Where is Anthonette Cayedito?

Anyone who ever met Anthonette Cayedito could tell she was a very special girl. Affectionately nicknamed “Squirrel” by friends and family, she was described as a kind and gentle spirit; a lover of music (especially Michael Jackson), the color purple, and her Bible studies; dedicated in school and wise beyond her years; and exceedingly maternal. At only six years old, she was helping her single mother, Penny, raise her two little sisters, Wendy and Sadie. She cooked their meals, did their laundry, and occasionally babysat them. Everyone believed she had a bright future ahead of her. …

Why are we so scared to talk to our kids about sex?

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In my freshman year of high school, during what should have been my gym period, my class was instead ushered into the auditorium for a special presentation. A woman (whose name I cannot remember) had come to teach us about the importance of “saved sex,” that is, abstaining from any sexual activity until marriage. At the time, I didn’t care about the particulars of what she was saying, was only excited that I was getting out of gym class. At the end of the presentation, we were given a survey to fill out asking what we had learned. …

Why can’t men write powerful women without traumatizing them?

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In 2015, during the fifth season run of the HBO series Game of Thrones, fan-favorite character Sansa Stark was violently raped by her new husband, Ramsay Bolton. At the time the episode aired, many critics questioned the necessity of such a violent scene for someone who had already suffered so much. Fans were outraged once again when, years later, Sansa attributed the rape (and her rapist) with toughening her up, saying in the eighth season episode “The Last of the Starks,” “Without. . .Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a little bird all my life” (00:21:58–00:22:04). In 2017…

Who was Harriet Cole?

Dr. Rufus B. Weaver and the Nervous System of Harriet Cole

In the Drexel University College of Medicine History (formerly known as the Hahnemann Medical College) there resides one of history’s most curious specimens: a complete dissection of the human cerebrospinal nervous system mounted in a glass display. A scientific marvel, the dissection (referred to as “Harriet”) was the first of its kind in 1888 when anatomist Rufus B. Weaver took on the daunting endeavor. Over the course of five months, Dr. Weaver tediously dissected each individual nerve strand from the cadaver, cleaning them with alcohol, tacking them to a board with 1,800 pins, and preserving them with white lead paint…

Who stole Julie Mott’s body from the chapel?

On August 8, 2015, Julie Mott died following her battle with cystic fibrosis at the age of twenty-five. On August 15, the day she would have turned twenty-six, her memorial service was held at Mission Park North. She was remembered by friends and family as being a vibrant young woman who enjoyed being out in nature and horseback riding. Her memorial service ended at around 1:30 p.m. and her body was wheeled away to await transfer to a crematorium. At 4:30 p.m., staff locked up the chapel and went home for the day.

The next morning, an employee came into…

Stories about queer identity and the journey to acceptance

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Pride Month is a mere month and a half away, but these queer books can (and should!) be read all year long. Queer literature is not merely an underground subgenre, but a rich culture rife with fascinating characters and stories that are too often ignored by audiences in favor of more conventional books. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of some of my personal favorite queer books that I think you should try out.

A simple camping trip turned deadly for these unfortunate teens

The crime scene | Public Domain

It was supposed to be a peaceful camping trip amongst friends, a chance to bond with each other and welcome the coming summer. But what started as a pleasant weekend retreat quickly dissolved into something straight out of a horror movie. On one ordinary afternoon, four friends ventured out to Lake Bodom, and only one came out alive.

On June 4, 1960, eighteen-year-olds Seppo Antero Boisman and Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson, along with their fifteen-year-old girlfriends Maila Irmeli Björklund and Anja Tuulikki Mäki, pitched a tent along the shore of Lake Bodom, a popular camping spot located near the Finnish city…

Compassionate tales of navigating racism

Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

It’s an unfortunate reality that, even in the year 2021, literary works by Black authors are less likely to be taught in American high schools than works by white authors. In my school career (from 3rd to 12th grade), I read only two works by Black authors — Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor, and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. This is why I have compiled a list of some classic works by Black authors that I think should be included in all high school English classes across the country. Fair warning, this…

Headlines from the author’s disappearance

On the night of December 3rd, 1926, famed mystery author Agatha Christie vanished from her home in Sunningdale following an argument with her husband. Though her Morris Crowley was discovered the next morning parked at the edge of a chalk pit, Christie was nowhere to be found, sparking one of the most expansive searches for a missing person in history.

Because Christie was well-known for her writing, having already published six novels, the newspapers rushed to capitalize on her disappearance: the mystery writer had become a mystery herself. A one-hundred-dollar reward (over a thousand dollars in 2021) was offered in…

Reader beware — you’re in for a scare

R.L. Stine is undeniably one of the biggest names in children’s literature, thanks in large part to the Goosebumps books, a middle-grade horror series that dominated the 90s and early 00s. The series was incredibly popular, earning several spin off series, a television show, and a live-action film adaptation. The original series was comprised of fifty novels, and below are my absolute favorites. Fellow 90s and 00s kids, take a trip with me down memory lane, won’t you?

Welcome to Dead House

I’m going to start this list off with the book that started it all. Amanda and Josh are furious when their parents…

Annabelle Wagner

Storyteller. Lover of cats. Holding a BA in English/Creative Writing from Point Park University. She/her.

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