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–This week Columbia University is mailing out to parents of freshmen a 27-page booklet, The Background of Student Unrest, which tries to calm fears about protests and demonstrations. Student activism “is a challenge to understanding, not an occasion for panic or for pessimism or for sweeping denunciations,” says Columbia. “After all, there are plenty of reasons around us today for anyone to be restless and worried.”

from Newsweek, Oct. 10, 1966


 

We were the teens in unproductive pain. We were the girls who cried at parties and passed out under the stairs. We were lovely in daylight. We drank Cokes in our tennis clothes. We rode boats with boys in windbreakers. We ate stale sandwiches. We hummed popular melodies; they gave our lives a deeper meaning. We tanned nicely; no one knew it was bad. After dark, we ran our parents’ cars into trees, then went home and lied about it. We ate black-eyed peas in the morning. For luck, and we needed it.

To this day, we remain girlish. We have never driven a bulldozer or a forklift. We cry over Band-Aid commercials. We dye our hair. (We dye it white.) And yes, the sweeping history of Latin America is still mysterious. We are ignorant of it. We have much to learn, but we’re no longer teachable.

We practiced kissing on the backs of our hands.

 

 

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