Monday, February 10, 2014

CRAZE: The High School Paper You Wish You Had

Read the Obsessions Issue of CRAZE here 

Back in high school we had to pick an elective that we thought we would enjoy and benefit the most from. The artsy kids picked Yearbook Committee (because it meant a semester of graphic design and photography), the jocks picked Chorus (because it required no written work) and I…I picked Journalism because I was obsessed with the written word. I mean writing-words-in-the-air-with-my-finger-when-I-did-not-have-a-writing-tool-handy obsessed (some say this is how I got my impeccable cursive handwriting).

While living with my aforementioned grandmother during high school, our house was directly located behind a public library which to me meant an endless supply of books, DVDs and CDs (back then we had those endangered flat round things called compact discs for music). I would go three or four times a week, with my "Queens Public Library" bag in hand, ready to check out stacks of paperbacks, scholastic journals (don't ask), magazines (yes, I was one of those people) and hardcovers. Let's just say I was always a bit too ambitious/indecisive while choosing and ended up having to physically lug home my stash - out of breath by the time I reached my grandmother's back door. When I utilized all of that library location's resources I would take the Q13 bus down to Main Street to hit up the Flushing branch - in simpler terms, I was a word junkie. 

Because my love for words was so big, writing for my high school's newspaper "The Magnificat" was a dream come true. Each month we would anxiously anticipate for that twenty-something page publication to come out - hoping that the rest of the student body liked our articles as much as our Editor-in-chief (aka a teacher) did (or at least pretended to). 

Now the times are a bit different - students who are a part of their school newspaper committee do not need to wait anxiously for the local printing press to publish their paper nor is their audience limited to just their classmates. Websites, like, allow students (and anyone for that matter) to digitally (and quickly) publish their writings, making it available for many more to take a peek - and thank God for it! 

I came across Craze Magazine, a version of a high school paper written and published by the students of Westside High School in Omaha, NE (not to be confused with the racy ATL/NYC based publication of the same moniker). Reminiscent of Rookie Mag (which I am also a big fan of), Craze is the perfect combination of anything and everything you wish you had as a teenager - including the answers to those questions you had but were always afraid to ask. The only complaint I have is "why couldn't this be around when I was in high school?!" 

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