Going into Broad Ripple I never expected to find myself in the position that I am in. I figured I would be going in, meeting the kids, helping them expand their writing and giving them somewhere safe to express themselves. I had not factored into my expectations the depth of attachment I would feel towards them and that they would feel towards me.

I met my group of giddy girls the our first day at Broad Ripple. I don’t know if it was my high pitched voice, or bright blonde hair, or perhaps the Batman shoes that endeared them to me so quickly, but we quickly formed a bond between one another. They all seemed to be talking over one another, trying to share with me — over the cacophony of a classroom filled with other students — who they were and trying to garner who I was in return. It was a lot to process. Overwhelming, but worth every second. Every day after that, they’ve come in and rushed to tell me about their days, or who is fighting with who, which teacher did what, and looked to me for a reaction.

It is a hard balancing act though. As much as I could sit and listen to them gossip and converse, we also want to write. The other week no one seemed to want to write except one girl, and her frustration was quickly growing at the gabbing. So I insisted upon a timed exercise, something to give everyone a focused time limit, and to create something that my group often lacks: quiet. Getting the girls to focus and commit to these ten minute intervals of quiet time wasn’t easy, and we ran out of time, not quite making it to the end of the prompt. But the girl who wanted quiet got it and promised to finish up the exercise and write me an amazing poem, which I am very excited to read the next time I see her.

Sarah Carney is a junior English major.