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Blast From My Past: Writers’ Strike

There must be something about spring weather that gives me the urge to purge.  I’ve been turning our closets inside out, crossing off neglected tasks that have been on my To-Do list for months, donating or throwing away anything unnecessary or unused.  But even though space is limited, I can still find room for a few sentimental items.

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

I’ve been trying to organize my photos lately, so of course I’ve stumbled upon all those high school mementos that I’d completely forgotten about.  Among the photo albums, senior scrapbook, and yearbooks that I’ve kept from high school, I’ve also kept copies of the literary magazine I was a part of during my few years there.  I haven’t thought of our high school’s literary magazine in a long time… so I had fun strolling down memory lane!

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

I’ve been thinking about all this lately, and trying to avoid embarrassing myself by posting my poetry and illustrations from long ago, but I’m going to share it anyway.  I’m neither exalting or poking fun at my old work.  It is what it is!  Most of the illustrations were submitted when it came down to the final days before printing, when everyone was typing and working on the layout and scrambling to get everything finished.  If something was needed to accompany a poem or short story, I would draw whatever was needed to fill up an empty space.  So enjoy!

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

We loved our sponsor Mrs. Smith, who commuted the 40 minute drive from her home to our high school every day—the same commute that I would make in the opposite direction when I was a school librarian years later.  Mrs. Smith was energetic and encouraging, and she let us come in early and stay late after school to work on the magazine when the deadlines loomed.  We even had membership cards laminated to get us past the hall monitor dragons guarding the school doors before and after the bells.  I don’t think I fully appreciated the fact that us coming in early or staying late meant that Mrs. Smith was also waking up earlier, on the road earlier, spending less time with her family, working beyond the required hours.  It was just fun for me and the other students, but having been in the teaching position as an adult, now I can understand better how much of a committed teacher she really was for us.

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

I realize now that the details are hazy – I thought I’d worked on the magazine at least three years of high school, and that Mrs. Smith was our faculty advisor the entire time.  But after flipping through the Writers’ Strike, I was only around for two issues and by the second one we had a new sponsor.  It’s funny how facts get twisted around in your memory.  But nevertheless, the memories of how I felt remain true.  My commitment ranged from submitting a few pieces to working daily on the layout and artwork, fundraising and selling when the help was needed.  But most of all, I valued my participation in the whole process and the effort involved.  One year can feel like an awfully long time to a teenager, and I’m glad that my years were peppered with rewarding experiences and connections.

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

Isn’t it funny how when you’re growing up, high school seems like the ultimate culmination of your entire life?  All of your school years lead up to those four glorious years of high school, and there are supposed to be all those huge milestones that happen while you’re there: first dances and first boyfriends and getting your driver’s license and prom and football games and all those other expectations.  And there are lots of friends and drama and activities and heartaches and hormones, and even when you graduate you still think that what you do in high school will shape the rest of your life.  Then you go to college, or you get out in the world, and high school and its importance just kind of fades away.  At least, that’s how it has been for me.

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The  Writers’ Strike title was always a bit of a mystery to me… especially when it came to that apostrophe.  We inherited the name from some long-ago students, so the meaning was never really explained… nor exactly where that pesky apostrophe should be placed.  Was it one writer’s strike?  Many writers’ strike?  Or maybe the strike was not possessive at all, it was just a  “writers strike,” a noun and verb.  And the “strike” was mysterious in origin too—were we supposed to be making some sort of stance?  Was the strike political in nature?  Or was it more of a strike into the unknown?  Or a mark?  No one knew.  And no one bothered to try to change it… it was what it was.

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

 

I haven’t thought about the Writers’ Strike in a long time, but I’m glad I did!

P.S. I just got the Beautiful Mess app, so obviously I had a lot of fun playing around with the pics in today’s post!  All embellishments are courtesy of the app.

The Amateur Librarian // Blast From My Past: Writers' Strike

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3 thoughts on “Blast From My Past: Writers’ Strike

  1. how fun to stroll down memory lane, and you are so right about how high school seems like the thing when you are there and then life happens. I have one starting high school in the fall, she is so full of anticipation and a little trepidation. I just want her to take one day at a time and fully enjoy her next four years, making memories and friends to carry her into the next stage.

    Like

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