TEENS MAKING A DIFFERENCE: A year and a half ago, Newton South High School senior Zachary Eagle traveled with a friend to Washington, D.C., to visit the friend’s sister at college.
They watched in shock as one of the woman’s roommates consumed so much alcohol so quickly at a dorm party that she passed out and had to be treated at the campus hospital.
Eagle, who is a member of the internship group Teen Voices, which advises Mayor Setti Warren on issues relating to Newton teens, returned home determined to raise awareness of binge drinking and its dangers.
“You can’t help it if others drink, but you can help them stay safe,” Zachary said. “If people are educated, they’ll know what’s dangerous and look out for each other.”
Using an online prevention and intervention tool developed by the San Diego State University Research Foundation, the students customized a survey at newtonechug.com that allows users to anonymously evaluate their alcohol tolerance level and risk patterns, while receiving personalized feedback such as how many songs could be downloaded from iTunes with the money they spend on alcohol.
The website was printed on business cards and distributed to all Newton North and Newton South high school students. Articles were published in both school newspapers, and health teachers required students to take the survey as a homework assignment.
On Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m., Teen Voices will host its second youth summit at the Charles E. Brown Middle School, 125 Meadowbrook Road in Newton. The inaugural summit last October was a forum for students, parents, and teachers to discuss binge drinking, school stress, bullying, and other concerns, Zachary said. This event will focus on implementing solutions.
“What I really want is for kids to know that Teen Voices exists,” he said, “and if they have something they want to change, they can come to us.”
HOME SWEET HOME: As her 10- and 12-year-old daughters have grown, author Elizabeth Graver of Lincoln has been fascinated with the way they developed a unique sense of belonging at the summer house on Buzzards Bay that has been in her husband’s family for generations. She examines similar themes of family and place in her new novel, “The End of the Point,” published this month by HarperCollins.
Graver, who teaches English and creative writing at Boston College, set the story in the fictional summer community of Ashaunt Point on Buzzards Bay. The story follows three generations of the Porter family, whose home provides both shelter and isolation from global events including World War II and the Vietnam War.
“For me, the best fiction works as a dream that pulls you into the inner lives and interactions of the characters,” she said. “I hope this book transports readers, and leads them to think about issues of social class, parenting, and what we pass on to our children, for better or worse in complex ways.”
Graver will read from “The End of the Point” at Newtonville Books on March 19 at 7 p.m.; at the Lincoln Public Library on March 20 at 7 p.m.; and at the Concord Bookshop on April 7 at 3 p.m.
For more information, visit elizabethgraver.com.
LITERARY AWARD: Co-authors Richard Lansing of Wellesley and Teodolinda Barolini of New York City were recently presented with the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies from the Modern Language Association at its annual conference in Boston.
Their 2012 book, “Dante’s Lyrics: Poems of Youth and the Vita Nuova,” includes Lansing’s translation of Dante’s early lyrics from medieval Italian, along with Bartolini’s literary commentary.
Lansing, who is professor emeritus of Italian studies and comparative literature at Brandeis University in Waltham, has written several books on Dante, is editor-in-chief of the journal Dante Studies, and is an honorary member of the Società Dantesca Italiana. In addition, he studied with Aldo Scaglione as a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley.
“I now have also become emeritus, so it is a special delight to have capped my career with an award in the name of a scholar with whom I first pursued my literary studies just prior to the beginning of my career,” Lansing said. “Full circle, as it were.”
FARM HISTORY EXPLORED: The Lexington Community Farm Coalition is celebrating Lexington’s 300th birthday with a farm history panel Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m., in the auditorium at Lexington High School, 251 Waltham St.
The panelists in “Farming Then and Now” will discuss who the town’s farmers have been and their strategies to keep farms sustainable in response to regional, national, and global developments.Continued...