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A&M Student Letters to the Future

 Collection
Identifier: Coll-101
Each booklet contains three to four individual student papers about their lives and how they are coping with both their first semester in college and what they think about the events that are happening across the world.

Dates

  • 1996-2-12

Creator

Conditions Governing Use

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to taking precautions against infringement of copyright and respecting the publication rights of reproduced materials. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Any materials used should be fully credited with their source according to the example given in the Preferred Citation note. Requests for assistance with citations and images of publication quality should be directed to specialcollections@tamucc.edu.

Extent

<1 linear foot Linear Feet

Overview

This collection of brief freshman student papers provides a vivid flashback of the concerns not only facing those students, but every American as the tumultuous year of 1995 was drawing to a close. Touching on everything from politics, safe sex, emerging internet technology, music, domestic terrorism and the ubiquitous O.J. Simpson double murder trial, these letters reflect the difficulty of young adults struggling not only to find their own path in life, but understand a world rocked with turmoil.

Biographical / Historical

In the Fall Semester of 1995, Dr. Libby Allison of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi English Department gave her students a composition project to write letters to their future grandchildren describing what life was like in 1995. Autumn of 1995 was a challenging period of time for many Americans. Adding to those challenges, many students were entering their first year of college as Freshman and attempting to adapt and integrate into all of the new social situations that type of upheaval presents to a young mind; some away from their families for the first time in their lives. These papers represent the fears and hopes of those students as they attempt to process the notorious history they were living through while experiencing their first real tastes of adulthood.

Racial tensions were extremely high with the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict still a fresh wound in many minds. Pulling to the extreme opposite, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders of his wife and her male friend. The prevailing opinion was that both cases got the verdicts wrong in the worst way. Tejano superstar Selena had been brutally slain in Corpus Christi, and the murder trial was set to begin mere days after the Simpson verdict.

The fiery massacre of the Branch Davidians in Waco was still fresh, as well as the retaliatory bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City which claimed 168 lives. Years away from 9/11, The World Trade Center towers had been bombed with the intention of collapsing the buildings, and the intentional Amtrak Sunset Limited Palo Verde derailment occurred with no perpetrators or conclusive motive ever being found.

AIDS, safe sex, and abortion, were regular topics and frequently addressed in the music of the day. Grunge and the Seattle Sound ruled the airwaves, with bands such as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Bush, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Tori Amos, Alice In Chains, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M., The Toadies, and even Michael Jackson dominating the rotations on MTV in between episodes of The Real World and Beavis and Butthead. Cinema introduced the world to Pulp Fiction, Clerks, Dazed and Confused, and Forrest Gump. The hole discovered in the ozone layer was a major topic, while George Bush, Ross Perot, and Bill Clinton had recently vied for the White House. And of course, there was the ever-present derogatory Generation X label being wielded against the youthful latchkey kids who were trying to contend with all this chaos. Douglas Coupland’s seminal novel Generation X: Tales For An Accelerated Culture flew off the shelves in malls at Walden Books. Forged in the fire of the times, Generation X co-opted the moniker and adopted it as their own with their trademark deadpan irony.

The student papers within this collection touch on all of these subjects and more, revealing a determination of character and optimism that the world had immutably tried to extinguish.

Arrangement

This collection is organized by a single series with four folders. The folders are Booklets 1-3, Booklets 4-6, Booklets 7-9, and Booklets 10 and 11.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged by Eric Christensen, Archive Processing Librarian for Texas A&M University– Corpus Christi’s Special Collections & Archives Department.

Title
A&M Student Letters to the Future
Subtitle
Grandparents' Letters
Status
Completed
Author
Eric Christensen
Date
5-20-2020
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English
Edition statement
First processing

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository

Contact:
6300 Ocean Dr.
Unit 5702
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States
361-825-4500
361-825-5973 (Fax)