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Greetings to my (hopeful) future fan base! I'm positively hyperventilating with excitement.

I would like to begin my run as newspaper columnist with an assumption. (Yes, I do know what "they" say about assumptions; no, I do not do all which "they" recommend. Who honestly eats that many vegetables?!) It is my supposition that you, dear reader, unless you know me well enough to realize that my hairstyle has already changed from the picture accompanying this article, pronounced my name wrong in your mind upon glancing over it.

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Treh-suh. Short "e" sound with a nice loud "UH" to finish it off. Try it once. And again... Now write it down phonetically (as many fine instructors at the high school have enthusiastically made known to me, writing it down compels one to a greater degree of remembrance, and we all wish this embedded irreversibly in our memories, yes?). Okay, last time, I promise... Thank you!

Henceforth, I will appreciate it most deeply if you, darling reader, would mentally pronounce this columnist's name as such whenever you chance a skim over the wacky jumble of letters that refers to yours truly. Yes, that includes the misleading "H," thrown in, I suspect, for kicks and giggles. Oh, deceitful letter!

It, perhaps, vies for the title of most frustrating member of the alphabet, though is likely outdone by "bloody L," of which British people seem always to speak of with such disdain. That darned 12th letter of the alphabet. A curse on both their houses.

I feel a need to introduce myself to you, O most-beloved reader, but I know not where to begin. To paraphrase my favorite comedian's biography: "A lot of things happened, then Thressa Johnson was born. She had a childhood. After a while, that ended. She went to school for quite some time. She has some friends and a mom and a dad and a brother and they are all doing well. Thressa did some other things like writing and going around to other places. She has big plans to make very good things."

Demetri Martin has mastered the art of understated brilliance. What have I to say about my life beyond a few simple statements that could, with minimal tweaking, apply to the girl next door, your favorite co-worker, or Peewee Herman? Despite the fact that he is nearly twice my age and divorced, I promise you, my heaven-sent reader, Demetri and I have a future. Together. Truly we do.

The most baffling request one can make of a person is to "tell me a little about yourself." Next time I have an interview, I think I shall respond with, "Well, (insert interviewer's name here), I am just a speck over five feet tall, am not a member of the Grand Old Party, went to California once, and my last visit to the optometrist tells me that my eyesight is improving." It does fulfill the requirements, does it not?

Perhaps the troubling aspect of this common question is that we are brought up to listen to others talk about themselves, instead of talking about ourselves while others pretend to listen.

(That doesn't quite work, either, though; it would necessarily have to mean that, in some households, children are lectured about the blessedness of being overly vocal. In what sort of households are these kids being brought up? And why is the government not stepping in?! It seems wrong that a parent would instruct a child to do so. This leads me to theorize that -- shock of all shocks -- some children do not obey their parents. Shudder!)

One does not anticipate being told the equivalent of: "Please dominate the next few minutes of conversation with details about yourself. Do not be humble, do not be modest, do not stop at 'Go' and do not collect two hundred dollars."

If, however, such a direction were to be spoken in your direction, how would you respond? Ponder that today as you go about your doings and dealings. Ponder! That's right, reader worthy-of-all-praise, this column is going to make you think.

Thressa Johnson will be a senior at Detroit Lakes High School this fall.

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