HOW I DISCOVERED WHAT MY FAVORITE WORD IS

It's story time, friends.
  1. For this anecdote, we're going to travel back in time to the fall of 2006.
  2. I had just graduated high school earlier that year and was attending college for the first time.
  3. Now I went to a smaller college, so most of my classes were about the size of my high school classes. And a lot of students from my high school also attended this college, so we would sometimes have classes together.
  4. Even so, I have always been extremely socially anxious (I have social anxiety disorder), so I was very quiet and reserved when I began college, largely in the presence of people I didn't know from high school.
  5. Anyway, my first semester I took a general psychology course, back when I thought I was going to be a psychologist.
    A noble profession to be sure, but my father talked me out of that. He also talked me out of being a doctor. Among the reasons he gave for both were that I'm not smart enough, not committed enough to putting the work in, and that I lack compassion. Thanks dad.
  6. The teacher in this class was total shit, like he basically ruined psychology for me, and to make it worse, I didn't know anyone in the class or have any friends in it.
    I would later make one of my first college friends in this class, Annika - we would bond over our hatred of the class, or hell as we called it (we would say things like "see you in hell" to each other). But I hadn't really met her yet at this point.
  7. I usually sat in the front because it was the seat right by the door, so I felt it was the most inconspicuous since I didn't have to walk through the whole class of people.
    It was kind of in a corner too, so that helped with the inconspicuous thing.
  8. Next to me was this weird kid whose name I didn't know for a long time. He looked...well, a little rough and had weird tattoos.
    They were also very misguided tattoos, I have to say.
  9. He also carried around a little notebook that he kept on him at all times. Naturally I thought he was keeping an ever growing hit list because I was at that time a judgmental dick.
  10. One day we were waiting for my teacher to arrive, and he - now keep in mind these are the first words he's ever spoken to me - looked over at me and asks randomly, "What's your favorite word?"
  11. I was caught off-guard, to say the least. I mean, the question was totally apropos of nothing.
  12. To make matters more alarming, this kid didn't give me a chance to really think about my answer.
    He kept saying, "Don't think about it! Just answer! Just say the first thing that comes to mind!"
  13. So I said the first word that came to mind: Scandinavian.
  14. This guy was quiet when I answered, and I thought, "Oh hell, I've made this awkward as fuck."
    Seriously, of all the words I could have chosen...
  15. But then this kid smiled and repeated, "Scandinavian..." After another moment's contemplation, he exclaimed, "I like it!"
    Then this kid wrote it in his notebook, which I thought at the time was weird (and kind of still do). He then proceeded to repeat it a few more times, and then he told me his favorite word, though I cannot recall what that was.
  16. Really, it's a good word.
    I like how it feels in my mouth when I say it. Apparently that's enough for it to be my favorite.
  17. So it turned out this guy was pretty cool. We would talk before class all the time after that, and I learned a lot of things about him.
    His name was Levi, he was a writer like I am, and the tiny notebook he kept was for ideas for his work.
  18. So Levi, Annika, and I all sort of became friends in that class. Eventually I lost touch with Annika, but Levi and I would stay friends for awhile.
    We would both eventually become writing tutors in the school's learning center (I would actually end up being his boss when I was promoted to student manager...), and we would take other classes together, including one where we were two of six students in the class.
  19. Like Annika, Levi and I eventually lost touch, but I still think of him very fondly.
  20. I feel like Levi taught me a lot. He was so different from me, and what I thought of him at first proved to be way off.
    Levi saw the world in a whole different way than I did, and during our talks, I began to see things more clearly. I feel like he opened my eyes a bit.
  21. Levi definitely taught me a lot, like that I shouldn't judge people based on how they look, which was something I had always struggled with.
    He also taught me that sometimes it pays off to give people a chance, that they sometimes surprise you.
  22. Also he helped me discover what my favorite word was.
    To this day, it's still my favorite.
  23. Though I still don't know why he recorded it in his little notebook.
    That was just Levi being Levi I guess. I should look him up on Facebook...I wonder how he's doing these days.