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a book for teens by former teens
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Desu Offline
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Post: #1
a book for teens by former teens

I've mentioned this before. I think it would be great if there was a book written for teenagers that was basically a life-guide. It would be written from an unschooling perspective. It would be for teenagers that want to get a handle on their life on both a practical and philosophical level. It would be for teenagers that are ready to "grow up" despite their parents and their school holding them back.

It would discuss things such as:

- How to do well in school
- Networking tips/finding good friends
- Relationships/Sex
- Drugs
- Taking care of your body
- Preparing for college
- Finding a job
- Being happy at your first job
- Starting a business
- What maturity is and how it is achieved
- Volunteering tips (like volunteering in a foreign country at a hotel or something)
- How to learn
- Managing your money
- Finding your place in society and finding yourself

And more.

Have any attempts been made to write such a book? I mean, from the perspective I'm talking about here. I don't mean some condescending "no shit" book written by an ageist.

The guiding philosophy of the book would be that teenagers are capable and many elements of society attempt to suppress them. However, you can take the time and effort to nurture yourself and mature in order to become an actualized individual living in harmony with yourself and the place you have decided to chose within society. Many adults are sadly, immature teens trapped in adult bodies.

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03-03-2011 04:17 AM
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Post: #2
Re: a book for teens by former teens

That... sounds like a really good idea. Thing is, in order for it to reach it's full potential of covering each subject extensively, you'd need multiple people working on it, and it might be a little hard for them to work together on some topics that they disagree on. Still, it's a nice idea that I'd like to see.

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03-03-2011 05:46 AM
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Desu Offline
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Post: #3
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Yes, I think the book would be best written if there was a main author/editor, then some other people contributing resources and ideas to be included in the book.

It would take a long time to write I think, if it was truly comprehensive and a one-stop place to figure your life out, but so worth it to write if it really helped some teens out.

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03-03-2011 06:45 AM
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Absnt Offline
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Re: a book for teens by former teens

That would be fucking cool, and I'd help contribute if I could... I've never heard of anything like this that was already made. I've read some ageist "grow up" bullshit, but nothing like that.

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03-03-2011 11:58 AM
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HeartofShadows Offline
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Re: a book for teens by former teens

Sounds very interesting Desu but I hope this won't just be politically correct bs. Smile

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03-03-2011 04:49 PM
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Vatman Offline
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Post: #6
Re: a book for teens by former teens

They already have a book like this....I saw it in this motel cabinet...I think it was called the bible?

:troll:

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03-04-2011 02:30 AM
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Desu Offline
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Post: #7
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Vatman Wrote:They already have a book like this....I saw it in this motel cabinet...I think it was called the bible?

:troll:

:troll:

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03-04-2011 05:07 AM
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HeartofShadows Offline
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Post: #8
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Actually desu Vatman reminds me of another book that took your spot.

Chicken soup for the soul is a collection of stories from former teens to current teens.

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03-04-2011 05:13 PM
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Desu Offline
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Post: #9
Re: a book for teens by former teens

HeartofShadows Wrote:Actually desu Vatman reminds me of another book that took your spot.

Chicken soup for the soul is a collection of stories from former teens to current teens.

Ah. How could I forget those? The style would be a different though.

RIP GORE GOROTH

He was an hero. He will always be remembered.
03-05-2011 01:14 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #10
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Kinda reminds me of something they handed out to us in school about 10 years ago... "the 7 habits of highly effective teens". I remember it was actually pretty good... better than I was expecting it to be. Just the one page about school pissed me off 'cause it had some propaganda shit in it. Laugh

But yeah, I suppose the style of this one would be a bit different, and also will have better info for the more independently minded people who want to do their own thing instead of jumping through hoops.

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03-05-2011 09:25 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #11
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Desu, that describes exactly describes what I've long wanted to write, especially the guiding philosophy. I've actually done a large amount of background research, including neuroscience and psychology, and learning how to learn.

Learning is almost universally seen as some mysterious social process, but's not -- learning occurs through active attention (or conscious integration), as physical changes in the brain. How one spends time matters, as does what's learned, in school or out. That includes learning things like decision-making, making sense of information overload, consciously developing a worldview, figuring out interests and potential life paths, etc.

7 habits has some good stuff, but it's a fraction of what you need to self-actualize or learn how to learn. I think the most challenging part of this is inspiring people who are completely misunderstood. It can be very hard to deal with parents or others who don't want to understand themselves or question their ideas.
03-09-2011 03:50 PM
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Loxor Offline
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Post: #12
Re: a book for teens by former teens

It'd work if there wasn't some huge generation disconnect.

Anything that ever happened or will... one condition, it has to be amazing.

I gave her wings but she don't wanna fly no more.

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time
03-09-2011 11:19 PM
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TheCancer Offline
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Post: #13
Re: a book for teens by former teens

OK I'm just going to write the Cliff Notes:


- How to do well in school

Study and be nice to people all while keeping in mind how idiotic it all is.

- Networking tips/finding good friends

Focus on being a good friend yourself.

- Relationships/Sex

Stick to petting (and wash your hands).

- Drugs

Stay away from synthetics and the crap doctors give for ADHD.

- Taking care of your body

Don't eat a bunch of unhealthy crap and don't forget to exercise. Look in the mirror. Are you fat at 16? If so, change.

- Preparing for college

Consider not going unless you have rich parents, a full ride, or a rock solid plan to land very gainful employment upon completion. Mostly it's a rip off.

- Finding a job

Just be yourself during the interviews. If you sell yourself as something you're not you'll end up trapped in a job you hate and in a miserable cycle.

- Being happy at your first job

Try not to take the first thing out there. Demand something that doesn't suck. Don't think about it when you're not there.

- Starting a business

Go for something legal with a low overhead, like landscaping or making candles.

- What maturity is and how it is achieved

It's usually associated with becoming a dullard. Real maturity usually means having enough sense not to make a baby.

- Volunteering tips (like volunteering in a foreign country at a hotel or something)

Most volunteer gigs are just a chance to rip you off for something you should get paid for. Make sure no one else is making a buck off of it. I recommend Food Not Bombs or something else anarcho-friendly. Visit your local radical book stores.

- How to learn

Read and listen. And shut the hell up unless you have a good question.

- Managing your money

Spend less than you earn.

- Finding your place in society and finding yourself

Travel and read.

If you want to be a different fish, you've got to jump out of the school.


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03-10-2011 12:43 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #14
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Loxor Wrote:It'd work if there wasn't some huge generation disconnect.
How would you explain the disconnect?

TheCancer Wrote:OK I'm just going to write the Cliff Notes:
Heh, this is a good start to an answer to that question!
03-10-2011 01:19 AM
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Loxor Offline
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Post: #15
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Well it's like the generation of really not having technology at all to everyone having the internet.

See if we came before zero tolerance and wrote a book to help teens we would know nothing about it.

But, I'm not saying there is.

Anything that ever happened or will... one condition, it has to be amazing.

I gave her wings but she don't wanna fly no more.

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time
03-10-2011 03:32 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #16
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Loxor Wrote:Well it's like the generation of really not having technology at all to everyone having the internet.

See if we came before zero tolerance and wrote a book to help teens we would know nothing about it.

But, I'm not saying there is.
The Internet has been around for a while. I was on AOL in 1993, and the Internet proper in 1994, at 14. There's definitely a generational disconnect, but not everyone is defined by their generation. Lots of people tolerate school. Lots of people who didn't, forget just how bad it was, or don't see what they could do to help.

But there are related questions underlying the generation thing: is there anything of significance to learn from any adult, aside from personal opinions and "common sense" advice (like TheCancer's answers.) And, can knowledge be of any actual value to youth, in a world of hypocritical adults and powerlessness? Is there really more to life than apathy, misery, and escapism?

My own experience, Desu's post, and popular culture in general make it clear to me that there's a strong demand for answers. The hard part is figuring out what to include and how to present it so it's truly useful. A book like this could easily be appealing, but the struggle required to fully use one's mind and develop one's own self is often an overwhelming one, especially in a society that expects people to wait until retirement to be their own person.

That path is called self-actualization (Abraham Maslow's term) or individuation (Carl Jung's term).

Jung and Maslow both saw this as a process one pursued later in life, essentially after one is settled down with kids and perhaps facing a mid-life crisis. But why wait for a crisis to be discover and define one's self? Isn't that what adolescence is supposed to be about?

In 2001, the idea of "quarterlife crisis" emerged, based on a book by that name. In a nutshell, numerous 20-somethings realized they had no true identity, meaning, or sense of how to live their lives. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter-life_crisis -- isn't high school supposed to have prepared them for all that?

When I was 14, I was learning virtually nothing, and nothing of significance, in school, but my parents refused to discuss my desire to homeschool or my problem, despite all my efforts. They said school was my job, I had to be "socialized," and to just stop talking about it. I buried my sense of self in an allegorical story and mentally shut down. I finally discovered the GED and convinced my parents to let me drop out at 16, and went to college. But I wasn't finding answers quickly there, either, and I eventually dropped out.

After I found a job, succeeded beyond my expectations in a short amount of time, I started finding books online, self-educating, and reflecting on my life. I suddenly had to deal with a million questions I had never thought through, years of unprocessed memories and feelings, and a need for what I needed at 14, a comprehensive view of existence. But I was 20, suddenly believing in myself and life, and in complete indecision on how to proceed, a year before that Quarterlife book came out.

My parents had no sympathy, my step-parents blocked me living at home again, and the message never changed from "get a job" or "go to college." Being interested in psychology and neuroscience, I was ridiculed for thinking I could earn a living at it. There's definitely a book to be written, it's just a matter of what it should contain.

As one Jungian theorist says:
"Quarterlife today resembles the period of midlife half a century ago. With the widespread changes in demographics of education and marriage, the stages of life, as outlined by Carl G. Jung, no longer abide by the paradigm of stability in the first half of life and the search for meaning in the second. Afforded the time for self-exploration, individuals in the first half of life are increasingly placing their attention on uncovering their life’s purpose and making meaning. The path of individuation, a life influenced and shaped by ego’s relationship with Self, is available much earlier in life; but the journey of individuation requires an often painful initiation of ego to bring it into contact with Self. Such an undertaking cradles the potential for a transformative life for each individual, just as it once did at midlife, but now not after life decisions have been firmly rooted for years, but at the start of adult life, when primary decisions about career, community and family are still being made. For individuals in the first half of life who have the ego-strength necessary for the transforming journey, the path of individuation beckons."
--http://firsthalfoflife.blogspot.com/2010/01/quarterlife-crisis-and-individuation.html

That ties into anthropologist Margaret Mead's enumeration of 3 types of culture (1970):
1. Traditional, stable culture where kids largely absorb culture from their parents, grandparents, and existing culture. She called these "postfigurative cultures" because new generations look to the past for guidance.
2. Societies in a state of change, where youth and adults look to their peers, for culture. She called these "configurative" because a generation looks to those within it for guidance. Most western cultures in the 20th century fall under this category. (But it's a small number of more "individuated" people within a generation who are the source of most ideas and cultural change.)
3. She also proposed a a third type of culture that she thought could emerge, where youth have to come up with their own culture due to rapid change and outdated ideas on the part of the previous generation. Peers can help, but they are often without answers either. She called this "prefigurative" since adults learn from children.
Reference: Margaret Mead, Culture and Commitment: A Study of the Generation Gap http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Commitmen ... 0370013328
03-10-2011 08:26 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #17
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Desu Wrote:Yes, I think the book would be best written if there was a main author/editor, then some other people contributing resources and ideas to be included in the book.

It would take a long time to write I think, if it was truly comprehensive and a one-stop place to figure your life out, but so worth it to write if it really helped some teens out.

I like the idea of writing something rather short, that provides some essentials and focuses on how to learn and make sense of things -- then maybe follow it up with something more comprehensive.

In terms of general teen guides, books like http://www.amazon.com/Gifted-Kids-Survi ... 1575420031 do a decent job for this kind of book. Some topics, like health, are covered quite extensively online.

But what about making sense of the world, learning how to learn, and how to discover what life can be? How about how to understand others and interact with them, when people so often don't understand each other?

That requires philosophy and psychology, two subjects people are expected to wait until college to get horrible coverage of. They're also two subjects people tend to thing are entirely subjective, pointless, or terrifying. If you want to know why adults seem like 12-year olds, the answers are there.

A vital concept to undertand is cognitive dissoneance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance because the more you can transcend that without turning your mind off, the better.
03-10-2011 10:01 AM
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Absnt Offline
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Re: a book for teens by former teens

Course, there's no substitute for experience.

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03-10-2011 12:12 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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Re: a book for teens by former teens

Absentinsomniac Wrote:Course, there's no substitute for experience.
Definitely. And, what you experience depends partly on what you know and value, and those are based on experience, and each other. And what you imagine is based on those, and affects those. And what you remember affects all those, and ties into them. Smile

So, learning how to exercise those mental abilities, relate them to each other, discover and resolve conflicts consciously, makes a difference to life.
03-10-2011 01:04 PM
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Absnt Offline
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Re: a book for teens by former teens

xcriteria Wrote:
Absentinsomniac Wrote:Course, there's no substitute for experience.
Definitely. And, what you experience depends partly on what you know and value, and those are based on experience, and each other. And what you imagine is based on those, and affects those. And what you remember affects all those, and ties into them. Smile

So, learning how to exercise those mental abilities, relate them to each other, discover and resolve conflicts consciously, makes a difference to life.

Quite so. Having a book like this would of been helpful growing up.

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03-10-2011 01:22 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #21
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Absentinsomniac Wrote:Quite so. Having a book like this would of been helpful growing up.

The question is, what should be in it? I've actually thought of it as a mini-curriculum, like a condensed summary of subjects from college. A big picture view of knowledge, the psyche, life. But each person, at different times, has different questions and decisions to make. What info should it be, and how should it be explained?

The core questions are along the lines of: What will I do, and why? What am I? Who am I? What do I want? How do I get what I want? How do I know? What do I know? What have I experienced? What have I learned from it? What now?

It's rather overwhelming to think in those terms, but it can be a useful process for people who don't want to be told what to do, and aren't just picking a canned career sequence. Life requires living, making mistakes, learning, and so on, but it's useful to reflect on it, given so much access to information and opportunities.

In fact, books like http://www.amazon.com/20-Something-Mani ... 1577315952 probably cover a lot of what this thread's first post asked about.
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Post: #22
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Maybe the book could focus on how to un-learn bad habits/mindsets acquired in school (and from parents too), and how to replace them with better ones? Like it could take one misconception at a time, break it down and explain a better way to go about it, but without ever saying something like "this way is the best and any other way is bad"... it should encourage people to think and come up with their own solutions.

Possibly related: http://youdontlearnthatinschool.blogspot.com/

I have a copy of the ebook because it was available for free around December last year. I think half of it is available for free now. It's got some good stuff in it, not very comprehensive though, but has good introductions to things. Yeah, I know the marketing for the book seems a bit excessive if you look around the site. Razz

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03-12-2011 02:24 AM
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Post: #23
Re: a book for teens by former teens

SoulRiser Wrote:Maybe the book could focus on how to un-learn bad habits/mindsets acquired in school (and from parents too), and how to replace them with better ones? Like it could take one misconception at a time, break it down and explain a better way to go about it, but without ever saying something like "this way is the best and any other way is bad"... it should encourage people to think and come up with their own solutions.
Yeah, that's a lot of what I have in mind by saying philosophy and psychology. Smile

Dan Siegal is a developmental psychologist and psychiatrist who studies people neurodevelopmentally AND as individuals with mind and feelings, a rare combination.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr4Od7kqDT8 is an hour lecture, really good stuff. It would be good to include some ideas he covers there and in his books.

And philosophy is relevant to analyzing the catch phrases people use, and to learning to think abstractly. Ayn Rand wrote some essays that provide good examples of that.

Quote:You might claim--as most people do--that you have never been influenced by
philosophy. I will ask you to check that claim. Have you ever thought or said the
following? "Don't be so sure--nobody can be certain of anything." You got that
notion from David Hume (and many, many others), even though you might never
have heard of him. Or: "This may be good in theory, but it doesn't work in practice.
You got that from Plato. Or: "That was a rotten thing to do, but it's only human,
nobody is perfect in this world." You got that from Augustine. Or: "It may be true for
you, but it's not true for me." You got it from William James. Or: "I couldn't help it!
Nobody can help anything he does." You got it from Hegel. Or: "I can't prove it, but
I feel that it's true." You got it from Kant. Or: "It's logical, but logic has nothing to do
with reality." You got it from Kant. Or: "It's evil, because it's selfish." You got it from
Kant. Have you heard the modern activists say: "Act first, think afterward"? They
got it from John Dewey.
-- from Philosophy: Who Needs It
03-12-2011 09:42 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #24
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Also, understanding cognitive biases, defense mechanisms, and logical fallacies is vital to that task:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_mechanism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

This could also be done as a web site, but I think a traditional book is worth writing as well.
03-12-2011 09:50 AM
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flann Offline
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Post: #25
Re: a book for teens by former teens

Now, you guys are doing some epic thinking, so I won't interrupt much.

But uh... teachers ARE former teens. Everyone 20years+ is a former teen.

And that's all.

Not that we should trust MOST formal teens because 'they are our peers they are right you deny them you obviously are hitler'

War is stupid.
03-12-2011 03:03 PM
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Absnt Offline
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Post: #26
Re: a book for teens by former teens

^That's why I was slightly reluctant to post in this. A lot of these types of things end in uppity ass holes trying to share their bullshit "wisdom" with previous generations.

WE DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR OUTDATED BELIEFS.

Anyway, I believe we are on the right track. Explaining cognitive processes, critical thinking, actualization, logical thought processes, philosophical, political, ideological, psychological types of things and the like would be an awesome book. I would love to have it.

Blog I post to now:
http://blog.darknedgy.net

Edfreedom.org -- An organization for more freedom in education.
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03-12-2011 03:10 PM
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flann Offline
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Post: #27
Re: a book for teens by former teens

^ Torture gets improved with time

It's also usually different from person to person... unique
But we are not unique in school, that is. We are all mathmaticians, book writers, programmers, pro critics, rocket scientists, politicians, and historians. (and more)

You would make a new book like every 5 years because crap changes.

War is stupid.
03-12-2011 03:17 PM
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The Desert Fox Offline
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Post: #28
Re: a book for teens by former teens

I believe that the people who would write the book would be like us (if not us, lol), and they'd be fresh out of their teens so, in the case that "maturing" would happen, it would hardy have an effect because they'd just have been teens themselves.

Hidden stuff:
(11-27-2011 01:00 PM)psychopath Wrote:  
(11-27-2011 10:52 AM)Efs Wrote:  Our Army is more professional than Amerika. Smile
Except ours isn't allowed to have guns
CrayolaColours Wrote:That post owned. TDF wins post of the year.
Faby Wrote:
krissy Wrote:dessert fox
Mmm, flambéed vulpine.
"There is no enemy, there is no victory, only boys who lost their lives in the sand."
[/center]
03-12-2011 08:17 PM
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Absnt Offline
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Post: #29
Re: a book for teens by former teens

The Desert Fox Wrote:I believe that the people who would write the book would be like us (if not us, lol), and they'd be fresh out of their teens so, in the case that "maturing" would happen, it would hardy have an effect because they'd just have been teens themselves.

It'd also help if they weren't ageists 'n shit.

Blog I post to now:
http://blog.darknedgy.net

Edfreedom.org -- An organization for more freedom in education.
http://www.edfreedom.org/join-us/
03-13-2011 04:12 AM
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The Desert Fox Offline
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Post: #30
Re: a book for teens by former teens

That's kinda the point.

Hidden stuff:
(11-27-2011 01:00 PM)psychopath Wrote:  
(11-27-2011 10:52 AM)Efs Wrote:  Our Army is more professional than Amerika. Smile
Except ours isn't allowed to have guns
CrayolaColours Wrote:That post owned. TDF wins post of the year.
Faby Wrote:
krissy Wrote:dessert fox
Mmm, flambéed vulpine.
"There is no enemy, there is no victory, only boys who lost their lives in the sand."
[/center]
03-13-2011 05:12 AM
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