I really enjoy my time well-spent while working with the students at Shortridge. They are an interesting group of young adults, with such active imaginations and playful mindsets. I really believe that some of the students have grown—personally and through their writing—over these past few weeks. I have learned which prompts are easier to teach to the students, and those that I may have to tweak just a tad. I have noticed that most of the students enjoy and work well when putting personal information creatively into their writing.
The prompt about love and a letter to a stranger was a very interesting prompt to take on. In all honestly, I assumed that some of the kids would’ve treated the same way I would have if I were in middle and high school—“Love is gross” or “I’m only 15; I don’t know what love is.” However, they were the complete opposite in that they took just the title of the prompt, “Love Letter to a Stranger” and ran with that completely. They are very insightful and mature, especially when it comes to such a more mature topic such as love. I especially enjoyed hearing the various open mic poems read aloud.
Some of the students, I have grown a little closer and more attached to, and it helps to make the writing process flow a lot more. I really enjoy hearing them talk about what goes on in their daily lives. It gives me a chance to sort of push them into writing it all down. That is why the letter to a stranger prompt has been etched into my brain. Mainly due to the fact that of two of the students, who shall remain nameless, had some type of background with each other. One of the students wrote a poem as an ode to the other, and it was romantic and creative. Without specifically stating facts or inside info that only the two would understand, we all knew that it was specifically written for the student. I found it to be entertaining and cute, especially to see how mature and creative these kids are at their age. I really hope that I will some day be as mature and creative and that my children learn some, if not all of the values and creativity these kids have acquired over the years at Shortridge.
Aaron Smith is a sophomore Interactive Media major.