SBS 301 Cultural Diversity/Prof. Koptiuch         Fall 2012       Personal Memory Ethnographies

Lorin Woodford

The End of Innocence

Lakewood High School, Homeroom Class, Random Day in Winter, 1999.

Lorin - It was a sunny day, senior year in high school. I was just thinking about Prom… I was considering not going because I was a really shy guy. I mean, I was outgoing, but shy around girls.

Fiona - I wonder if I’m going to get to go to Prom. If no one asks me, maybe I just won’t go. Or maybe I’ll ask someone.

Lorin - Fionas got tons of energy like me and I totally dig the Irish culture and the dancing. I think I’ll ask her. Oh boy, I’m too shy, and I’m starting to sweat… I can do this!

Lorin – “Hey Fiona, so do you have a date to Prom yet?”

Fiona – Oh my god! Is he going to ask me? “um, no…”

Lorin – “So… Would you like to… um, um…. Go with me?”

Fiona – “Yes! Thanks for asking!” Wow, this is great! He’s a good looking guy and smart; even if he is a little weird.

Lorin – “Awesome! We have time to get through the details later.”

Fiona’s Home Later that Evening

Fiona talking to her parents – “So, guess what, a guy asked me to Prom today. His name is Lorin Woodford and I’ve known him for years in homeroom. He is a really smart guy and a little eccentric. He’s on the track team too.”

Fiona’s Father – “Great! Lorin’s an odd name, where is that from?”

Fiona – “It’s French. He’s half French and half African American”

Fiona’s Father – “What! A black kid, you’ll have to tell him you can’t go with him.”

Fiona – “What! Why dad? He’s a really nice guy and I like him.”

Fiona’s Father – “I don’t care about that, I’ll not have my daughter going out with a black kid”

Fiona (Starting to cry) – “But why! This is the 20th century, I’m going with him!”

Fiona’s Father (getting angry) – “This is my family and I make the rules, I’ll not have you going out with any black kid. If you disobey me, I’ll disown you!” (YELLING) “That’s the end of this conversation, you’re excused”.

In Fiona’s bedroom

Fiona (crying) – I wonder what Lorin is going to say! I don’t know how I’m going to tell him. What should I do, what should I do. I’ll ask Warren, Lorin’s best friend, he’ll know. I still want to be his friend, I hope this does not ruin our relationship!

A Few Days Later in Homeroom

Fiona (sad)– “Hi Warren, can I talk to you out in the hallway please.”

Warren (Lorin’s best friend) – “Sure!”

Out in the hallway

Fiona – “I was going to go to Prom with Lorin but my dad won’t let me.” (starting to cry) “He said that I’m not allowed to go out with any black kids, I don’t know how to tell Lorin. I feel really bad! My dad said he would disown me if I went with him.”

Warren – “Really??? Lorin’s a good guy, I think he will be fine.”

Fiona – “I don’t want him to not be my friend though! What am I going to do!”

Warren – “I’ll talk with him, don’t worry about it.”

Back in the Classroom

Warren – “Hey Lorin, come over here real quick, I have something to tell you.”

Lorin – “Cool. What's up dude!”

Warren – “Fiona wanted me to tell you that she could not go to the Prom with you. Her dad forbid her to go. He threatened to disown her!”

Lorin – (Angry) “What! What the fuck dude.”

Warren – “Apparently he does not want her going with a black guy. She does not want you to be angry with her though and still wants to be friends.”

Lorin – (Angrier) “Hell no dude, she should get disowned. We can’t still be friends, fuck that shit!”

Warren – (Calming) “Dude, you are going to make her cry, it’s not her fault.”

Lorin – (Calmer) “You can tell her that we can’t be friends. I do hope that when she has kids, she does not let this happen to them.” OMG, dad was right, fucking racists still exist to this day. I always just brushed it off as his paranoia whenever he told me it was a white mans world. Fuck her dad. Fuck that dude.

Fiona – Lorin looks angry! Oh my god, this is not going well.

Warren walks over to Fiona

Warren – “Lorin is taking this really bad and does not want to talk to you anymore.”

Fiona goes over to Lorin, crying

Fiona – “I’m really sorry Lorin, it’s my dad. He said he will disown me!” Doesn’t he understand! I can’t do anything! I can’t disobey my parents! He doesn’t understand!

Lorin – “Fiona… I’ve known you for a long time and know you are a good person. We can’t be friends anymore unless you disown your parents as far as I’m concerned. But what I want to tell you is this. When you have kids, please remember this and don’t act like your father.” She just doesn’t understand. I’m going to be messed up for life after this. I already am shy, now that I am going to worry about every white girl I like if her parents are racist. I won’t be able to have a normal relationship. She just doesn’t understand!

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