One of the programs they get the girls from has insane criteria, so they only have 11 girls this session (they were expecting 13-15). So they had to eliminate one mentoring session. Because i’m gonna be in for extended chunks of time, she wondered if i would be willing to work on the creative writing sections, no mentoring, since that takes a lot of time but doesn’t require mentoring interaction with the teens. One of my first thoughts was that this past week i had been having anxiety about this whole mentoring thing and now i don’t have to worry.
The short story submissions i read on Friday were remarkably serious (and well-written).
“The Tin Can Diner” had lots of interesting stuff but was rather disconnected; about a woman who thinks about leaving her boring life but eventually returns to it. (I found myself thinking of Mrs. Dalloway.)
“Paths to Freedom” about a kid whose parents were killed for refusing to convert to Islam from Christianity and now he is fleeing with a group of Christians while not sure if he personally is a believer.
“Hush” told by a girl who befriends a boy and learns that he is being abused and discloses her own history of abuse thus giving him the strength to bring charges against his attackers.
One that’s already in process is about a girl recovering from a breakup and the characters’ names are: Bianca, Austin, Krista. Oh the days of giving one’s characters names like that.
One of the icebreaker kinda thinks Saun did with the girls during Friday’s orientation was to ask “If money were no object, what would you be doing right now?” One girl answered: “I would send my mom to college.”
That pretty much sums up the girls in the program. Not that they’re not totally into shopping and pop music and all that, too.
There were 9 of them at orientation on Friday. 7 black, 2 Asian. (Not that it matters, i was just thinking about how 8/9 of us interns are white and what that says.) 4 of them (one of whom was Asian) were wearing pink shirts.
While the girls were having lunch one was saying her mom didn’t want her to have soda and this evolved into a topic about alcohol (they’re all very much underage but have had sips of wine at weddings and such) and it was making Saun nervous and i was amused since one of our rules of conduct is that we’re not allowed to talk about sex/drugs/alcohol when the teens are around ‘cause we’re not supposed to be a bad influence or whatever.
While my dad and i were waiting at the train station that evening, a squirrel popped out of a trash container across the tracks with a whole waffle (about the size of the palm of my hand, one of those round microwavable waffles or whatever) in its mouth. It came down to the ground and was chomping away. A couple sparrows were hanging around, probably hoping for some crumbs but then one of them came near its face and it lashed out at it and then they were gone. By the time the squirrel started to move away (with the food still in its mouth; i think it was the vibrations of the oncoming train that made it leave) it had only the crust of maybe a third of the original waffle left to eat. Pretty impressive.
So i’ve been reading Bitch and rather liking it, despite/because of the fact that it lives up to its subtitle of “feminist response to pop culture.” I’m actually considering getting a subscription.
The issue i borrowed earlier in the week was #12. The one i took home this weekend was #14, the music issue, and i ended up reading pretty much every word even though music isn’t really my thing.
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy versus Planned Parenthood public service announcement campaigns
- Bitch responds to uniform manufacturer Milliken’s ad wondering “Where else [besides cheerleading] can a teenage girl stand up in front of thousands of people and tell them what to do?” with a list of possibilities.
- Temptation Island as “big, long, lurid commercial for monogamy”
- The article on CosmoGirl! made me wanna make a Sassy redux. (Sidenote 1: It also brought back memories of when i e-mailed back-and-forth with Atoosa years ago.) (Sidenote 2: Online there’s also the list of gripes Bitch has with Jane -- from issue 3.3.)
- Representations of librarians in movies -- Desk Set (1957), The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag (1992), Party Girl (1995).
Couldn’t sleep again last night. Went through all my boxes again, this time pulled out scads of stuff and am currently psyched to actually finish this summer the zine project that’s been on hiatus for like my entire college career.
Sidenote: G*damn i have so much stuff.
And in sad news, YA author Paula Danziger dead at 59. She’s the author of The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and the Amber Brown books, among other YA novels. I’m not sure i’ve ever actually ready any of her stuff, but she was definitely a big name, and that is far too young to die.