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Sex, Drugs, and Enticing Jew-Fros

Four Stuyvesant High School students decided to publish their shared teenage journal—in their own handwriting, with photos and doodles included. Susan Lehman spoke to diarists Julia Baskin, Lindsey Newman, Sophie Pollitt-Cohen, and Courtney Toombs, who are now college freshmen, about their book, The Notebook Girls.

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Courtney, Sophie, and Lindsey  

Why did you write this book?
Courtney: We never wrote any of this intending it to be published. This is our diary. Julia:We wrote the diary as a way to get closer. We thought we could be genuinely good friends. The notebook was a fun way to keep that going.
Lindsey: Once we found out we were going to publish it, we had to stop writing because there is no way to write a diary knowing someone will read it and still sound like yourself.

Why would you want to publish your diary?
Lindsey: A lot of people—parents and adults—are interested in knowing about kids’ lives, not specifically ours. Everyone goes through adolescence and high school. It’s kind of cool that we get to present our perspective on things.
Sophie: What I hope parents get out of it is that just because your kids seem like they are getting grades or have friends, they might be going through things that are hard and that are troubling. And just because your kids smoke pot, it’s not the end of the world; they’re not bad kids.
Julia: The notebook sends an important message: You can be experimental, not be a prude or a goody two-shoes and still be a responsible person.

How’d you guys get such good grades?
Sophie: We still ask ourselves that.
Courtney: It’s a delicate balance, an art. You have to think about what time of day you can smoke.
Lindsey: It’s not hard to, like, smoke pot and also get good grades. We’re not unique. We know kids who got high every single day and got a 1560 on the SAT.
Courtney: It’s about making choices, like “I went out on Friday, so I’m not going to go out on Saturday” or “I am going to smoke right after school and, like, by late evening I can do schoolwork.” None of us went to school high.
Sophie: I did, once.
Courtney: But it wasn’t, like, a regular thing. You would never blow schoolwork to have fun.
Sophie: I didn’t smoke before school. Or before a test. Those were stupid mistakes other kids made.

What’s the difference between private-school kids and public-school kids?
Lindsey:Private-school kids are handed everything. Public-school kids work for it.
Julia: There is a mutual condescension. Some private-school kids live in a bubble.

THE NOTEBOOK GIRLS INDEX
(Note: The book has no page numbers, so we counted ourselves.)

Automatic girl boner!
as expression of lust . . . 157, 163
Blow jobs
aborted due to vomiting . . . 45
grade-grubbing potential of . . . 45
as inadequate meal replacements . . . 191
as “so empowering” . . . 219
Courtney (a.k.a. CoCo)
as “fisted in the crotch” by Lindsey . . . 126
Drunk Girl Heather, That
as “generally an embarrassment to the gender” . . .248
“I Have a Dream” speech, The
makes Courtney feel like “a whitey” . . . 155
Julia (a.k.a. J Bizzle, J-Money, J Dog)
first hints of homosexuality . . . 203
“hates lesbians” because . . . 241
lust for Dave’s “oh-so-greasy- Jew-fro” . . . 92
as “official cocksucker” . . . 218
Lindsey (a.k.a. Big L)
and hot senior Lucas (“His arm brushed my hand!!! For about 3 seconds we were one spirit, one soul, and then I creamed my pants. A lot.”) . . . 275
Sophie (a.k.a. Slice, Smoph)
boyfriend Andre’s “Hungarian hard-on” and . . . 262, 282
on Julia’s drunk mishaps: “Bitch.
Puking in my elevator is not cool.” . . . 247
her vagina as “Axl Rose” . . . 100, 135, 284
Tyler, the hallway hunk
as egocentric asshole who “fucks over so many girls for no reason” . . . 149
as “a cool guy” and “lonely” . . . 149
—Compiled by Rachel Syme and Merry Zide


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