I've been here, what-three and a half months now? and already this place has had an absolutely huge impact on me. E2 has taught me many things, from the embarrassing to the significant.

Everything2 has taught me that you don't need a 5MB Flash movie, or well produced CGI-out-the-wazoo TV programme to be entertained, that you can be made to laugh, cry or think by nothing more than a few pieces of text and some HTML. E2 has some fantastic pieces of comedy, personal reflection, information and...other stuff, which really are nothing more than ASCII and bold tags.

It has taught me that trite, one-line-long works of prose are not worth anything in the grand scheme of things. Henry V would be rightly considered a pile of bullshit (which, E2 has coincidentally also taught me, does not specifically have to be earned) if it consisted of:

ACT ONE: Henry's palace

HENRY: Lets take over France!

ACT TWO: Muddy French battlefield

HENRY: We won! Who wants Bordeaux?

It has taught me that both quantity and quality have their place within the world of writing-despite one line not being enough, you can never have too much of a good thing and that must never be forgotten.

It has taught me that learning is fun. All the time that I have been here, I have been subconsciously learning. I thought the Warsaw Pact was a treaty to prevent the Cold War becoming something much much more until I found the nodeshell, researched it and filled it. It paid off (4C!s worth of payoff, TYVM) and I now know far too much about the Warsaw Pact for my own damn good. I don't even do history and dropped it a year ago. I still (without me knowing) have learnt plenty about the subject just by surfing around here.

E2 has taught me that even though some people can and will be harsh, it's for my own damn good that I do. I was becoming majorly pissed off with dannye's tactics, but then I realised: "Hold on...this guy is taking his own damn time, which he would probably rather be spending with his family, to get me to stop being a shitty writer? Jesus Christ...maybe I'd better listen to him for once...". I understood what he was doing, and why he was doing it. I read his homenode and I realised that he was only trying to do his best for this place, make it fulfil its potential. I started shaping up a bit after that.

E2 has also taught me that there's no point whining about getting stuff rejected. Nodes get nuked. Exams get failed. Girlfriends dump you. Get the fsck over it. It's gone. Let it go. The writeup was probably crappy, you didn't revise well enough and you probably treated your girlfriend like a pay-as-you-go whore. You will reap the dividends if you work at your goals.

This place made me realise so much. I've actually been here for around 6 months. Surfing around, reading nodes on Chernobyl and ITV Digital. I can remember my first node, under the alias RighteousFunby (no, don't look at me funny, that's my Slashdot nickname, I'm sane dammit)-it was some piece of shit writeup under a node soft-linked to Chernobyl that talked about deformed children. It was deleted, and quite rightly so. I fully understand now what the editors have to go through right now...deleting crap like that first node I wrote, kicking the seven bells out of whoever dares create (and subsequently fill) the node "j00 ar3 a fagg0rt 5uck my ba", having to listen to the sort of people who if there was some kind of <CHAIR> tag would throw it across the room at them...they deserve mad props for doing that. It takes sheer cajones to calm down screaming infants, especially the electronic kind.

Who knows. When/if I get to Level 4, I'd love to become a mentor. Put myself in their shoes. E2 has taught me the value of text, the value of respect for those above you and the value of not submitting crap like "melty boy" in the first place. I hope it teaches all the Level 1 noders that too.