Proximity: A Memoir of A School Shooting With Footnotes From Adolescent Holocaust Diaries

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Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature


Matthew Callahan, English


This creative honors thesis project incorporates memoir writing and the unconventional use of footnotes as a frame for a conversation about adolescence. The memoir is centered on the school shooting that occurred in 2003 at ROCORI High School in Cold Spring, Minnesota. Evolving in tandem with the memoir, the footnotes focus on the Holocaust, as told from individual adolescent points of view. The footnotes are a compilation of excerpts from eight adolescent Holocaust diarists, including Anne Frank. Both the memoir and the footnotes address not only what happens during a traumatic situation but also the before and after. Psychological and theological research touching upon adolescent trauma and restoration is interwoven throughout the project. This project combines creative writing and research presented in atypical forums, as well as post-modern theory of transactional experience, to form a 150+ page quasi-memoir.