Full episode
115: First Day


Writer Jack Hitt talks about his daughter Tarpeley's first day in her new school. It was her first "first day" of any kind. The kids at the school put her through a kind of hazing. This often happens at all sorts of first days: in military academies, for doctors-in-training, in street gangs. And why is hazing so common? Hazing is so primal—and intimate. As if the existence of The First Day—the simple presence of an outsider who wants to be an insider—is so profound, so disturbing to any group, that they have to crush you, prove you harmless, before they can bring you in as family. (6 minutes)