Hi! Iím Mackenzie Nalteen, but my friends usually call me Enzie for short. I actually have lots of nicknames, but Enzie suits me best. I just started my sophomore year at Arbor High. I'm really excited for the year to start because I get to see my friends everyday. Plus, my sixteenth birthday is coming up later this month. I'll be getting my license and I'm really hoping for a new car! Those little Yarises are uber-cute. But I'd settle for a Focus too. Iím so excited for my sweet-16 party. It won't be like on MTV's Super Sweet Sixteen show becuase my family doens't have that kind of money, but I know they'll throw me an awesome party.

Anyways, I totally need a car. Well, maybe I don't need one, but I really really want one! Iíll be the first of my friends to turn 16 and it would be totally lame if I didnít have a car to take to the mall or to parties. They'll be counting on me to take us everywhere, and not in some lame boat. That's why I want a Yaris! I've tried to tell my parents that having a car is, like, the most important thing because I have lots of responsabilities, like cheerleading practice. I just made varsity this year. If everything goes well, by senior year I'll be head of the whole squad. But I was telling my dad how if I had a car, I wouldn't have to sit and wait for him. Really, it's a big pain and totally embarrassing when he rolls up in the station wagon on his way home from work. (Ew, who drives a station wagon anymore?! Thank god it doens't have real wood or else I'd really get teased!) Itís so embarrassing because heís always, always late and, like, he listens to this stupid boring crap on NPR that no one cares about. I donít even like giving my friends rides because they're weirded out by the whole car sitch.

I guess riding with my mom to school in the morning is okay. Sheís pretty chill and always gives me extra money. My friends and I usually bounce out after first period and grab a latte (I don't tell my mom that though, if she knew I cut school to go to Starbucks, she'd kill me!) Once my dad told me to take the bus to school because he thought it was a waste of time or gas or something for my mom to drive me. Heís so over-the-top like that. Sometimes I get soooo frustrated with him. School buses are for the kids like Napoleon Dynamite and the babies in junior high. Busses are just so immature. Anyways, I just started dating this super hot football player, Tyler. Heís on JV this year, but heíll be the starting wide-receiver next season. Some of my friends say heís using me to get to Alicia, but thereís no way. I mean, I like Alicia and everything and no offense to her, but she shops at Target and stuff. There's no way Tyler would be interested in her. I wouldnít be caught dead anywhere near Target, especially with those turquoise shoes Alicia wears like, every day! Ewww! Anyways, I donít even want to pay attention to those stupid rumors. I think my parents are gonna give me a $1000 shopping spree for my birthday. I told all the girls that we're seriously spending the entire weekend buying clothes. I can't wait! The malls in Arbor Falls are so lame though, so we're gonna have to drive to Somerset.


* Mackenzie wants freedom through ownership and flexibility in transportation.
* Social status is a high priority.
* Mackenzie also enjoys the ability to network with a small subset of her peers.
* Her schedule is somewhat flexible, but she has more spontaneous transit needs.
* Cars are a right of passage for her and her peers.


Mackenzie woke up on Tuesday morning and started her morning prep before class at Pioneer High School. Since she was up fairly late the previous night talking with her boyfriend, KG, and her best friend, Steph, thereafter, her sleep was limited and she was running late. Sometimes Mackenzie walks to school, which is 3/4 of a mile away, but more often her mom (who is a stay-at-home mom) drives her the short distance. This morning was not out of the norm. Since she knew she would have a ride, she procrastinated for a while, watching TV, reading her email, and taking a lot of time at breakfast. After several mild snipes from her father, and constant nudging from her mother, Mackenzie made it out the door just 5 minutes after school had started. While at school, anticipating lunch, she day dreamed about the possibility of getting a new car for her upcoming 16th birthday. With a car, she dreamt, she would be able to go off-campus for lunch and take all of her friends. Having a car is a definite status symbol and she did not want to lose any social status with her classmates by not having a car. The car meant freedom - from teachers, from parents, from responsibilities (so she thought). After school Mackenzie went to cheerleading practice. Before practice started she asked one of the older cheerleaders, Emily, if she could get a ride home. Mackenzie knew that her dad would be picking her up, but she really looked up to Emily and wanted to be a part of her circle. She also knew better than to rely on her dad for punctuality. After practice Mackenzie hopped into Emily's car with a couple other squad members. The drive home was fairly uneventful. Lots of boy-talk, lots of giggling, and a few moments of unbearable screaming. When she finally made it home she found her mom waiting to talk about her day.