Book: The Kids Wore Plaid by Brianna Thorpecategories: Book, Tempe Prep, School, Physics, Graduation, Uniforms, Geeks, Love, Learning, Class, Compassion, Education, Charter, Poetry
Brianna Thorpeabout this book: I'm graduating from high school this year (2012). After attending the same school for seven years, I decided that I wanted to give something back to the place which made me who I am. And that is where the idea for "The Kids Wore Plaid" came from.
I made a list of every person in my graduating class (57 people), the teachers who mean the most to me, and included two kids who passed away while at the school. I wrote a poem for each person. Some people got their own, while others shared one. After three months of writing, I was finished. I then organized the poems in such a way that would take the reader through the same emotional ride which I went on through my seven years as a student. I began with the horrible sadness and confusion which occurs when a couple of friends are suddenly taken away without reason, the anger which follows when evil is allowed to strip away a kid's innocence, and the frustration of not being heard by the rest of the world. Then, suddenly, the darkness ends and a new day comes. Stories of success and friendship are told, memories of laughter and bizarre comedy. We see kids just being kids, goofing off, acting stupid, but also possessing a strange but powerful love for each other. This love grows until the end, when that same evil which stripped away innocence in the beginning of the book is vanquished by a few good men. Our voices are heard, and we hold each other as we say goodbye to those who must leave us.
The cover photo is one of my senior photos, taken in the Summer of 2012. It's me, in my school uniform, reading a book that is very special to me. The book was lent to me by my Junior year physics teacher. It's a simple physics textbook, no different from what any high school student probably reads, but it means a lot to me. It's the book that my physics teacher and I went over when he and I first started meeting after class to go over more advanced physics concepts. It reminds me of sitting in that dilapidated classroom for hours after school, watching my teacher madly scribble out formulas on the dirty whiteboard as I fired endless questions at him. Those are among the fondest memories I will ever have of high school.
The title "The Kids Wore Plaid" is actually quite simple. Kids at my school wear plaid. We're a small charter school with an intense liberal arts curriculum. Our strict set of rules demands that girls wear plaid skirts and polo shirts, while the guys wear khaki slacks with polo shirts. Unflattering, yes. But incredibly sentimental to me nonetheless.
"The Kids Wore Plaid" made me realize even more how much I'll miss my teachers and peers when I graduate. It fueled me to appreciate every moment of this year and never forget everything that my school has done for me.
If there's one thing that I would want my readers to take away from "The Kids Wore Plaid" it would be this: there is nothing greater than love and compassion. Treat others with such virtues and you will make the world a better place. We need to fight for a better tomorrow. Fight with love.
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