In 2005, our club was able to award 2 scholarships to local Tall Teens, Sasha Zazzi (5’10”) and William Simmons (6’6″). Congratulations to both William and Sasha! May you find much success in your college careers!
Sasha Zazzi, 5’10”
McClatchy High School, Sacramento
University of the Pacific
What Being Tall Means to Me
My height gives me a visibility that enhances my opportunities for leadership. The connection between height and leadership has long been recognized. Although the phrase, “People will look up to you,” is a figurative allusion it no doubt has its roots in an age old tradition that associates height with leadership. It was an advantage I didn’t recognize until very recently.
The tale of my terrific tallness begins in the tenth grade. Like a moment in one of my favorite poems, “The Road Not Taken,” I reached a crossroads, but my parents chose my path for me. As a consequence, I was uprooted from my old school, isolating me from friends I had loved my entire life. I was miserable.
My new need to connect to new people in a new school motivated me to dress creatively. I thought if I could just be noticed, I could start to chip away at the distance between us. My height made this easier. It allowed me a freedom in dressing that short people don’t have. I scoured thrift stores for unique items. If it made me feel pretty, I wore it. My parents let me use my job money to fund these fishing expeditions.
My appearance got me noticed, but, to quote another old saying with a lot of truth, “you have to be a friend to get a friend.” I became involved with student council and slowly evolved to positions of prominence, including Santa Drive Chairman, Homecoming chairman, ASB secretary, editor of the paper and prom queen. I believe my height played a role in people seeing me as a leader. This perception led to reality.
I am optimistic about the future and I believe that I can make a difference in this world just like I made a difference at my new school. The technological supremacy of the computer, the vastness of our population centers, and the rising fear from urban crime distance us from one another. The kindness of the human heart has to be modeled by leaders that care. No computer can replace the personal bonds that make living a joyful journey. I can be that reminder.
William Simmons, 6’6”
San Jan High School, Citrus Heights
The Fight of Height
There are tall people in the world, however, for every “giant,” there are numberless “normals.” These normals have no concept of the true essence of being tall. And for the most part, we giants have no idea of how the other half lives. And neither camp realizes how much they annoy the other. From my point of view, the following examples of height related behavior are the most egregious to the opposing side. With any luck, this essay will educate both parties and strengthen height relations.
The strongest wedge that the normals drive in the height relations is the mere lack of knowledge they exemplify. Nearly everyone under the height of 5’10” assumes that height equals athletic skill, or an automatic love of basketball. While being altitudally gifted is a great advantage in the field of sports, the mere possession of height does not ensure athletic proficiency. In fact, with height often comes a horrible lack of balance and agility. So to those normals who read this essay, (who are assuredly few or none); be aware that being toll does not mean that we are any different from you, besides the obvious physical advantages.
The second, and likely most annoying action taken by the normals is asking that one question we know is coming, but have no power to stop. “How tall are you?” This question haunts every giant placed in an environment with new normals. The only thing that can stop it is forward thinking. If only every normal would think of the situation they are creating, this question would never be asked. It is as if by being diminutive they have the right to ask the height of everyone taller than them. This would be like allowing children to ask their elders how old they are. That is socially uncouth, yet height remains an open, yet annoying subject.
We giants are not innocent of prolonging the fight of height. While we cannot control our genetic superiority, there are things we do that are above and beyond our
God-given rights as the elevated of the species. However, most tension is caused only because the normals are jealous. We can see above a large crowd. We get fresh air while the normals breathe the stifled, regurgitated oxygen. We can reach the top shelf! And the only problem is, we flaunt it. Giants, by assuming that normals are envious of them take advantage of their height. In a swiftly moving crowd, does one ever see a giant dodge and weave. No. We more in a straight line, and use our intimidating stature to will the normals out of our way. In the instance of one of these uppity normals getting out of place and challenging our manifest destiny to walk in a straight line, we knock him down, and then falsely claim we didn’t see him. This process is only natural. Without it, the world would be run by Napoleons.
As a giant, I see it as my duty to continue the tradition of dominion over the normals, following my lofty forefathers such as George Washington, Genghis Kahn, and Hannibal of Carthage (all physical giants, in addition to their historic immortality). However, as a friend of normals, I see it as my duty to try to improve height relations through education. That is the key to ending the petty quibbling-education. If we giants were to understand the normals, and vice versa, the world could only become more harmonious.
But who want they when you’re living at the top?