“Out of the Blue” (OotB) is a collection of stories from Andover students. Personal to each writer, the narratives touch on topics such as gender identity, white privilege, and racial discrimination. A second volume of OotB will be released in the coming year.
Solby Lim ’18, a board member of the Out of the Blue, said “I really like the concept of the book because I believe that activism starts from a single story and it advances because of voices coming together and saying, ‘Hey, that’s my experience!’ or, ‘Hey, I have a different experience, and that’s really cool too!’ ”
Following the positive response toward the first volume, last year’s board wanted to make a new release right away. Lim said that shifts in faculty have changed the initial aims of the committee and delayed the process. Board member Amiri Tulloch ’18 believes that the second volume will be just as important as the first, expanding on the ideas and concepts originally introduced in Volume 1.
“My hope is that the second book builds upon what [Out of the Blue] created with Volume 1. The stories and lessons from Volume 1 remain crucially relevant, so I hope that Volume 2 can actually deepen, expand, and elaborate on those conversations we initiated in the first book,” said Tulloch.
I also hope that this book can address and highlight discussions we’ve been having around identity and citizenship around campus this year,” wrote Tulloch in an email to The Phillipian.
Although the board wanted to begin production as soon as possible, they ran into scheduling problems and conflicts with other projects the club was pursuing.
“I think the Seniors last year started to get the ball rolling, but we’ve made it one of our big goals… It unfortunately was not on the top of the list in the fall. There were dorm talks and other forums and stuff like that,” said Lim.
Hilena Misganaw ’21 also expressed excitement for the new edition of “Out of the Blue.” Misganaw said that the educational and informational nature of the book showed previously unseen niches of Andover in a different light.
“I think that the previous ‘Out of the Blue’ edition was very informative and relatable, and it showed different sides of Andover and the students, and so having a new one that we can make ourselves seems like a good plan.” said Misganaw.
Lim explained how, although the book was dependent on the personal experiences of Andover students, the board hoped to make each narrative more accessible to readers.
“Focusing on personal narratives — even though that was also the first book as well — but maybe making it more relatable… [is] basically what it is [as well as] providing more voices for people to read about,” said Lim.
According to board member Junah Jang ’20, Out of the Blue will distribute a Dropbox link to which members of the Andover community will be able to submit pieces. There will also be weekly writing meetings at which people will be able to drop in and brainstorm ideas.
“We’d really like to have a lot of participation from people on campus because it’s really about sharing stories from all different walks of life. Just to have a lot of people interested in it and submit stories would be really awesome,” said Jang.
Lim hopes that the book will spread the message of inclusion and help provide a platform for potentially underrepresented demographics. According to Lim, keeping in the same theme as the first volume was integral to the book’s development.
“I think that keeping it to its original intent is really what makes it powerful and also empowering for people who don’t see their stories in a lot of books,” said Lim.
Luke Napolitano ’20 said, “Especially after what’s happened in politics these recent years, I think having an updated version… on everything that’s happening would be very good.”