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Be a Man This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


In the September issue, “Be a Man” by Blake really stood out for me. In it, he keeps telling the reader that he’s too old to cry, and that being a man means you don’t cry. However, on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he realizes something about his once over-confidence in being a man.

Throughout the day, Blake witnesses and is a part of events that he refers to as “not being enough for tears” (i.e. his last opportunity to take the huge ACT test, or hearing the teeth-chattering story of a California resident’s experience in the South Tower during the attacks). But toward the day’s end, after hearing an upsetting remark about the Twin Towers, Blake breaks down and cries. This changes his point of view about men and crying. He even concludes by saying that the best way to man up is to cry in the end.

My opinion of the article? It was relatable for me in a way. My grandfather (or Pop, as we called him) was a victim of the attacks. Like the California resident Blake mentions in his story, Pop was in the South Tower on 9/11. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it out.

Like Blake, I didn’t want to cry about this, but there’s a feeling inside me that really makes me upset. I would like to thank Blake, since this was my first time reading Teen Ink (I just started eighth grade), and I was surprised to immediately find something to relate to.

Thank you, Blake.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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