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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
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    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

What happened to the innocent years?

What ever happened to the toys we used to get in cereal boxes?

Do you remember those? I do.

I’d wake up in the morning, just after 10 a.m., mildly upset because I’ve missed some of my favorite cartoons, and yet mildly satisfied that I managed to get up past the time allotted by my mom.

(She’ll never know! She and Daddy are at one of those ‘breakfasts’ that grown-ups go to early Saturday morning.)

I’d totter down the stairs in my pink and white striped cotton nightie, drag out a chair to stand on in order to get my bowl, pour my Cinnamon Toast Crunch and there it is!

The toy, my toy, sitting in the bowl, covered in cinnamon sugar yummy-ness. It’s bright pink, plastic, and spins! Wow.

And it decided to grace my bowl, not the bowl of one of my three older siblings. I am a blessed child!

The milk deviously turns my crunchies into soggy sugary muddle as I play with my newfound, cheap plastic object of happiness on the kitchen table.

I miss my toy. You think I’m joking or am going to turn this into an articulate metaphor of politics or something, but no, I mean it. I’ve been eating Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with the occasional Fruity Pebbles, for a long time now, and I haven’t seen a toy in years.

Our government is conversing about repetitive stuff like partisans, justices, and wars, and yet has completely missed the important revelation that we have progressively lost the toys that come with our cereal boxes!

The most exciting thing I’ve gotten in the past year has been a DVD of cartoons, which I admit, is pretty cool. But, it’s no plastic toy.

I wonder what happened. Someone probably was sued because some kid mistook the toy for a bite of Rice Krispies and the cereal companies must have wised up.

I miss the days of cereal box toys. I know some people never had a real chance to be a child, and I’m grateful I did (not always a happy child, but a child nevertheless).

That kind of innocence is something you don’t appreciate when you have it, and can never get it back once you’ve lost it.

I remember the first time I cussed. I was around four, and was repeating a line from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: the Movie, where Rafael lost one of his ‘sais,’ the three prong knife things, and let out a big loud “D***!”

I don’t know what upset me that night, whether it was a stubbed toe or a minor parental injustice, but I stomped my little foot and yelled it out. “D***!”

I still remember the shocked look that crossed my parents’ faces and the resulting lecture on never, ever saying that word again.

That was my first inkling that one word could cause such a parental reaction, that some words were ‘bad.’ Of course, going to a public school, one learns these things and more.

I began losing my innocence more and more once sex education was put in the curriculum and I found out there were parts to my body I never knew I had, and that boys had a lot more than cooties.

Our society doesn’t provide as much material for kids as they used to. Good, clean shows are really lacking (at least in the six network channels I get).

“The Munsters” and “Family Matters” have been replaced by “Seinfeld” and “Friends.” “Lois and Clark” and “Little House on the Prairie” are now “Desperate Housewives” and “Survivor.”

I miss the days of cereal box toys and Saturday morning cartoons, back when a kiss was pure magic, and mom and dad never screw up.

I hope when I have kids, they’ll be able to keep their innocence as long as I did, and more.

E-mail Jessica with comments at [email protected].

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