While we all may have nagging fears about the war against terror or the war against Iraq, we all have a lot of other things on our minds. We hear 19 eighth-graders' letters to the President, as collected by their teacher, Britt Honeycutt, in rural North Carolina.
Writer Heather O'Neill tells the story of how she became a foster mother at 18—to a 16 year-old.
Novelist Miriam Toews, author of The X Letters (which appeared in an earlier episode of the show), tells the story of a road trip she took with her 15-year-old son.
Reporter Susan Burton tells the story of a high-speed chase in South Dakota. An incident at a high school basketball game escalated to the point where a group of Native American girls from one town found themselves being chased down the highway by a group of white boys from another town.
Susan Burton's story continues. She investigates the effect the high-speed chase had in the town where it happened—Miller, South Dakota, one of the top ten most racially homogeneous places in the country.
Trinity Church in Texas puts on something called Hell House every Halloween. It's like a haunted house, but each scene shows teenage church members acting out scenes of things the church considers sins.
Faron Yoder lives in Amish country in Indiana. When he was a teenager, like every Amish sixteen-year-old, Faron was allowed to abandon the restrictions of Amish life and live as a regular American teenager.
The story of a man who committed a murder when he was a teenager. He got away with it, and didn't tell the police for twenty years.
This is the story of some teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of murder and served 15 years in prison. DNA set them free, then convicted the two men who really did the crime.
The story of how common and perfectly legal police interrogation procedures, procedures without violence or torture, were able to get an average fourteen-year-old suburban kid to confess to murdering his own sister...even though DNA evidence later proved that he hadn't done the crime.
Host Ira Glass plays tape from the documentary TV series American High of a teenager fighting with his parents about which car he can take out that night. Every family has its own way of fighting and its own particular family dynamic, and if things go terribly bad, it's often hard to figure how the bad things could've been prevented.
Ira talks with students from rival high schools, Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South.
Producer Julie Snyder reports on a Palestinian teenager from Chicago who explains why everything you think you know about the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks is wrong.
The story of two amateurs meeting the pros. One is a teenager in New Jersey; the other, our reporter.
An 18-year-old named Tito talks about how he didn't have a choice about certain things in his life, especially his feelings and dreams...and his feelings about Eminem.
Over the last ten years in Los Angeles, there's been a noticeable increase in the number of transsexual teenagers, kids who were born as boys but live as girls, and vice versa. Cris Beam has spent the last two years getting to know these kids, and tells the story of two of them, Foxxjazell and Ariel.
Host Ira Glass talks with contributor Adam Davidson about how Adam's teenage diaries are filled with his dream of someday becoming the prime minister of a country where he does not even reside.
A high school boy explains how prom is the culmination of his effort to get in with a cool group of people.
Host Ira Glass talks with Francine Pascal, who's written or invented the plot lines for over 700 books for teenagers in the various Sweet Valley High series....Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley University, Sweet Valley Senior Year. She explains why a prom story is a must for teen movies and TV shows.
For a more typical view of prom night, we hear prom night at Chicago's Taft High School.
In this Act, we argue that epicenter of prom genius—the place where America's prom future is being born—is the town of Racine, Wisconsin. In Racine, they've added one ingredient to prom that takes it to a whole new level of intensity.
Susan Burton reports on Prom Night 2001 in Hoisington, Kansas, a town of about 3,000. While the seniors danced, a tornado hit the town, destroying about a third of it.
Sylvia becomes the first person in her Mexican-American family to go away to college, at a predominantly white school in upstate New York.
Lots of babysitting is done by family members. Hillary Frank reports on what can happen when a teenaged son is put in charge of his younger brothers.