Dancing Queen, Only 17

Chelsea's Blog Post Picture In the card department of any drug store there is a section called, “Mile Stone” that holds cards for 5 year olds, 13 year olds, 16 year olds, 21 year olds, and 50 year olds. It’s doubtful that you’ll find a card to give your seventeen year old, sort of mature but not really daughter or cousin. You might find one out of one hundred cards for a newly 16 year old, because someone at the Hallmark factory accidentally typed a seven instead of a six. That’s how it feels to be seventeen, not necessary and almost accidental.

When I woke up this morning the first thing I thought of was the popular 1976 Abba hit, not the fact that I was a year older. I even avoided thinking about getting a year older when my dad sat me down during breakfast and told me that he was proud of the young lady I’d become and that I was so mature at seventeen. Seventeen, he emphasized the age like I was turning seventy and he was one of my kids describing how old I was.

When you turn sixteen, there are more perks than not. You get to finally retrieve your license, unless you’re like me who waited too long to get her permit. You are officially a teen, a title many value and many more loathe. When I turned seventeen, I only thought about the cons. You’re one year older than a teen, but one year younger than a legal adult. You’re closer to being able to get a tattoo than you were at sixteen, but you still need your parent’s consent. I almost found myself wondering why we didn’t just skip age seventeen and let sixteen year olds just go straight to eighteen. Then I realized that fourteen year olds, eleven year olds, and forty three year olds probably feel the same way. Some of them might want to go backwards, while others want to fly into the future. These in between ages are a time to cringe about what you did when you were a year or two younger and dream about what you’re going to do when you’re older. In between ages are necessary, whether cards to cement them exist or not.

-Chelsea Ashley, Junior Website Editor


Coffee House

Coffee House posterFor me, senior year is a list of count downs: counting down to my eighteenth birthday, to college deadlines and shining most teasingly away, of course, counting down to graduation. In this current world of projects and deadlines, of feeling my toes creep towards the finish line, I can’t help but still feel sentimental towards a few things.

Tonight, the Douglas Anderson Writing Department is hosting its annual Coffee House. It’s known for the unique collaboration opportunity between all arts areas and its determination to showcase original, student created work. It will be my last as an official member of the school.

The beautiful thing about Coffee House is that not only does the show change every year, both in writing and style, but the way that you as a person experience it changes as well. My freshman and sophomore years were marked as a performer, not of my own pieces but of other people’s. I stood backstage, eavesdropping on masterful writers practicing, borrowed someone’s giant, sweaty gray shirt for a prop. I sat on the floor between acts, trying to remember lines that weren’t mine and watching local directors spit out instructions.

I don’t remember anything from my Junior Coffee House, regrettably. I may have been on the bleachers, or at a table, sitting by one friend or another. The only thing I cared about was that the One-Girl-I-Hated wasn’t preforming, and that the pieces were taking me places I didn’t want –but needed- to go.

This year, things have changed again. As a member of the Elan staff, I am behind the scenes. I have sold tickets, painted doors, been pushed past my comfort level again and again to help make Coffee House happen. The entire production feels more meaningful than ever before, not just because of the glare of senior nostalgia, but because I now appreciate every single aspect of the process.

Some things stay the same, of course. There will be a theme (this year it is doors and keys), teachers will be thanked and coffee will be served. Due to the construction on our building, we’re going back to my middle school for the show. It feels a little like driving to an old neighborhood and vaguely recollecting checking that yellow mailbox, or drawing on that old porch. In a way, it hints at an even earlier tradition.

Next year, if I’m in town, I see myself coming back to watch Coffee House happen. It’ll probably feel foreign, a little like trying on a t-shirt half a size too small, it also could feel like a crop top that suddenly fits just right. That’s the thing about tradition, it lets you hold on to the best feeling of things, and create new experiences as you go along.

-Savannah Thanscheidt, Web Editor


If you’re interested in attending, this event will be held at LaVilla School of the Arts from 7-9pm. Tickets will be 7 dollars.