Teens and Pop Culture

If you ever doubted that pop culture had a firm grip on the lives of American teens just read this next blog.

Eighteen-year-old Amanda Barnett loved the CBS crime drama “CSI” so much she let it influence a major career move. Really major. According to news reports, the high school senior has become Indiana’s youngest certified death investigator.

Barnett reportedly received her certification last month and is one of the county’s four deputy coroners. And in an example that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree—-Barnett works for her father who happens to be the county coroner.

Because of her age, the teen had to receive special permission to attend a certification class given by the state. In the end, she scored 97% on the test, submitted four case reports, attended an autopsy, and received certification.

Barnett says she plans to attend Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in the fall to become a forensic nurse examiner.


If you are regularly surf the net then you know that blogs are everywhere. If you can’t find a blog about a certain subject it likely doesn’t exist. Which is why institutes of higher learning are learning to embrace the fascinating world of blogs.

Places such as Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana welcomes student blogs. In fact, the school promotes the interactive online diary and several other unfiltered student blogs on its home page and uses them as a recruiting tool.

What’s more, the students chronicling their experiences on campus are getting paid by the university for doing so. Administrators at Ball State say they use the blogs as a way to gain the attention of the MySpace generation.

But the Midwestern college isn’t the only one jumping on the blog bandwagon. Schools such as Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Colgate University in upstate New York, the University of Texas (one of the country’s largest universities) and the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology now include links to student bloggers on their home pages.

MIT has on of the most expansive blogging programs of all the country’s universities. The school currently employs 15 bloggers who get paid $40 a week… and by all accounts the writings are quite popular. The MIT bloggers average 15,000 to 20,000 hits per day.

Related Articles:

Anatomy of a Cheater

How To Become A Part Of Popular Culture

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.