Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life

Josh’s Diary: Revisited

Josh in 1996, and Josh in 2013 (Photo: David Gilkey/NPR)

Josh in 1996, and Josh in 2013 (Photo: David Gilkey/NPR)

One of the things that makes Josh Cutler a great diarist is that I never know what he is going to say next. Sometimes he doesn’t either.

Josh has Tourette’s Syndrome. More than 16 years ago, I gave Josh a tape recorder to chronicle his attempts to live a normal teenage life with a brain that often betrays him. (Listen to his Teenage Diaries.)

Since the original Teenage Diaries series aired more than 16 years ago, many listeners have asked: “Where are they now.” And the diarist I get asked about the most is Josh.

High school wasn’t easy for Josh. But he has accomplished a lot in the past 16 years. He is more in control of his tics, he graduated college, got a masters degree, and became a third grade ESL teacher in New York City. But a few years ago, Josh was suspended from his teaching job. He is fighting the charges, but as he waits for a decision in his case—spending his days in New York City’s infamous ” Rubber Room“— Josh has begun to wonder:

“Whether I really have been doing such a good job of appearing normal to the outside world.”

Listen to Josh’s story on  NPR.org

Thanks for listening,


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