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Ross Miller; I said none of my characters would like hockey this time. I lied.
Topic Started: Feb 6 2018, 05:10 PM (141 Views)
I'm a Cactus
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Name: Ross Miller
Gender: Male
Age: Eighteen
Grade: Senior [12th]
School: George Hunter High School
Hobbies and Interests: Improv club, school plays, hockey, reading

Appearance: At a height of 5'9" and a weight of 178 lbs, Ross does not stand out within a crowd. While blessed with a naturally athletic build, Ross carries around approximately 10 lbs of additional weight from poor dietary choices and only moderate physical activity, most of which is concentrated around his belly and love-handles. As such, Ross doesn't look outwardly fat, but is self-conscious enough about his weight that he doesn't like to take his shirt off in public. He will constantly joke that it's good the 'dad-bod' has come into fashion. While his fat tends to concentrate in a few places, the rest of him is well-proportioned. He has thicker, muscular legs and his shoulders and upper body are lean and well-strengthened. His arms sport a bit of muscle, but it's easy to see that he's not a gym-goer and gets most of his exercise from organized sports.

As a Caucasian with Irish and Scottish heritage, Ross has a fairly pale complexion and an oval-shaped face with high cheekbones and a slightly prominent chin. His face doesn't carry a lot of additional weight, but he has full cheeks that give his face a rounded shape. He has brown eyes that are evenly spaced apart, but one of his eyes is slightly above the other, something that he is unable to stop seeing in the mirror and in photographs of himself. Ross tends not to squint unless exposed to direct sunlight, and his eyes are usually open wide, thinking about the world around him and betraying his intelligence. Ross' nose is a prominent feature for him, being slightly large but well-proportioned to his other features. The tip is rounded and the bridge has an ever-so-slight bend to the right from an old injury. Ross' lips are thinner and his mouth is well-proportioned to his face. He has a slight scar that runs in a horizontal line between his eyebrows that's barely noticeable unless he's under severe light.

Ross doesn't care much for keeping his auburn hair groomed in any particular style, so when he gets his hair cut, he has the barber keep the sides short (not shaved, but shorter than the rest of his hair), and trim the top, leaving it slightly longer. His bangs are trimmed so as not to get in his eyes, and when they do, he knows it's time to cut his hair again. He has a very light dusting of freckles underneath his eyes, and he's able to grow a beard were he so inclined, but prefers to shave every couple of days so as not to look too old, leaving him often with reddish stubble that's a little bit lighter than his auburn hair. Ross doesn't consider himself ugly, but doesn't attract the attention from the opposite sex that he secretly hopes, so he figures himself to be distinctly average in the looks department.

On an ordinary day, Ross is usually found in a pair of slim but loose dark blue jeans, and any number of front-zippered hooded sweatshirts, he has a myriad of colours to match whatever t-shirt he's wearing on that day. A common combination is a red sweatshirt with a black tee underneath. Usually he wears the sweatshirt unzipped, and is almost always found wearing a mustard yellow and navy blue Nashville Predators baseball cap. Depending upon the season, Ross will walk around in blue and grey hiking boots in the spring, or black Adidas running shoes in the summer. On sunny days, Ross is usually wearing sunglasses, which when not on his face, he'll keep on his hat. These sunglasses are of a sport-style and are usually purchased from the drug store, as he tends to lose them fairly frequently.

Biography: Born on March 17, 2000 in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Patrick and Jane Miller, Ross Alexander Miller is the eldest of two children, with a younger brother two years his junior. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, Patrick Miller moved to the United States in 1994 to attend the University of Denver for computer engineering. While he studied, partied, and enjoyed his time in university, he met Jane Ridley, who was enrolled at the same college but in the teaching program. Upon first meeting, the two did not have a lot in common, but the outgoing Irishman consistently displayed a gentleness and a kindness to him that drew Jane towards him. They became friends, and ran within the same social circles for several months, until the intervention of a mutual friend became necessary to point out to the two what most of their friends already knew: they were a perfect match for one another. Following that, Patrick and Jane became a couple, and six months after graduation, were married.

With both Patrick and Jane trying to find their way in their respective careers, Patrick managed to score a very promising job working for a burgeoning financial securities company in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While Jane was slightly reticent to leave her friends and family, she was not having any luck finding work of her own in the Denver area, and so the young couple moved across the country. Very shortly after their arrival in Tennessee, Jane became pregnant. While this put her career plans mostly on hold, Jane was thrilled about starting a family, which alleviated her homesickness and brought the young couple a sense of excitement.

When the time finally came and Ross arrived in the world, Patrick was overjoyed that his son was born on Saint Patrick's Day, a national holiday in his native Ireland. As a result, the holiday that the Miller family would always make a point to celebrate became that much more important, and from there in often became a multiple-day affair. Thanks to this coincidence, Patrick has always believed that his son has been destined for great things, a view that Jane has tried to reign her enthusiastic husband back on, so as not to place undue expectation upon their son. The Millers would later have a second child: a daughter, Catherine. Ross would take his duties as an older brother seriously, and has always had a bit of a protective streak towards his younger sister, even though there is still an age gap that makes it difficult for each of them to truly understand the other.

As a child, Ross proved to be blessed with a keen intellect, talking at ten months and being able to read just before he turned three. While floored at the early age that Ross took to reading, they tried to foster it in him, reading him books before bed each night and trying to ensure that he always had something to read that would challenge him. By the time he turned four, Ross was reading at a grade three reading-comprehension level, and while he didn't always understand the exact meanings of the words, this enhanced his vocabulary and spelling to the point that he found himself bored by the standard preschool activities of putting blocks together and having naps. One particular afternoon, Jane was called in to Ross' preschool for a meeting with the teachers, who believed that Ross was a disturbed child, because he refused to participate in nap-time and instead walked around the room, reading the signs out loud that were posted on the walls. The Millers would disregard this valuation of Ross' mental state, as they both recognized that this behaviour was not a mental defect, but boredom on the part of their son. They continued to encourage their son to read, but also decided to try and enroll him in a variety of sports, to also encourage the growth of his motor skills and to expend some of the extra energy. Ross was enrolled in tee-ball, which he participated in until he finished his grade one year in school, out of a lack of interest.

Once in school, Ross excelled as a student in the younger grades, as many of the basics of reading and writing were already things that he'd learned how to do. He took to mathematics as well, and was far and away the best speller of his class in the younger grades. While his friends and classmates were spelling words like 'boat' and 'toy', Ross was learning to spell words like 'construction' and 'fortune'. His teachers tried to come up with ways to challenge the bright child to keep him engaged in what was going on in the classroom. As he only found himself having to pay a little bit of attention to what was being taught, Ross started to develop socially, spending a lot more time talking to his friends when he (and they) should have been working on their assignments.

As Ross became older and it was apparent that their son would be more than capable of handling the enriched programs that were available at specialized schools, the Millers investigated putting Ross into a self-contained gifted program, but upon broaching the subject with their son, he was vehemently only interested in staying within his current school, as he did not want to leave his friends. This was an ongoing battle during the third grade, but eventually the Millers acquiesced and left him in the public school stream.

As he grew older, Ross' interest in school waned, and his grades started to fall a little as he entered his grade seven year. The lack of challenge in his studies had proven to act as a demotivator, and Patrick and Jane had to constantly nag him to do his homework and complete his assignments on time, no small feat now that they had a second small child in the house as well. Ross had become disorganized, unmotivated, and lazy. His homeroom teacher saw the potential within him and took him on as a project, to try and motivate him and at least resurrect some of his organizational skills. She had him bring home an agenda to be signed off on by his parents each night, and made a checklist that he had to fill out once per week to ensure that his desk and locker were clean, organized, and free of clutter. While initially resistant, over the course of the year, Ross managed to learn his lesson, and eventually became one of the more organized students in the class thanks to his teacher's efforts.

Entering high school was a boon for Ross' confidence within himself and his interest in school. Feeling rejuvenated and interested in the material again, his marks jumped from what they were in junior high and he started bringing home far more A's and B's than ever before. While his confidence in his academics was at an all-time high, adolescence sapped him of the confidence that he had within himself to take risks. Ross tended to try and play it safe, developing an unusual fear of failure that his parents tried everything to cure him of. As a way to try and cure this unusual fear of risk-taking, his parents suggested that he try to take drama classes at school.

Drama class was a revelation for Ross. While he always had more than a passing interest in how television and movies were made, getting on the stage unlocked something within the young man. Having to take risks in drama class provided the perfect training ground for him to fail in a safe space, and he quickly grew to love performing. This had the added result of improving his wit and social acumen, which improved his moderate social standing and gave him a degree of popularity among certain groups at George Hunter High. While not the most talented actor in the school, Ross does very well as a support role, and often finds himself playing silly or bombastic characters, which he attributes to the fact that he himself is a self-described 'character'.

Puberty hit Ross earlier than most, and while he had a growth spurt at the very beginning of high school, everyone else managed to catch him by the time the tenth grade had ended. While he had a natural athleticism as a child, he found that by the time high-school was half-over, he was starting to fill out, and not in the good way. Weight began to stick around and his lack of discipline over what he ate started to have an impact. As a result, while his confidence flourished socially, Ross started to become self-conscious about his body. He tried to continue the activities and sports that he enjoyed, but never really got into working out like some of the other students in the school. As a result, Ross carries a few extra pounds around with him, which is a source of great tension for him and has led to him having a very skewed image of his own body.

As he stopped playing baseball as a young child, the Millers tried to enroll Ross in a variety of other sports that would catch his interest. They tried basketball, soccer, and even encouraged him to try baseball again, but nothing took, until they finally decided to go out on a whim and try a sport that was relatively new to the Chattanooga area: hockey. Being originally from the Denver area, Jane was very familiar with the particulars, but Patrick was about as clueless as his son when learning the sport, which was starting to gain popularity with the recent arrival of a professional team to the nearby city of Nashville. After a tumultuous first year which left Ross wanting to quit after his first practice, the boy started to fall in love with the game. With leagues at a premium in Tennessee, Ross joined the local Nashville league, which brought with it a two-hour commute for each game and each practice. Ross picked the game up quickly and excelled, but the time and financial commitment proved to be more than the Miller family were capable of handling, and so Ross only ever played in a recreational minor hockey league, before joining the local Chattanooga league when he turned sixteen. Ross is a good player, but since he has never played competitively, he lacks the killer instinct that many competitive players do and thus doesn't stand out very much.

Growing up in Tennessee and being interested in sports has given Ross an appreciation for the local sports franchises - primarily the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators. He will commonly ask for tickets for birthdays and for Christmas, and both of his parents will take turns taking him to games. When he was seventeen, he received permission to take his younger sister to a Predators game on his own, and the experience was a positive one, cultivating a stronger relationship with her than he otherwise had before. His sister is four years his junior, and thus he has often had a difficult time knowing how to interact or understand her, as the age and gender difference is enough to wedge a gap between them. Notwithstanding this, Ross is very protective of his sister and does usually enjoy her company.

Since he was a child, Ross has been an avid reader. He has always enjoyed reading various things, from signs on the walls at his pre-school to mysteries and science-fiction as a child. Ross is helped by his ability to speed-read, which allows him to read whole books in the span of several hours. His parents were discouraged by this when they found him taking fifteen books out of the library one day, thinking that he wasn't reading the whole story and getting the whole picture, but were floored when he was able to tell his mother the entire plot summary and various character moments a day after he'd read one of her favourite books. As a young adult, he finds himself reading textbooks more than anything, but he will always make time for a good mystery novel.

As a senior, Ross Miller is well-known to many of the students in his graduating class, his affable nature and sense of humour adding to the groups that he finds himself socializing with. He has many acquaintances, but only a few close friends, that he would do anything for, and if not floating from group to group, usually spends time with one of them. Very few people dislike Ross, and as such he often receives invites to parties that he wouldn't ordinarily attend or is involved in activities with groups that aren't his usual crew. He finds himself on the periphery of many social groups, but rarely is his presence unwanted.

As Ross suffers from body image issues, he has a very hard time opening up to the opposite sex, and does not do well in dating. Up to this point in his high school career, he has not dated anyone, and has not even kissed a girl. This is not a fact that he advertises, and if someone shows interest, it is not unusual for it to go right over his head. This is something that he is hoping to rectify as he goes to college in the fall, but he knows it will take more fortitude than he's currently able to show. Ross is unsure what he'd like to study at college and is torn between taking English or taking a film degree, and so he has decided to apply to several colleges as an undeclared major to start, so he can take courses to figure out what he really wants to do.

Risks are a thing that Ross Miller has a difficult time with. As a byproduct of his insecurity issues, he has a difficult time forcing himself to perform actions or get into situations in which he might lose or fail, which he sees as a blow to his self-confidence. While his mind is aware that failing is not a bad thing, and encountering rejection is part of growing as a person, he still finds himself paralyzed at times when faced with a risk, and will often take the safe route through things. This has also manifested itself within his grades, which are generally B's, with few A's and C's scattered throughout. Ross knows that he is full of potential, but tends to play it safe, and only does what is required and not anything above and beyond.

Advantages: Ross has a kind-heart and a good attitude, which makes him a welcome presence in most social situations. He is intelligent and has a quick wit, which allows him to improvise and react in pressure situations. He has a surprisingly strong cardiovascular capacity and good endurance from playing hockey.
Disadvantages: The only exercise Ross gets is from a singular sport and gym class, so he has a weak upper body and is not strong. He has the propensity for laziness and can get lost in his own thoughts. Ross has a difficult time taking risks and will sometimes avoid them, even at great cost to himself.
Edited by I'm a Cactus, Feb 11 2018, 02:29 PM.
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Heylo Cactus man. Before Ross can be given a full critique, please make sure that his profile fully adheres to the template.. Specifically, you're missing a line break between the Hobbies and Interests section and the Appearance section, and again between the Biography and Advantages/Disadvantages. Thanks!
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Google Docs and it's recent "Let's just ditch the return key formatting" is going to be the death of me.

Fixed.
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Alright, Ross is looking pretty good but is temporarily DENIED pending a few edits.

What is Ross's sister's name? I can't find much information about her at all until Ross decides to take her to a hockey game.

While Ross's status as an early gifted student is fine by itself, the earliest age anyone can be confirmed to actually read is around 28 months, or a bit after 2 years old, according to the information I can find. Reading around 3 is a noted milestone for gifted kids, but reading before he even turned 2 seems a bit much; bump that up a little bit for Ross. Additionally, since he was clearly performing above average academically at an early age, did Ross's parents ever consider accelerated education or honors classes for him? What are his grades like currently?

Ross's interest in reading isn't mentioned much after elementary school; what does he like to read nowadays and how much time does he spend on it?

Ross's last disadvantage of avoiding risks needs expansion within the biography.

Make those edits and post back in here once you're through, and I'll give Ross another look!
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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i HAs eDiTs

(also I changed it but I read when I was 2 - Oliver just informed me of how unusual that is so my bad! :P)
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"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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