Did you keep a diary as a teenager? Does the thought of reading it now make you want to cringe with embarrassment or would you jump at the change to gain some perspective on the course of your life so far?
Dr. Irving Finkel of London, a self-proclaimed diary rescuer, has it made it his personal mission to preserve, archive and exhibit as many long lost diaries as possible. By day, Finkel works at the British Museum, but in his off hours, he’s slowly amassing a museum of his own with his Great Diary Project and receives regular donations of families’ old journals. His reasoning, he says, is that:
Diaries are among our most precious items of heritage. People in all walks of life have confided and often still confide their thoughts and experiences to the written page, and the result is a unique record of what happens to an individual over months, or even years, as seen through their eyes. No other kind of document offers such a wealth of information about daily life and the ups and downs of human existence. The Project’s idea is to collect as many diaries as possible from now on for long-term preservation. In the future these diaries will be a precious indication of what life, in our own time, was really like…All human life, in fact, is there, packed into small pages where every entry – for the future historian – is accurately dated.
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I want to think 19-year-old Austin Dennison, a church-going Eagle Scout who plays football, baseball, and basketball and performs in the school band, is a little goody-two-shoes. But I just can’t, because Austin is adorable. He called up his great-grandma “DD” — Delores Dennison — and asked her to be his prom date. Delores is 89 years old, a widower and suffers from heart trouble. She never attended her prom back in the 1930s, because she didn’t have enough money. So her great-grandson in Rockford, Ohio, called her up and invited her to be his senior prom date at Parkway High School. Keep reading »
Dear Young Women On My Subway Car Yesterday,
I remember high school, a small world in which everyone feels like a character in an epic drama. A place where peers pass judgement and share hearsay as entertainment. Where few consider the appropriateness or repercussions of their conversations. Yesterday, the two of you stood in a New York City subway car and gossiped loudly about a classmate, making the entire subway car uncomfortable, especially as the story was about a teenage girl having sex in a public place. You laughed at her confusion about a possible pregnancy even though a condom was used. You proceeded to tell the intimate details of what she and her partner had done. I won’t share those details because my intention is not to shame the subject of your conversation. And besides, I have no right. Keep reading »
Yesterday at a Richardson High School assembly in Texas, students got some … interesting … relationship advice. Motivational speaker Justin Lookadoo — now appropriately deemed #LookADouche by the students — shared questionable “tips” such as telling students that “dateable girls know how to shut up.”
I’m sure that went over wonderfully with fragile 14-year-olds’ self-esteem. Keep reading »
Stowe High School in Stowe, Vermont, canceled its remaining three school dances this year to punish students for grinding at past dances. The three dances that got the kibosh included a Halloween dance, which was cancelled just days before it was supposed to happen. Prom, fortunately, has not been cancelled. However, Principal Jeff Maher told WCAX news said the school intends to hold conversations with students throughout the year about appropriate behavior at all school dances. “I don’t blame our kids, I really don’t,” Principal Maher said. “I think that they reflect the coarse, vulgar, popular culture that they inhabit.” I’m going to say something farty and old here, but I actually don’t think these actions are terrible. Extreme, maybe, but it will get the students’ attention for those (surely awkward) conversations about social boundaries. This is just a different way of approaching the problem than confronting every single kid who twerks or grinds at the dance itself. It’s anyone’s guess whether it will be successful, though. They always could have made the students’ sign “no twerking” dance contracts instead. [WCAX via HyperVocal]
Gone are the days when a nun rushes between you and your date at a school dance, reminding you to leave six inches for the baby Jesus. Now schools are just straight-up banning “provocative dance movements” like grinding and twerking … meaning a lot of teens don’t have any sweet moves anymore. Keep reading »