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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Essentials for college
She had to pack carefully for many reasons.
By LANE DEGREGORY, Times Staff Writer
Published August 27, 2007
During move-in day, Holly Ash, 18, right, hugs her new roommate Brooklyn Carr,17, after meeting her for the first time. "I could tell when I met her, we just clicked," said Ash. "She seems cool. And it makes me feel a little bit more comfortable that I know something about her already."
[Melissa Lyttle | Times]
[Melissa Lyttle | Times]
USF freshman Brooklyn Carr, 17, said if she could create the perfect roommate she'd like the color pink, be a girlie girl like her, and have the same body so they could share clothes.
Ten boxes of stuff. That's all Brooklyn Carr figured she'd have room for in her dorm room. She bought the biggest plastic tubs she could find, deep rectangular bins in black and yellow. "Target didn't have pink."
She carted them to her bedroom in her parents' Brandon home and sat wondering what to pack.
Brooklyn, 17, is tall and striking, with raven ringlets, sharp cheekbones and emerald eyes. Last week, she moved into a dorm apartment at the University of South Florida, where she's studying mass communications. She wants to be an anchor of an entertainment TV show someday.
She has three roommates, none of whom she had met before. When you're trying to sum up one life and begin another, what do you bring? She knew the things she packed would say something about her, so she chose carefully.
Here is her biography, written in stuff:
A Build-A-Bear dressed like a cheerleader.
Hair gel, a hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron and a set of hot curlers.
Speakers and an iPod with tunes by Kelly Clarkson and John Mayer.
A 26-inch Sony TV.
A new hot pink USF hoodie.
Her oldest jeans: American Eagle, 2003.
A black pencil dress, tight to the knees.
Thirty-five pairs of shoes.
One book: In Her Shoes. "It's a novel about two sisters who have nothing in common but their shoe size."
Two Bibles: A King James version and a study journal from New Jerusalem Christian Church, where her dad is the pastor.
Four-hundred-thirty-two back issues of Seventeen magazine.
An Apple laptop.
A DVD player.
A microwave, coffee pot and mini-fridge.
A Marilyn Monroe poster.
Four scrapbooks, one for each year of high school.
The "Homecoming Queen 2006" sash from East Bay High - her favorite among the 52 she owns.
Her rhinestone tiara.
Framed photos of her 13-year-old sister, her boyfriend, her baby niece, her best friend and her parents - "so they won't complain."
A plastic zipper case with a tangle of costume necklaces, bangles, earrings and rings.
"That's because of the brain tumor," Brooklyn says. "I got it in November. After the radiation, I lost most of my hair."
The wig is draped on a Styrofoam head on her desk. Brooklyn's cancer is in remission and her hair has grown back. So why bring it?
"I just found it's really convenient," she says. "If I wake up and don't want to do my hair ... "
Encounters is dedicated to small but meaningful stories. Sometimes they will play out far from the tumult of the daily news; sometimes they may be part of the news. To comment or suggest an idea for a story, contact editor Mike Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2924.