Date of Degree
Creative Writing | Nonfiction
memoir, new york city, september 11, bullying, education, young adult
Adolescence can be considered one of the hardest times in any person's life. Growing up, we are confronted with two very different possibilities of how our lives will turn out. One is the flawless version that is continuously on display in television series and movies. The other is the real-world version where a person is questioned and ridiculed for everything they’ve done. News headlines about students who, under pressure from their peers, take their own lives are a common occurrence. The focus of many of these headlines is on the bullies and on whether prosecution is possible for the crime of bullying someone. Sometimes the pressure isn't only from the victim’s peers, but also from their family, who believe in the picture-perfect image of who they want their child to be. Some parents want a flawless child who they could boast about to others, without regard to what the child desires.
The goal of this capstone project is to show how bullying—from friends, family, as well as other students—can affect how someone sees themselves. I unfold a story of a teenage girl who no longer sees her mind and body as her own, but as a vessel of what others interpret it to be. This project will also explore how someone can overcome their insecurities after years of listening to what others believe is best for them without regarding the person’s emotional needs. I also discuss the process of finding friends and mentors who encourage them to find their own strengths as well as helping them overcome their weaknesses. This memoir tells the story of an individual’s personal history with bullying, by both family and friends. The stories show how they’ve coped with bullying throughout a period of their life and have found a way to overcome their past.
The creative part of the project is accompanied by an analysis of how the project was written through studying the works of authors who have written both fictional and autobiographical works about bullying. These authors have written stories regarding their personal experiences with bullies. In addition to fictional characters who have endured bullying over time, I consider my personal memories, artworks, personal journals, and mementos. I have created a memoir that deals with my own personal issues with bullies, and how their actions have impacted my mental health over the course of my life.
Recreating the same type of three-ring binder I used throughout middle school and high school, allowed the narrative to take form in a format that will help bring together this period in my life. The Graduate Center Library will also have an archived a digital facsimile of the work to allow those who would like to access the work the ability to view the memoir.
Trinidad, Stephanie, "Paper Memories: A Visual Memoir" (2018). CUNY Academic Works.