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!
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
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