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Chronicling the journeys of journals

A project that started with bathroom graffiti has found its way to CSU Monterey Bay.

A San Francisco graphic designer who goes by the name Someguy read what people wrote on bathroom walls. The uncensored messages captured his attention; he realized that people will say anything as long as their comments are anonymous.

"And then I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if people could write in a book and make their own comments,' " he told the San Francisco Chronicle.

That’s how he started the project he called 1000 Journals. He created art covers for them and sent them out into the world, hoping that people would contribute art, photos, or stories and then pass the journals on to someone else.

The experiment eventually became an Internet sensation with journals circulating around the globe. People started going online to request them. At one point, 17,000 people were waiting to receive journals.

At CSUMB, students in a class called Writing as Healing (CHHS 125) decided to do the same thing on a smaller scale.

They decorated the covers of a handful of journals and left them around campus. A Facebook page they started for the project invites members of the campus community to find them and contribute something.

“These are for your own creative expression, so go crazy and keep us updated,” the Facebook page says, inviting people to take photos of the journals and post them.

Initially the journals were placed on the third floor of the library, in Peet’s and Starbucks and in a lecture hall. Now, they’re making their way around campus. The students hope to have them back by May 8.

Image from the Journals Around Campus Facebook page