Thursday, January 08, 2004

Speak the Truth, Sister Juice!

My afterschool students are trying to figure out a name for our literary magazine. It has taken us a long time to generate ideas - the kids started out with names like School Times, which were more appropriate for a newsletter. Although I showed them examples of literary magazines from my own childhood schools, along with Stone Soup, Highlights, etc., they don't quite have a vision yet of what this magazine will be like. Nevertheless, we generated a list of names a few weeks ago:

Inside Out*
Baby Blues
Versace
Spoken Word
Mood Ring
Speak the Truth, Sister Juice


and a few others which I cannot remember right now.

So, we took a vote. Speak the Truth, Sister Juice won overwhelmingly. Everyone giggled everytime they heard it. And it's not an awful name - it's fun, sassy, and what the kids want. Yet... some students had lingering doubts after the vote. And I pointed out that whatever we chose, that would be the name for all future issues of the magazine, even after they graduate, so we should choose something that everyone will like, even if they didn't come up with it. In the end, we tabled the discussion.

We returned to it today. Speak the Truth, Sister Juice had declined in popularity, although the kids who still liked it, really, really liked it. No one had any new ideas. Finally, someone proposed shortening it to just Speak the Truth. I liked that idea, but some kids weren't crazy about it. The originator of the name Speak the Truth, Sister Juice is a spunky girl who really, really likes me (she wrote a poem - an ode, really - all about her awesome science teacher - it made me blush intensely, it was so flattering) and came up with more name suggestions than anyone else, none of them particularly relevant to the material that will go in the magazine! (She came up with Versace...). She presented an impassioned defence of the Sister Juice idea, arguing that Speak the Truth reflects the serious, sad content in the magazine, and Sister Juice represents the fun content, and the name will get people's attention and make them want to read it. Fair enough!

A few more ideas were put on the table, we revisited our old list, and we voted again. This time, Imagine was chosen, narrowly. Again, rumbles of uncertainty and discontent. We just haven't found a name yet that feels right. So, the literary magazine naming discussion has been tabled again....

*My personal favorite.

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