MEMOIR:

SPRING 2003:

The Big Boys
The Fine Art of Urination and Defecation Al Fresco
The Golden City
Inside Looking Out
Roxbury
The Soup Game

FALL 2002:

All the Hearts
Footsteps

SUMMER 2002:

Being Family

SPRING 2002:

An Alternative to the Common Use of Forks
Memoir Lead
Two Weeks in New Mexico
Untitled
Zeroes

FALL 2001:

The Anti-Valentine's Girls
Play

SPRING 2001:

Amour de Soi
The Day Music Let Me Go
The Force
Lucky Me, I'm Gifted
My Green Canyon
A Painful Passion
Point of Departure
Sail the Sea
Smile and Nod

FILM REVIEWS:

FALL 2004:

Lola Takes Us For the Sprint of Our Lives

FALL 2002:

Arlington Road: A Thriller with Thought
A Big Fat Fairytale Wedding
Border Patrol: The War Against Drugs Continues
Not the Stereotypical Shoot 'em Up Gangster Flick
Punch Drunk Love

SPRING 2002:

The Complexity of Artificial Intelligence
Monster's Ball
Monster's Redemption
Royalty Runs in the Family

FALL 2001:

A Hard Day's Night: A Rock 'n' Roll Joyride That Never Runs Out of Steam
Too Many Potholes in Riding in Cars with Boys

SPRING 2001:

Requiem's Melody Lingers
New-and-Improved Horror

FEATURES:

FALL 2002:

In The End, Everything is Crystal Clear
A Match for Success
They Will Follow Him
A Very Bostonian Hotel
What's an A?

READINGS:

The CO201 program hosts special Coffee House Readings periodically throughout each semester. These stories have each been selected by 201 professors for reading.

SPRING 2002:

Death and Board Games
Luxembourg
Resurrection of a Ghost
The Tool Man

FALL 2001:

Bits of Daylight
Leona's House
Nonfiction Story
This is Spinal Tap: No Need for Painkillers
The Toad and the Giant

SPRING 2001:

The Movies
Solving the Equation: The Trials and Triumphs of International Adoption
Yaglafant

ESSAYS:

FALL 2002:

Her Face is Red
Smoking a Cigarette
Stories and Lies
Sumit Ganguly: He, She & It

PROPOSALS:

Proposals are group projects in which 201 students propose and create an ad for a non-profit organization or cause.

SPRING 2002:

Christian Solidarity International

CONTEST WINNERS:

SPRING 2007

Riches to Rags... to Riches
Man of the House
A 'Special Education' Defined

SPRING: 2006

#71952
For Never Was There a Story of More Woe, than This of Mr. Thomas A. Marcello
Pei-yeh Tsai finds harmony in opposites at the keyboard

SPRING 2005:

Colorado Peaks and Iraqi Deserts: A Paramedic's Story
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
America, Open Your Eyes

SPRING 2004:

A Fine Balance: The Life of an Islamic Teenager
A Genetic Link to Identity: Dr. Bruce Jackson and The Roots Project
Rebel With a Cause

COFFEE HOUSE READINGS:

FALL 2004:

The Amah’s Revenge
Circle in the Sand
It’s How I Walk
School Bus

SPRING 2002:

Death and Board Games
Luxembourg
Resurrection of a Ghost
The Tool Man

FALL 2001:

Bits of Daylight
Leona's House
Nonfiction Story
This is Spinal Tap: No Need for Painkillers
The Toad and the Giant

SPRING 2001:

The Movies
Solving the Equation: The Trials and Triumphs of International Adoption
Yaglafant

THE ANTI-VALENTINE’S GIRLS

BY LAUREN FREEMAN

Kari Doyle, one-eighth Native American and seven-eighths total basket case, stopped straightening her hair. She just stopped. Now this might not seem like a great feat, but for this image conscious, post-adolescent drama queen, appearance was everything. Her bottle-blonde hair now exposed chestnut roots and her normally sleek, silky mane that brushed past the nape of her neck was now a frizzy mess.

This radical change in her upkeep occurred on a day that will no doubt “live in infamy” for this egocentric teenybopper. Mark Armstrong, the captain of Marina High School’s surf team, dumped her without any explanation, just a flat out “this doesn’t work for me anymore.” Kari was devastated. To add to her misery, a few days later, Mark began traipsing around with a perky freshman glued to his arm, sporting the jacket Kari always wore to Mrs. Sorrell’s chilly English class.

I walked with Kari after fifth period on Friday, February 14 and opened my locker to find a black piece of construction paper wedged in the dinghy, blue box.

Kari nodded, “I got one of those too.”

“No flowers. No candy. No pink. No red. No romance. Be there at nine o’clock.” I read the six sentences over in my head. Christina told us that she wanted to have us “single girls” over tonight, but gave no indication as to what she was brewing.

At 8:55 p.m. I left my house flustered. I was always running late. When I got into the car, my hair was barely brushed and still damp from the shower. At the first stop light, I applied my berry lip gloss and turned up the radio to sing along with my “honorary valentine,” J.C. Chasez, my favorite member of *NSYNC. I was cruising with the sunroof open and the windows down; the ocean breeze was swimming through my hair. Not a single thought crossed my mind as I watched the sun set on the Pacific Ocean. As I pulled into Alexis’ driveway, I quickly changed the station to mask my pop princess tendencies.

Alexis got into my car, and I shook my head. She looked hot. The girl was wearing an adorable sparkly, black tank top with a long denim skirt, and I was practically in my pajamas.

“I want to go to the party,” she told me, glaring at me as if I had dragged her into the car.

The party to which she was referring was at Mark’s house (yes, that Mark), and everyone who mattered in that cliquey high school kind of way was going to be there. Alexis’ need to be at that party was motivated by Billy Wagner, the meathead jock with whom she was currently smitten. This was actually quite odd behavior for Alexis, who was normally in control of her romantic conquests. Yet, something was different with Billy; I just couldn’t put my finger on what.

“Is he going to be there?” I retorted. I, on the other hand, was looking forward to Christina’s intimate gathering opposed to a drunken shindig.

“Hi girls!” Christina exclaimed, as we walked into her immaculate house and were bombarded with goofy party hats “You know the rules, don’t touch anything or else my mom will know you were all here, and other than that, let’s have some fun!”

Kari emerged from the kitchen giggling. She motioned us to follow her. We walked in and sat on the barstools, as she played bartender and poured us “magic elixir” into decorative chalices.

“A toast,” proposed Kari.

“To what, exactly?” Alexis asked, fingering the edge of the glass.

I stood up and raised my goblet. “To four hungry man-eaters…” I trailed off as if my creative juices had all leaked out.

“To four hungry man-eaters, out to seek vengeance on a Hallmark manufactured holiday. Enemies beware!” Christina stood up, thoroughly proud of herself, and we all clanked glasses.

We chugged the elixir, which turned out to be champagne, without the slightest ounce of sophistication, being the true amateurs that we were.

“So what’s next?” asked Alexis, trying to keep her tone from sounding sarcastic.

“Well, I rented movies, I’ve got my guitar, we can roast marshmallows, and I bought brownie mix, despite my mother’s attempts to wield me away from them.” Christina said, quite matter-of-factly.

“She’s still on your back about the whole weight thing?” I asked her, in the most considerate way I could think of. Christina nodded. “Don’t worry,” I continued “We are going to get those gym passes once March rolls around.”

Christina sighed and creased her “Shirley Temple curls” behind her ear. She demanded that we make the brownies to prove that she could care less about what her mother said. We all knew that she was upset, her mother constantly pestered her about her appearance, which really wasn’t that bad. What’s worse, Christina honestly believed that unless she lost weight no one would see what a beautiful person she was; she feared she would always be known as cute, which for a teenage girl was a fate worse than death.

“I brought something, girls.” Kari announced, unsure of how we would react. She pulled a tiny bag out of her purse and laid it on the bar. Christina stopped mixing the batter and looked at her, uncertain as to what it was.

“It’s weed.” Alexis said, smirking.

“It is?” Christina asked, slightly disgusted. She continued, “What are you doing with it, Kari?”

“I’m not sure exactly, I just thought we could have some fun with it.” Kari responded.

That was the end of that discussion; Christina stammered out of the kitchen and started playing her guitar. I walked over and sat down with her to make her feel less uncomfortable.

“You don’t have to smoke it,” I told her “none of us does.”

“Good, I don’t want us to do that kind of stuff.” She looked at Kari “It scares me that you want to.” We talked it over for a few minutes, quite rationally, and once again things were kosher between us.

“Where’s Alexis?” Kari asked, noticing that she had been missing for a while. We walked into the kitchen and found Alexis putting the tray of brownies into the oven.

“I kind of put the pot in the brownies,” Alexis said, satisfied with her accomplishment. Christina looked as if she was going to jump her, but we restrained her, which was not an easy task. “No,” Alexis cautioned, pressing her finger against Christina’s lips. “I had an idea. You know how Mark Armstrong is having that party tonight?”

I rolled my eyes, not comprehending Alexis’ obsession with being seen at that party.

But Kari smirked, realizing Alexis’ scheme “I think I know where you’re going with this,” she said.

We began to plot our attack on Mark’s party, “Operation Kari’s Revenge,” (we were so clever) as the stench of the leafy contraband filled the spotless kitchen.

When the brownies were done, we piled them onto a heart-shaped plate and were off to wreak havoc at the Valentine’s bash. I sped down the Pacific Coast Highway as the sea spray permeated our skin. Pumped up and ready for action, we wailed like banshees to every song that came on the radio, waking up the peaceful community of Huntington Beach.

Disappointingly, we found the scene at Mark’s to be nothing more than a high school keg party. As seniors, we were more than sick of that environment. Yet, we trudged on and made it to the front door. I cringed at the Cupid hanging from the knob, which was not only a tacky disaster, but also a dead give away for cops who love to patrol our neighborhood.

Kari knocked on the door, and as Mark clumsily flung it open, he appeared flabbergasted to see her. She flashed him a gleaming smile and handed him the plate of brownies.

“Come in,” he said motioning towards the rest of us, “the party wouldn’t be the same without you girls.”

Kari just shook her head and walked away; she had told him that we baked the brownies for his party, but had a prior engagement to attend to. As she turned away, she was unable to conceal her delight. Four high-fives later, we got into the car and headed back to Christina’s. We spent the rest of the night and early hours of the morning watching movies that evoked our inner girl power and getting quite toasted as we polished off the rest of the champagne bottle. But most importantly, we could hardly contain our exhilaration over our evening’s adventures. With or without boys, our Valentine’s Day was amazing. We were bona fide crazy girls and we were damn proud of it, too.

***

The following Monday the rumor buzzing around school was that Mark Armstrong was kicked off the surf team for failing his monthly drug test. On a side note, on March 1st Christina and I joined our local branch of 24 Hour Fitness. As for Alexis, she has now been dating Billy Wagner for a year and a half; they are planning on getting engaged. The final score: the Anti-Valentine’s girls one, boys zero!