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Story time: I went to boarding school and one day my dad sent me a letter and told me to open it in the dining hall so I was like ??? maybe he sent something for my friends too. So I take it to dinner and open it, and it turns out it’s a card. A record-your-voice card in which my dad recorded himself yelling at the top of his lungs about how my dog pooped on the carpet. And that is the story of how my dad sent me a Howler one day.
Hey Everyone! When I was younger, I used to read a ton. As a direct result of that, my writing and reading were on point. Recently, however, I haven’t been reading as much, and as a result, my writing isn’t as good as I want it to be (albeit, still pretty good). I’ve decided to read all the books on this list over the next 1 and a half years to get back into reading and to improve my writing. Enjoy! :)
Today’s highlights in my ongoing project to read through and transcribe the letters of Rachel (a wealthy Victorian girl at boarding school on the East Coast in the 1890s) include…
Rachel’s cousin Will and his Yale roommate Allen both have the measles. Rachel shows limited sympathy (”Poor boy!”), before immediately mocking them and calling them “childish” for getting a disease only little kids get.
Rachel and her roommate “B” (It stands for Bertha!) attempted to steal a sign (what sort idk) from a fair they went to but found they “were carefully guarded”. She wishes Will could have been there to help.
Will has a crush on a girl named Jenny, who Rachel knows, and is constantly asking Rachel if Jenny has mentioned him.
“B” often sits next to Rachel as she writes and suggests things to add to the letter or just generally distracts her.
Will and Jack, who are brothers, don’t write to each other. They write to Rachel and tell her to write to the other and pass on a message for them. Rachel keeps asking why they do this, but goes along with it anyways.
Rachel always explains why there are ink blots or areas of sloppy writing in her letters. Explanations so far include such classics as: the dinner bell just rang, it’s after lights-out and I’m writing this in the dark, “B” is shaking my arm, “B” is kissing me, this pen is broken, the postman is almost here, and there was a bee.
For her 18th birthday Rachel received: a new Kodak camera, eighteen white rosebuds, silver manicure scissors, a pair of shell side combs, a silver pencil, and a vase of pink roses. However her favorite present was from her father who wrote to say she could just buy her own present and he would pay for it.
Rachel is always mentioning the pictures she takes with her Kodak. I wish I knew what happened to them.
Rachel likes to put question marks in the middle of sentences to denote sarcasm; i.e. “I am very ? sorry for you.” and “Men were not excluded and we had the pleasure ? of meeting several.”
Your 1890s slang word of the day: “squelch” (verb) - to be lectured or punished for something. Example: “I expect to be squelched unmercifully by mama and papa.” Can also be used as a noun as in: “This term we have had nothing but squelches.”
Hi, I'm creating a comic where troubled, low income teens are given the option to go to a boarding school, in North California, to train to become monster hunters. The school is mostly populated by minorities mostly African American, Native Americans, South East Asians, and Latinx. A friend of mine said it might be seen as problematic to have Native Americans be in a government own boarding school. This worries me since my main character is a Native American boy whom loves the school.
Native Character in Monster-Hunter Boarding School; Poor implications?
So, yes, it could be a very tricky thing to have Native Americans in the school. But it all boils down to two questions:
Is it consensual in the most genuine sense of the term?
Do they become part of a new culture, or do they keep their old one and add to it?
The residential school system was not consensual even when there weren’t laws in place forcing kids to go. Parents could and did send their children there because they thought it was for the best, because they were coerced into it, or because they had developed the type of fondness you develop for your abuser where you try to replicate the pattern because you haven’t healed from it yet. If the kids are told in very informed ways what happens to their lives— who they have contact with, whether or not their culture has to change (a big red flag would be no room to carry on cultural beliefs or, in the case of Natives, reconnect with their cultural beliefs), how their lives would get better and worse.
If, however, the kids are caught in moments of desperation, where it’s basically “come with us or else”, then there would be major problems with the validity of that consent. If the kids are doing okay but looking for a way out, that’s one thing, but if the school reps dive in at a bad point when all hope seems lost, I would feel very uncomfortable.
Next, you have to give him options to practice and explore his culture. The pain of the residential school system was because it was an active attempt at destroying our culture. So if you have it that your character is still Native, keeps what traditions he can, and is allowed to go back into his community/family without problem, then you’ve mollified the forced assimilation undertones to the school.
you should have minimal problems with the government run boarding school. If you want a general list of what to avoid in the school to make it not be a residential school, Canada published the Truth and Reconciliation Commission describing the country’s use of the system and the abuse that happened within. The possibility exists you’ll trigger people regardless (it is a very fresh trauma in our communities), but by making it consensual and having connections to his culture, you’ll at least minimize the negative impact. Check out [Braving Native American Diversity] and [Researching Native American Cultures] for tips on how to make him have a culture.
I think this really needs to be said to all the high schoolers freaking out about AP exams, SAT scores, and ACT scores. Hell, even to those who are applying/applied to colleges or other things. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine your worth. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine how smart you are. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine your future. Only you, as a person, can determine that. I know it’s hard, I’m still in high school too. But I think you guys need to, have to, know that even if you get all A’s and a 1450+ (or 2200+) on the SAT that it doesn’t automatically guarantee you a job. You could end up going to Stanford, MIT, or Harvard but end up in a bad place. The school you end up going to doesn’t necessarily grant you a job either. Okay, yes, it makes it a little bit easier but either way, you’re going to have to work hard for everything to get where you want. All of you are so much more important than some score or letter grade. Y’all are gonna do great, as long as you have the passion and drive to work for it. Having straight A’s and perfect scores does not mean you will survive in the real world. Now, this isn’t a way to make you feel better or myself (since I’m not a straight A student either) about all of this because honestly it’s all so true.
Good luck on your AP exams and everything else though. :) You guys got this.