My Elementary School Journal: A Kenyon Story

My fifth grade journal: Halloween, dogs, and my mom.

My fifth grade journal: Halloween, dogs, and my mom.

Kenyon students are known for their writing talents, meaning that the people that you pass by each day have probably been literary geniuses from a young age. Over winter break I was looking around  my room at home, and came across a bunch of old journals in a pile on my bookshelf. Flipping through the pages, I felt more than a little embarrassed to be associated with this tween-Malice. This journal was from a time when I read everything that passed in front of my face. I had subscriptions to Dog Fancy, Nick Magazine, National Geographic for Kids and probably Highlights. One golden phrase from my journal read: “Frozen fingers grabbed at us as we went farther and farther into the numbness” to describe swimming at the beach with my friends. What I’m saying is, I was a tool who kept pretentious writing journals.

At a school like Kenyon, I couldn’t possibly be alone in this closet Journal Pretentiousness… right? So I decided to ask around, and see if other Kenyon students had experienced this, or if I really was the only big pretentious weirdo in fifth grade. What did I find out? Not only have other people at Kenyon kept elaborate, earnest journals, but some of them started as early as Kindergarten. These journals are from a time when we were confident, honest, sensitive, and convinced that everything in the world was freaking awesome, and completely worth writing about. I collected these entries to show that, even before Kenyon, students wrote about the world with eagerness…although the subject matter was a little different.

Grace Gardner ’13, English and Film Major: March 23, 2000.

Dear Mom & Dad,

I just think this is wonderful! I found out a place called Publix is having a grand opening! Sorry I haven’t said anything for a while. The grand opening is tomorrow at 7:00! I am trying to be the first costemer there! I gotta go to sleep so I can get up early! Bye!

Gracie in Publix

As a first grader in Publix, Grace has finally made it. If only we had the same wondrous experience every time we go to Kroger.

Tim Jurney ’15, International Studies Major: Fourth Grade

Dear Futur Tim:
Do not laugh at me. What I write now I mean with all of my heart. I am sinsere. I have read the writings of my second-grade self and laughed, but I am being serious when I write this journal and do not wish to be laughed at. When you read this writing you should know that I am a real person who has feelings that are just as real as yours.
Thank you,
Tim
Shortly after writing this entry, Tim stopped keeping a journal.

Rebecca Katzman ’14, Sociology Major: February 9, 1999

“I was honest wen mom was story telling and she had a white dot on her face and I told her. Wen my mom asked who the best mom in the world was I said her and I was honest. I have shiny, red hair. I frougot to tel you my hair is very curly. Also it is short. I like my har the color and the stile and langth. I wotent want to change it. Mom and dad came up with my name because wen Caroline came out she didn’t look like a Rebecca and wen I came out they named me Rebecca because that is a strong name and I was a strong looking girl.”

Becca Katzman is still a strong looking, honest girl.

Lucy Phillips ’14, International Studies Major: First Grade

Dear Diary,

We are running away today to meet my real parents. Bring everything you have.
Yours,
Lucy
Lucy explains this entry: “From the time I was probably 3-10 I thought I was adopted because I was POSITIVE (still unsure) that my real parents were a King and Queen, making me a Princess. I wrote this diary entry in 1st grade, in response to asking my parents (who knows if they’re the real ones) if I was adopted and they told me no. A sad day for my Disney-intoxicated self.”
Sofia Mandel ’15, International Studies Major: First Grade
Sofia Journal EntrySofia was a budding fashionista and party planner. Notice how Ben Payner ’15 is listed as “hot in group 2.”
Kate Lindsay ’15, English Major: Fourth Grade
Long before she wrote for The Thrill, Kate Lindsay had a newspaper of her own. Her editing skills have only improved since then.

Long before she wrote for The Thrill, Kate Lindsay had a newspaper of her own. Her editing skills have only improved since then.

These are only a few examples of Kenyon students as budding writers. Do you have something similar to this that you want to share with us? Then e-mail The Thrill at thekenyonthrill@gmail.com!
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15 responses

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