I saw this excellent blog post - "What a High School Student Learned from Paul Graham" - and I was really impressed with the author. He sounds like he's going to kick lots of ass.
I commented on his site, and I like how this comment turned out. Here you go -
Impressive, very good attitude. Godspeed in your endeavors.
A quick thought - don't wait for permission in any area of life. It's rarely that people will throw open the doors to you. Most forms of adventure and worthy causes and prestige can be walked into with a small amount of money as long as you're willing to try.
It costs maybe $500, max, to get a basic scubadiving license, and it's one of the most enjoyable things you'll ever do in your life.
On Wellington Street
I was walking my dog near my home. It is a daily ritual, one that must occur promptly at five. Otherwise she will start whining and barking, and won't stop until she has a leash on her collar and is heading out the door.
Near my home is a short dirt path, one that I rarely ever pass since it is not on our normal route. That day though I decided to try and extend the walk a bit, something I knew Shelly and I both needed. So I had to adjust the route a bit, and in the end I found myself walking along the dirt path I so rarely traveled. The path curves a little, and so by the time I noticed that there was something settled in the middle of the path I was right on top of it.
Laying in the dirt was an animal, one I instantly recognized as a raccoon. It was small, not small enough to be a baby, but was certainly not much older than that. There were flies crawling all over it, and its leg twitched a bit, which I assumed was the movement of insects under the flesh. I have a strange morbid set of interests, so I am aware of how a corpse can travel several feet after it dies, simply under the influence of the maggots and other insects that feed upon the tissues.
I didn't want to leave it in the middle of the path. It was near homes after all, and after quickly looking up from the body I noticed a large number of children nearby. They hadn't noticed yet, but I didn't know how long that would last. So I took Shelly off to the side and told her to stay while I retrieved a stick to move it to the grass nearby. I began to to slide the stick under it, but I found it hard to get between the body and the ground. Then it stirred and snarled at me.
I reeled back, dumbfounded as I watched it weakly crawl, before finally coming to rest much in the same way I found it a few inches away. I was overcome with confusion, not only because I had no idea how to react, but also because I had never seen something move that was that far gone. It was not the first time I had ever seen anything dying. When I was a child I had unfortunately had the family dog die in my arms. But that was relatively quick. Despite its condition, I knew that this thing still may have a couple of hours left before it died.