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Nicole Norris

These are some examples of Nicole's writing, most of which are from around the year 2000 when she was 17 and living in the state of New York.

Fear

Prom

Wanting to Run Away

Peru Central School - Peru, New York, USA- "Land of the Free"

In School Suspension - Also Peru Central

Sperm Donor T-Shirt story

More on Peru Central School

Her mother

Resentments

Pressure to conform

Fear (Written in 2001 while a senior in highschool)



I always knew looking back on the tears would make me laugh, But I never knew
looking back on the laughs would make me cry

It has been a tough couple of weeks. The only good things that has came out
of it, is my determination to make the world a better place for others. I
have been doing a lot of work in my "Teenage Liberation" diary for this
reason. I want to be able to help just one person...but knowing me, I won't
stop at one person. I will probably never want to stop.

Sometimes, though, in my need to help others, I think that I forget myself. I
try to push my own feelings away and I try to be strong for others. I try to
offer them advice, but when it comes to myself, I don't have any advice to
offer....or I am scared to take it. Fear is something that I fight everday. I
am becoming more curagious, but sometimes, fear still controls a large
part of me.

I think about the past a lot latley. I think about the future even more.
Where do I want to be 20 years from now? I write about this often, but
everytime I write it or ask it, it feels like the first time. Am I going to
make anything of myself? Am I going to end up becoming one of those people
that I feel so strongly against. Am I going to give up all of my ideals and
conform. I don't think I will, but I fear that I won't have the strenghth
when a challenge comes.


I fear that my choices will be wrong.

I fear looking back on my life and choices and wishing that I had taken
another route.

I fear that I will one day say,"Mom, you were right."

I fear that I will waste so many years.

I fear that I won't follow my dreams that are so pure right now.

I fear that I will die befor ever having lived.

I fear being alone and never finding true love. (deep down, I am a romantic, I believe. )

I fear that I will have children, and lose my temper.

I fear rejection.

I fear that I am too sensitive, and that this sensitivy is a quality that
will harm me one day.

I fear that people walk all over me because I am such a giving person.

I fear I caused my brother's drug problems.

I fear that I will never help anyone.


Perhaps all these fears are only fears, and never will become reality.
However, these are things I think everyday...Mostly, I think about these
things when I am lyeing in my bed at night.

Prom

Oh, yeah, School has been more of HELL this week than anything. Prom is this
weekend, and it is all I hear about. It gets kind of annoying. People waste
so much money on a dance. They buy 200 and  300 dollar dresses, spend 50+
dollars on hair, then you have nails  which is another 50 dollars...lol, and
this doesn't count limo's that are rented, expensive dinner's at fancy
restaurants, and photo's...all together, a student will pay like...500 dollars
or more on a dance! It is crazy! Then, half the time, the people don't even
enjoy it or even remember it because they get so plastered at after prom
parties! 

Prom is so over rated. Society says that you are supposed to go.
That it is supposed to be something a girl looks forward to all her life.
lol, I must be abnormal or something, because I think it is a load of
bullshit!  My mom is disspointed that I am not going to Prom. I think she
wants me to go because she didn't go...and also...in the normal society, it
is the parent's job to be all happy about their kids "finally growing up and
going to her prom!" and all that crap. lol

Anyhow, as you can see, this really annoys me, lol! I can't count how many
times I have explained this to people when they asked me if I was going to
prom. I explain this to people, and they look at me like I am crazy...oh, and
on top of all of this, I don't like the music that they play at these dances,
and, I don't like to dance for the most part, lol. So, do I sound bitter and
angry? I hope this didn't ruin your good spirits!

Wanting to runaway (at about 16)

Hey Steve, I was reading through some of my very old entries...more than two
years old, I found this one...I wanted to run away, but didn't, because I
didn't know where to go...anyway, thought you might find that
interesting...sorry for emailing you so much! Feeling kind of lonely tonight.
Hoping you would come online tonight, but it doesn't look that way. Actually , I
think this is the day you have your presentation???good luck with that. Tell
them the truth about things


dear diary,

I'm near tears as I write. My mom and I have been fighting a lot lately and I
don't know if I can take it anymore. Adults, I know what your going to say,
your just a teenager with typical problems. Maybe so, but I don't feel as
though I can cope with them anymore, and personally, I don't give a sh*t
about what anybody thinks. I'm so much pain here, and I don't know what else
to do. For those of you who do care, I'm thinking about running away. If my
sister doesn't call me back and say that I can stay with her, then I am going
to leave. I probably won't go far. Don't worry about me though because I'm
not going to do anything stupid. I might find some kind of shelter, or maybe
I will try to admit myself into the hospital for help. I don't want to get
into details about what's been happening. There are too many. I'm confused on
what to do. I want to be here for my mother's baby. I can't take the pain
here though. Well, if I don't write in awhile, don't worry, I am safe. I'm
either at my sisters, a shelter, or a hospital.

Peru Central School

Well, there is my French teacher of course. He hasn't liked me from the beggining. Ithink it's because I dress "different" or whatever.  Today he was handing out a newspaper to read. I, of course don't see why we do current events every day in French class! It's not even written in French or anything. Why isn't he teacher of social studies or something that has to do with current events? Anyway, he handed me the paper, and I hadn't had it in my hand for even two seconds. I was turning the paper around so I wouldn't have to read it back words and he gets on my case. "Nicole! That's what I mean about "getting too comfortable. You should be half done that paper by now." Well, I read pretty fast, but I don't think anybody can read an entire paper in 2 seconds. I don't let him walk all over
me anymore. "Well EXUSE ME FOR NOT WANTING TO READ THE PAPER BACKWORDS!" I say to him in a bitchy manner. Yes, I admit, I am a bitch in that class because he treats the students bad. Once, I walked out of his class because he said that we do not have a future. Why stay in a class and listen to that
bull shit?

--

Haha, you had to bring up the French Teacher. I was trying to block the memories of him out... Actually, I passed my French regents exam and becasue of him, will not go further in my French. I can't stand through another year of being emotionally abused by him. Even when I complained, nobody cared. They told me to talk to somebody else about it, and basically blew me off. Oh well.

----

I didn't go to detention the other night. I had detention for not going to a study hall. The principal passed me in the hall and said,"That means you get a day of I.S.S..." However, instead of handing me the "punishment" she threatened me by saying the next time I get sent to her office, I will have I.S.S
I skipped Psychology today to take a walk and cool off. I was getting so frustrated with people that I needed to get out for a period to think.


----

When you said you visited that highschool and most of the people looked "dead and fake" you hit it the nail right on the head. That's how High School is. Nobody is "real." Everyone has a facade.

I feel kind of bad when you said that you  were  proud of me for not cutting. Yesterday I had I.S.S all day. Maybe the bordom and the lonelyness got to me because I took a paper clip and cut my arm a little bit. It was nothing big. However, does this mean I broke my 11 month record. Maybe not. It is just a little. It barely bled. Damnit, I wish I could turn back time. I'm feeling like a failure. I'm not going to do this again. I used to feel satisfaction after I cut, now I just feel like a failure. like an alcoholic whose been sobor for 11 month and took a drink. But if he didn't get "drunk" and only took a drink, does that mean he's failed? I hope not.

The I.S.S teachers are like dictators. Fifth period, a couple of people had to eat lunch. We were all brought to the middle school cafeteria and told to "stand against the wall." It was humiliating. I sat on the floor. =) 

Then, when we were eating luch in I.S.S, the teacher asked if a kid was
finished with his chips. He said,"No, would you like some sour cream and onion
chips?"

The teacher replied,"No, I wouldn't eat those after you had YOUR hands in
them." It pissed me off. He was being polite and she insulted him.

---

On Thursday, my social teacher flipped out on me. This is a teacher who I thought I could eventually like, now, though, I feel resentment and anger and even humiliation towards her. She made me feel very small.

--

Nov 14

I wanted to tell you that I have an appointment with my guidance counselor tomorrow. I am going to look into home schooling, or rather, as the book puts
it, "Unschooling." I want to find out about the legal requirements. What I am hoping is that I can put together my own curriculum and worked independently
on my interest...Which would include a lot of writing and research.

I hope that I can get away with it legally. Today, I've been trying to convince my mom...not that I need her approval, but it would make everything easier to have her approval... I'll tell you what happens and what I find out. Maybe it could help others in my situation...

--

Nov 15

I've been very frustrated with school...becoming more and more aware of it's control over students. I try to describe to my peers about my feelings toward school, but nobody seems to understand. I get comments like,"But you have to do that assignment." Or "Grades are very important." It frustrates me. Now that I am seeing things more clearly, I don't understand how others don't see it too.

----

Includes the sperm donor t-shirt story

Nov 20, 2001

Fifth period, I have French class. The "teacher" of this class loves power. Maybe he feels as though he lacks power over his life, so in turn, in the classroom, he has to exert control over all of  his students. Most of the students in my class do not have a large understanding of the language. After all, we live in a small town without a diverse culture or variety of spoken language. Thought we live near Canada, most don't get the opportunity to go there. It's unrealistic to expect the students to be able to pick up a language quickly when we are only exposed to it for forty minuets a day.  I am sitting in my seat at the back of the class and nearest to the door. This way, I can have easy access out!

The teacher has handed us back our test. Most of the grades were poor. Even the "smart" kids did badly, yet, it is still our fault that we did bad. I wonder if maybe it was his teaching. I will not suggest that for it will damage his ego. He goes on to tell us how horribly we have done and that he's never had a class accomplish so little. Then he says,"But it doesn't matter that you've done bad because you have no future."

The class was silent for a moment. One of two of my classmates gasped,"What does that mean," but nobody said anything beyond that. Not wanting to sit in a class in which I and being told that I have no future, I walk out. I am fuming! I feel angry and invalidated. I feel as though I've been slapped in the face by someone who is supposed to be there to encourage me, support me and help guide me in my learning. I walk down to the guidance office to tell my guidance counselor what happened. He says that I should tell the principal. Then he sends me to In School Suspension (I.S.S) for the rest of the period because I can't be roaming around the halls. When I tell the principal, she says that I should get a group of people together and then go to her. She can't do anything with just my complaint. This angers me. I feel as though I have been punished ( sent to I.S.S) for standing up for myself. I also feel as though my French teacher is getting away with what I consider to be a crime against his students.


After lunch, I am walking to my  next period class, when an acquaintance approaches me. "Hey, did you hear about what happened to John?" he asks.

John is my neighbor and someone who I would even consider to be a friend. He is a very unique person and has a wild imagination. He is always saying something to make someone laugh or doing something that is completely out of the ordinary. This is probably what I like most about John. He isn't scared to do what he wants. My friend went on to say that John was arrested. Apparently, John wore a shirt that said,"Sperm donor" on it and it has a little picture of a sperm. The principal told him to take it off and put on one of the school nurses supply of extra shirts. He refused to do so. The principal said that it was insubordination and called the police. When the police arrived, John was in English class. The police told him to come out into the hall so that they could talk to him. Again, John refused. The police made the entire English class leave the class room so that they could talk to john. They handcuffed him and brought him to jail. What was his crime? He wore a shirt that the school didn't like. He didn't conform. He expressed individuality. In schools, this is a crime in itself.

The next few classes go by in a blurr. I am much to angry to concentrate on anything that teachers ramble on and on about. I am thinking about the dirty looks I've been getting from teachers for little reasons, about being told that I do not have a future by a teacher, about not being able to yourself in school because you will be punished for it.

Finally, it's ninth period, my last period of the day. I am taking a test when I see my French teacher come into my English room. He approaches my desk and waves a referral in his hands."Give me one good reason why I shouldn't turn this into the principal," he asks me. "Because I left your class because I didn't feel like being emotionally abused and put down by a teacher," I replied. He roles his eyes at me and leaves the class. No doubt, he is going to turn my name into the principal. 

I laugh at the Irony. I will be punished for walking out of class to tell my guidance counselor about my teacher's wrong doings. I will get detention of I.S.S, while the teacher won't have any consequences and will continue to invalidate students.

This is a day in the life of High School. Do you want to go? 

This "article" was not intended to offend teachers, though I realize it may have. I understand that most teachers who enter the profession do have good intentions. As former middle school teacher and author of "The Teenage Liberation Handbook," Grace Llewellyn, says,"Many teachers start teaching in the first place because they think school is a bad place and want to make it better. Unfortunately, most of these teachers end up quitting or else compromising their ideals. The system is much stronger than they are." My purpose in writing this was intended to illustrate how schools have become more about control and obedience rather than learning and education.

Next is my lunch period. I am grateful because dealing with another teacher invalidating me might make me explode. Today they are serving what looks like hamburgers that have been left out over the weekend. I pass on the hamburgers and get a bag of chips. My stomach is to upset from the French Class experience to eat a lot anyhow.  As my friends and I eat and talk, a lunch monitor approaches us. She looks at my friend, Ken, and says,"You have to take off your hat." "I have a hat on?" he asks the monitor. This makes me smile. He is not wearing a hat. He is wearing a hood.

"You know what I mean. You have to take off your hood." He takes it off obediently. This upsets me.

"Why does he have to take off his hat?" I ask the monitor. "It's not huring anything.

The monitory gets defensive and in a demanding tone says,"If he wears his hood, then everyone will want to wear their hats and hats aren't allowed."
   
I think about what the monitor said.  One question comes to my mind. What is so wrong with wearing a hat? And what if my friends head was cold and this is
why he wore a hood. Is it hurting anyone? Perhaps if they didn't have so many rules that didn't make sense, then people wouldn't feel as resentful and would obey and respect authority figures more.  I sigh and eat a chip. I make a mental note to be sure to wear my hoody sweater to school tomorrow.

---

Dec 10, 2001

I almost flipped out in Social Class today. We were talking about these teachers who were brought to jail for going on strike!!! I questioned how this could happen. I asked how free the country really is when you can't even go on strike without being brought to jail...

One of the girls in my class ( We are always debating and arguing ) told me to just leave the country. She always says this. My teacher had to step between us because she thought we were going to get into a physical debate...lol...that class frustrates me so much!!!

--

Reading some interesting books. This one I am reading is very interesting. It is called,"Lies My Teacher told me-everything your American History Books got wrong."I'm learning quite a bit from this. I can't believe the things that my history book leaves out just to make a person in History look like a hero...for example President Wilson was a white supremesist History books don't say this!

More on... nnperu.htm

 


More on Peru Central School

Hi again. I found these notes that I used to keep. I have a  bunch of things that I took notes on when we talked too, lol...These are some of the notes that I took while I was in school.  

NOTES FROM SCHOOL/HOME

-told to stand up for the pledge

-students kicked out of class for not saying pledge

-What is the corrolation between education and the pledge?

-Told I could not eat in ISS

-yelled at for laughing by ISS "Teacher"

-Mom says "Fuck you. Go live with whoever your talking to on the telephone."

"Mrs. Clackler yelled at student for saying "Jesus."

-"If I were going to war with a country becuase of one person or grouple, I say we go to war with Canada." -Tim Hill... What’s the logic of this? What was he feeling when he said this?

Social Class

-Kristain Patnode says that you SHOULD never say you don’t love your country. She says this after I said that I am ashamed to be an American...

-Another student in the same class says that we should just bomb the entire country (Iraq)

 

Guidance office-

Feeling angry, annoyed, bitter, bumbed, crazy, dumb, dead, dizzy, exhausted, frustrated, lonely, misunderstood, moody, mad, negative, needy, paronoid, resentful, suicidal

 

-Mr Cote (school psychologist) sort of yelled at me

"What are you doing in this section?"{ he said too hardly. I was just getting a drink

-feeling sad and belittled

-Rachael gets mad at me for leaving lunch a few minuets early to use the bathroom.

-Mrs. Loyed "Don’t use Marberry vs Madison. You’ll just get it wrong."

-told by Matt Bazio (football captain) to move to another country if I don’t want to stand for the pledge

 

ISS

dictatorship teachers

-called us trouble makers

-said a kid was a pathological liar and "im sick of you"

all had to go to the lunch in the middle school and stand against the wall. Was humiliating

-a kid had to stand all period

12-10-01

In social, teacher telling us how teachers were arrested for going on strike

-I asked how free our country is

-told to leave the country again

12-11-01

In ISS

Feeling frustrated with school. I feel so invalidated and eager to break from it’s control

-it’s freezing outside in the morning just before school, yet, the school won’t allow us to enter the bulding until a specfic time. Meanwhile, people are outside freezing. Students of parents are allowed to enter the building. They don’t go with their parent, they go to their locker. Why is their special treatment?

-Im 18 and can’t sign myself in and out of school. I have ISS for cutting a computer class so that I could go home to get lunch money.

-In ISS you have to sign a couple of papers. If you refuse, you will be further punished.

2-03-01

Given detention for coming into school 10 min. late. Didn’t go and was called down to office again

-Told principal that I would not go to detention for this. I gave her quite a long speech about how I was 18 and it was my choice to come here in the firs tplace. She responded,"I like you, so, I’ll give you a warning this time."

2-03-01

-mom accuses me of having sex on her bed...told her that I didn’t and she continued to ask "was peter over here?" She’s nuts.

-Today, a woman came in. She asked what we planned on doing in our 20's and up. Everyone wants the "American Dream" I feel bad for them

4-3-02

Loyed says "I want you to throw away your bottles and cans or I will bann all drinks and food from class. She doesn’t ask nicely or ask If it was our class. She’s on a power trip.

4-4-02

Loyed rips paper out of my hand (math homework.)

-Principal called me down to the office. She said that if I didn’t go, she would come and get me.

-She made me go home. She said that I hate to take my medication, and, if I didn't, I couldn;t come back

-felt humiliated.


On being a teen

It's rare to come across somebody who cares and believes in teens. To most people,  we are punks who all shoot down kids in school and do drugs. Yes, I may dress in black, wear dog collars, wear spikes, and have black hair, but does that make me a violent punk? I get good grades in school, I read ALL THE TIME, and I am a nice and passive person. It just bothers me that there are so many stereotypes of teenagers.

 


Insecurity

I was at a friend's house tonight. This guy, who I thought I could become good friends with was there. I actually met him through my best friend, whose house we were at. This guy is very interesting. He has been hospitalized a few times for some problems. He was diagnosed as beign schizophrenic, but that's under control. He is very smart-even genious like, lol! However, when I got to my best friend's house, Ken wasn't there yet, and we were talking. I told her how I didn't think he liked me, and she said that he doesn't not like me, but could never be friend with me because I am so insecure. So, when he did get there, I felt like shit, and barely said a word.

My insecurity makes me miss out on so much. I'm scared to hang out with friends becasue of all the people I don't know. I'm scared to actually even make NEW friends. It took me three years to actually hand in my job applications, lol! I'm sick of missing out on things... I hate to admit it, but I feel lonely too...

 

Mother

Oh, I've been reading that teenage liberation hand book. Last night, maturely, I asked my mother if she would read it so that she can understand my view  point. She said,"Well, some people don't have a ton of money and can't take the risk of quittig school." It bothered me because I was trying to talk to her as an adult and she jumped on me.

---

Nov 13

Last night after you called, my mom got up and freaked out because I was on the phone with you again. "You're crazy talking to some 44 year old perve," she said. "If you dont like my rules you and your brother can both get out." I packed a bag, wrote a note and sincerely thought about leaving...I really thought I was going to. I wanted to wait until my mom fell back to sleep so she wouldn't hear me but Ifell asleep sitting on my bed with my shoes and all. 

I hate this. So here I am, goign to go to school...frustrates the shit out of me.Wish I wasn't here...

I know my mom is going to be mad at me all night. This morning when I didn't get up she said something about how I stayed up all night talking to "the perve." I tried to be realistic last night about running away. I'm glad I didn't because it would have been as mess. Where would I have gone? I tried to call you but my mom took the phone away. I was about ready to tell you that I would go to Austriallia with you. That I didn't care... Shit. F***. damnit ( lol, swearing helps sometimes) 

---

 


 

Resentments

Hey you asked me to write something that I feel resentful about...I have to get offline, but here are a few for now...I will work on it.

1. I feel resentment when people judge me. For example, if they make conclusions about me simply by looking at how I dress.

2. I feel restentment when my best friend acts like I'm not around when her boyfriend is around...

3. I feel resentment when I do all of the housework and my mom complains if something is not done "right"

4. I feel resentful when I put a lot of work into an essay or piece of writing at school, and the teacher doesn't make any comments...or if they do, only negative ones.
5. I feel resentful when I am lied too.
6. I feel resentful when people, such as my mom, doesn't listen to me.
7. I feel resentful when my mom treats me like a 5 year old...


Pressure to Conform

I had a terrible day at school. I told Rachael that I might not be coming back to school next year. I told her that I didn't know if it what I want with my life. She said,"You have to." I get really annoyed when people say "have" or "Should."

--

Dec 1

I am feeling a bit frustrated at the moment. Our school football team made it to the Super Bowl ( the highest a team can get in the state ) Tonight they won the Super Bowl. Rachael's parents were listening to the game on the radio. When the won they were dancing and screaming. Her Mom gave me an attitude and yelled,"YOU SHOULD CARE! IT"S YOUR SCHOOL!" I felt like saying,"F*** YOU! Don't tell me what to care about!"


Other stories from her home life

Yes, my job interview went well. I think I got the job. She seemed to like me and said that she would call me in the end of this week or early in next week. I need the job, though, becasue I can't hit my mother up for money. We are having some SERIOUS financial problems-which have also been bothering me. haha, Don't tell anybody ( not like you have many people to tell ) It's just that my mom would kill me if I told anybody...especially someone off the net. We are 10,000 dollars in debt!!! Quite a bit of money, eh?  Just our rent is 750 a month because it's such a nice, large and high quality apartment...anyway, enough of my worries and rambling on about dumb problems.
People have it worse...
--

Nov. 8, 2001

Hey Steve

This evening my brother came home completely stoned. His eyes were so glossy that they were nearly watering and they were very red. I've never seen him that bad. Everyone just took one look at him and knew he was out of it.

My mom didn't know what to do. She called a crisis hotline asking what she should do. She ended up calling the state police. After about two hours, they finally showed up. He is here now. I feel kind of guilty. I didn't set a very good example for him. I'm scared about his future if he keeps this up. He will probably be put on probation or something like that...

My brother just came in the house...he was outside talking to the officer. He slammed the door on the officer! Oh shit. This isn't good...

The only thing that came good out of this is that I am even more inspired to write. I am starting a diary on Open Diary called  TEENAGER LIBERATION It is going to have the things I write on it...I started one on I.S.S

I've been brainstorming ideas of subjects that I can write about. So far, this is what I've came up with.

-the situation with Jon M. ( the sperm doner shirt guy )
-a friend being told that she looks like a prostitute by the principal
-The entire In School Suspention ( ISS ) situation.
-Teenagers going to drugs and alcohol...what causes this...lack of parent figures, role modles, understanding.
-I might write some personal stories on effect of abuse... ( This is more of a theraputic things for me )

Oh, and I am going to take a picture of the ISS room and scan it to you. This way, I can send it to you alone with what I write about ISS...A visual of what the room ( the cell ) looks like is always good.

Well
I have to get going now...

Nicole

P.S I am glad that I got to talk to you today. I am feeling very inspired.
What about you?

Nov. 10

Oh my f***ing god! ( if there is one. ) My mom just made my brother empty his pockets for her!!!!

Nov 12

Feeling very nerve wrecked. Someone just called here saying that my brother  was out bothering them. He snuck out.  Came back stoned again. Mom searched him again. Found his pot and a pipe. Put the pot down the towlet and smashed his pipe ( which was glass, btw ) Brother has a problem. Smokes every day. Lies,
steals, fights, leaves at night...don't know what to do to help. Mom hit him tonight. Told him that she doesn't know what to do and might make him go to live with x step father. Feel sick. Wrote to Judith.

I'm sorry to be bitching. Needed to tell somebody. To hard holding it in anymore....

Dec 10

Oh! Brother is getting help. He has a big brother type of mentor that is going to do things with him. He is also going to try to get my familty do do things together and to function normally (Whatever that means ) I think it will be good for my brother to have a male role model to go to...I think he's at an age where having a male figure is especially important. Also, he is getting drug counseling, group counseling, and he is seeing another drug counselor. I hope this helps. If it doesn't, I am not sure what will.

Sister

I'm worried about my sister. Her boyfriend hit her! She's 15 and has a baby and feels trapped. She lives with him and his parents and social services won't let her move out on her own until she is 16...which means she has to stay with him...or she feels she has too...