Date: April 21, 2022
Source and Relationship: Will, friend
Folklore/Text: “Fancy S”
Explanation/Context: I first learned how to do this symbol in second grade art class, when my art teacher showed me that I could make the letter S out of six parallel lines. I was never very good at art, so this made me feel like the coolest kid in school. My older sister, four years older than I, started writing her name (Jasmine) with that fancy S in the middle as her signature, which inspired me to start writing my name (Kenzie) with this fancy S instead of a Z. My informant, Will, described this symbol as the “trademark of middle school,” a representation of youth in the mid 2000s. Will went to a large public school in Chicago, while I went to a small private school in Portland, Oregon – despite coming from very different backgrounds, this cultural icon of adolescence means the same thing everywhere.