The history of the tie-dyed notebook…

Back when I was in high school, (mumble) years ago, several of my friends and I invented blogging.  Well, okay, we didn’t have computers, and I’m pretty sure none of us had even heard of the Internet yet, but it was the same idea.  I had friends in my hometown, where I had gone to school up until seventh grade, and I had new friends at my new school, 30 miles away, and I wanted a way to bridge the gap between them.  I was also a notorious note-passer, and always looking for new ways to make snarky commentary to my friends during class without getting caught (in fourth grade, a friend and I developed a code made up different shapes, and that had at least kept teachers from being able to read our notes, but we still occasionally got in trouble for writing them).

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure who came up with the notebook idea, but it was a beauty.  You could write snarky comments through an entire class, and your teacher would just assume you were diligently taking notes.  The idea was that one person would take it each day to record their thoughts and experiences.  The next day it would go to someone else, who could add their own experiences, plus comment on the previous day’s notes.   So you see, it was essentially a blog, except much lower tech and less public.

The first notebook had a tie-dyed cover–appropriate, since we had recently had what we called a Hippie Party for friends from both my old school and my new one (there’s a picture from that party on Meredith’s first post).  That one was written and rewritten in, and passed around until it was falling apart.  The second “tie-dyed notebook” was actually red.  That one got filled up too, and also had the phrase “rat’s ass” written on every page (I’m sure there’s an interesting story behind that, but I’ve forgotten it).

Anyway, here I am now, a grown-up lady of (mumble) with two kids, and living far, far away from all of my tie-dyed notebook friends.  But we keep up through Facebook, which is shockingly similar, and we all still seem to enjoy making snarky remarks.  And even though it has been a frightening number of years since we were in high school, I still think about those days more than I care to admit.

So here is our electronic version of the Tie-Dyed Notebook.  Welcome back, old friend!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mandalaymai
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 19:15:26

    Less public? I remember you and I having a conniption when we accidentally left it in a classroom when we changed classes. I remember darting from the Econ room to the Pit to get it…Ah! Left it in Study Hall and went to Econ. I have rarely been that freaked out in my life.

    Also, rat’s ass was on every page, because we didn’t give a Rat’s Ass. I cannot remember who wrote it….


  2. mert
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 22:09:32

    I’m assuming Martin? And for the record, the last time I saw it, Mai had it!


  3. Laura Siegel
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 21:49:11

    I hadn’t read this one before. I was just talking with Alan about how we have to do naughty things as a child or we do them as adults. He thinks that’s why he bucks authority now (another-sigh-failure of mine as a mom.) How great that your tied-dyed notebook is still continuing.


    • ash
      Nov 03, 2011 @ 22:57:41

      Thanks! I like that theory about naughty things. Yes, the original notebook was one of my few acts of a rebellion as a teenager, and I maintain that it kept me sane through high school. The funny thing is that a number of our teachers actually knew about it, but for some reason it was tolerated in a way that passing actual notes wouldn’t have been. I have no idea why. One English teacher even used the idea for an assignment (she had us share something we wrote with a classmate, who would then write a comment on it, leading to a little written conversation). I suppose by tacitly allowing it, the teachers took away some of its rebelliousness.


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