December 21, 2009 - 7:01 AM
In The Arizona Republic, blogs, television, and other media I've encountered people lately feel the need to recap the decade and break down the "Top 10" albums, movies, sports moments, electronic gadgets, news stories, etc. of the "aughts" or "zeros" or whatever you would like to call this decade. Thus, I also feel obligated to do one of these lists to establish myself as a relevant blogger that seems well "cultured" and "educated" in popular culture, current events, etc. However, I was ten years old when this decade began, so in a way this decade was a coming-of-age for me and my impressions, tastes, and interests of the early parts of the decade have changed (very) slightly. Rather than choosing one topic like music or news stories, I am going to go year by year; don't worry this will not be a 300 page post, but I will highlight the most memorable events of the decade according to me. Thus, I present to you:
The Aughts According to Peter
2000: I don't really remember much from fifth grade. I recollect Britney Spears broke onto the scene and our computers didn't crash with the Y2K turnover. George W. Bush was elected president, and I remember being absolutely outraged by the controversy. I'm curious to see how different the rest of my list may have been if Al Gore had been elected president.
2001: September 11th changed the way I understood the world; the tragic event gave me a global perspective on politics, resources, and war. It has since lead to wars in which we are still involved, and I lost a friend which really made it hit home. This was probably the most significant event of the decade for myriad reasons and the implications that still linger and dominate today's world from politics to travel to energy. On a lighter note however, 2001 was the year the Diamondbacks won the World Series, and I will never forget being at Game 7 with my Dad. It was the best sporting event I've ever attended (and I've been to some good ones) from the eerie patriotic pride I felt as a Stealth Bomber flew over the ballpark during the National Anthem to Luis Gonzalez's bloop single off of Mariano Rivera to beat the Yankees 2-1, it was a truly amazing experience.
2002: It's incredible how memorable of a year 2001 was for me, I remember those months from September 2001-November 2001 so vividly, but 2002 is a gap in my memory. 2002 was the year the U.S. invaded Afghanistan; it was also the first year I was able to attend a middle school dance (only 7th and 8th graders were allowed to attend). Quite a disparity in my memory where my innocence was corrupted by September 11th.
2003: There was a global SARS pandemic. I entered high school. Johnny Cash died and I started playing guitar.
2004: George W. Bush was reelected. I was livid.
2005: I visited the U of O for the first time, and it was love at first sight. I made it through two more years of high school with the constant goal in mind of graduating so I could move to Oregon.
2006: A great year for concerts. My guitar playing made me really appreciate Classic Rock. This year I saw Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Steely Dan, and the Rolling Stones. In short, my life was complete.
2007: I graduated high school and moved to Eugene! My life was forever changed (for the best). I got on Facebook. My life was forever changed (for the worst).
2008: I voted in my first Presidential Election to elect our first black president, President Barack Obama. He offers us hope and pragmatism in an otherwise fairly bleak decade politically and economically. I also met my first and current girlfriend, Melissa.
2009: I was hired by Teach For America, my first real job. I spent an amazing year in Eugene (year round), and I will kick off 2010 watching the Ducks in the Rose Bowl. A pretty good ending to one decade and the beginning to another-maybe there is hope for the future.