating with a couple of kids in Jen’s neighborhood. Despite the fact that Jen was a little off balance I had fun anyway. Before the Halloween party I had a birthday party for my 17th birthday. I had invited Jen and Charlie. Jen was the only one who came who came to the party.
Jen, my brother Edward and I were hanging out in my parent’s bedroom when; Dom came down to borrow a pair of scissors to Dom and Amanda's hair. I got the scissors and handed them to Dom closed the door and went back into my parents bedroom. Stared at the door for a few minutes and stuck up her middle finger up at the door. I couldn’t stand Kim, Dom, Amanda, and Joe. Now somehow Dom saw what I had did and told her mom Kim that I stuck my middle finger at her. Now Kim came down stairs to yell at me but I didn’t care. To celebrate my birthday I took my brother, Jen and myself to a rated R movie.

Three years later on April 26, 1995 I started my first job at the Somerset Kmart. My first day on the job and I was very, very nervous so I was shocked the first day. Within a month on May 30, 1995 started dating a gut named Eric Canavera my first real boyfriend. We used to hang out with Eric’s friends Michelle, Michelle’s boyfriend, and one other girl. They used to drink beer and smoke cigarettes. Since I was eighteen and Eric was twenty-four he knew I wouldn’t drink any kind of alcohol. Eric and I talked of marriage. My idea of the perfect wedding was this grand church wedding. Eric’s idea of the perfect wedding was him, me and the stars; no preacher or church. On august 28, 1995 Eric broke up with me. He said he met a girl. I imagined a skinny blonde girl.5
Two years later I was sitting at the Kcafe eating my lunch and this guy came up to me and said “Hi I’ve been checking you out and would you like tout with me.” Needless to say I was shocked but I agreed to go out with him. Over a three month periods we went out and broke up three different times.
Four years later on December 24, 2000 I, met a guy named Eric Dahl through my father. Eric and he used to work for Johnson and Johnson in North Brunswick. Eric was security and my dad was compactor attendant. Eric and I hit it off right away. Within a week I moved into his house. A week later I moved back into my parents’ house. Then slowly he started pushing me away. Then on February 21, 2001 he broke up with me. That hit me hard at the time because it was the day before the anniversary of my Grandma Katko’s death. On February 22, 2001 she was dead for six years.
Also around the time Eric and I started to seek out religion more than before. I’ve always been religious well more religious than the rest of my family. For me religion was sort of a release from everyday pressures. At the age of twenty-seven I started asking my friend Ginger Drape about her religion. I was Protestant Presbyterian and she was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.
In October/November of 2003 I started studying the Bible with a Jehovah’s Witness named Linda Davis. With her I studied a brochure called What Does God Require of Us? Then I went on to the book called Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life. After about a year of studying with Linda Davis the Highland Park congregation spilt and Linda and her family were transferred to the Franklin Park congregation and I was to join the Somerset congregation. In the Somerset I studied the book called Worship the only True God with a lady named Carol Kennedy. Two years later on December 31, 2005 I was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
On April 15, 2007 I met a boy named Andrew Drebeck brother of Steve Drebeck whom I had a crush on. Brother Dane Spicer is supposed give Andrew a letter for me. His older brother Steve just got married on June 16, 2007. Well that’s my life thus far and I am now 30 years old.