Dear Diary…

I am fortunate in that I go to an amazing arts high school. We have a drama program, a music program, a dance program, a visual arts program, and a literary arts program. I, along with two of my best friends, are in the literary arts program. We’re the smallest of the five, tucked away upstairs in a sunny room with big windows. I love it! I’m still struggling to wrap my head around the fact that this is my last year. I still feel like the thirteen year old kid I was when I auditioned! On the bright side, I definitely do not write the same.

Our first assignment in lit this year was to write a humour piece. Any kind, any length, any subject, and present it in a  “format that fit the content” . The following is an excerpt from my assignment, ‘Dear Diary’, which was the diary of an eight year old girl. I bought a tiny journal with a little padlock and key to transcribe the entries to and used my big loopy handwriting. It actually ended up looking like one of my old childhood journals! Let me know what you think.

Dear diary,

Guess what it’s fall and i am excited about it yayayay!!

my favourite part of fall you might be wondering is thanksgiving. my favourite part of thanksgiving you might be wondering is food. my favourite part of the food you might be wondering is grandmas pumpking pie. ooohhh so yummy whenever anyone eats it they make a big groan and hold their bellies and i have to eat really fast otherwise uncle nathan will say hey! you don’t need more pie and take mine but fuck to uncle nathan to quote mom hes a shitbucket mooching loser

if i was a pumpkin i would bake myself into a pie and then eat it. and i would tell uncle nathan to STAY AWAY from myself the pie. if i am the pie can i still eat it? my answer is yes. haha.

bye

Dear diary,

this weekend i saw bend it like beckham  at Emily’s house and to be honest it was the best movie i have ever seen. i loved it like thissssssssss much. and fyi I’m going to be an even better soccer player hah! 

do you know what i love more than the soccer movie though?

Emily’s brother.

he is tall like a light on a stand and smells like kind of socks but i like socks a lot so thats good he is smiley like a frog he is not super hairy like emilys dad which is good because that would not be fun to kiss he is SUPER AWESOME

bye 

Dear diary,

today mom got into a car accident and hit a pole with the front of the van and she said SHITBALLS so loudly and i laughed and so did heather cause she was coming over for a play and mom said QUIET in scary witch voice so were we quiet but also still laughing because what kind of a word is shitballs?

bye

This assignment really challenged me, especially at first when I was trying to generate ideas. Humour writing has always intimidated me, but somehow, it’s the genre I find myself most drawn to. It can be difficult not to rely on the crutches of stereotypes and cultural insult, and even more so to write humour that has meaning or purpose beyond entertainment (though that itself is important!). I wanted to explore humour through the lens of a population that most people find serially annoying/confusing: preteen girls. Often the butt of jokes in popular culture, depicted as a generation Justin Bieber psycho fan girls or Jonas Brother worshippers, their lives and the intimacy of that awkward age, of growing, never seems to be documented or even discussed. I remember being the age of my character so clearly – everything seemed black and white. Something was awesome and magical or it was deadly horrible. I was confused about so many things! No one wants to talk about sex or love or “mom vs dad fighting” with an eight year old. No one tells them their thoughts and dreams and concerns are valid or important. Society values little children, sweet babies and toddlers, then it moves right along to sexualizing teenagers and young women. I wanted to look at how the in-betweeners see the world and the world sees them.

In the past year or so, I’ve gotten pretty into watching/reading comedy. I admire female comedians especially, because not only do they face the regular criticism, but they also must handle the intense scrutiny that comes whenever a woman steps into the spotlight. Amy Schumer, for example, is one comedian that I’ve loved ever since her show on the Comedy Network first came out. She recently wrote, produced and starred in the hit movie ‘Trainwreck’ and won a Peabody for her show, but what made headlines this summer were not her great successes, but the dresses she chose to wore when accepting these awards and her “brutish” demeanor…Schumer wrote a skit for her show poking fun at this issue, but also drawing attention to it; speaking to the wide gap between how women in comedy are treated compared to their male counterparts. I’ll link the skit here, in case you’d like to see it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxeb1cORMu4, and here’s the shorter trailer for it as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA_Gd92Pfr0

My objective, in writing this diary, was to walk the line between funny and meaningful, or do the best I could to balance the two. The entries, while funny, also speak to the weirdness of being a half kid, half teenager and examine the various emotions and confusions of that age, in a way that is approachable and interesting. 

What did you think? 


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