The first couple weeks of Shortridge, though pock-marked with a few cancellations and delays, have been incredibly successful for the Writing in the Schools Spring 2014 team. We also have a first this semester; we have a student from another country. Jack is from Australia, and the kids are really taking to him. But we also have a whole host of new Butler mentors of all ages and experiences, ranging from a freshman psych major to senior creative writing majors, that have been contributing every single day. The amount of quality work that the students produce is always amazing, and this semester is no different. Even though this is the first experience with Shortridge for many of our mentors, they have plenty to say about it. Here are some of the general impressions we got from the first week.


Jack Wachtel: The experiences I have been making up until this point are creating such positive memories to take back to Australia. I have gained such an insight to a diverse style of schooling and the type of influence it has on the students, both good and bad. Thursday I was able to work with both D – and M –. I had talked to the girls previously but this time round it was nice to dig deeper and find out more about them.The pleasing thing is that Butler Writers to all the students I have met is a safe haven for them to open up and just be themselves.

Olivia Nelson: On Thursday, I had the pleasure of working with S – . Although we went through the prompt really quickly, as she is quite a fast thinker and fantastic story writer, we came up with a fascinating poem. However, what was even more astonishing was the fact that I learned that she is a fantastic story-writer and finds one of her best talents is storytelling. We actually worked on one of her stories that she had been focusing on for the past few days about herself as a singer and pianist. Although it was in its beginning stages, I see it blossoming into much more. It is amazing to reflect on how these students are getting so in-tune with their creative side.

Logan Spackman: Today was my first day working with a larger group of students. I had four at the table for a little while. And I was really excited to find that my group had the ability to feed off one another. We also got an excuse to talk about things that mattered to us, and the things we could do without. That sort of talk is extremely valuable as we consider not only the community we’re building at Exclusive Ink, but the larger community we’re contributing to in Indianapolis. I’m consistently struck by the dialogue these students are willing to entrust in us, and I’m excited to see how it evolves and grows over the course of the next few months.

Sarah Hamm: I had an awesome experience today with N – and R –. We got work done and we had a really good time doing it. I felt like I got to know them a little bit better, too. R  – struggled a little bit with coming up with a poem, but I feel like she went through a lot of exploration about what she wanted to say and how she wanted to say it, which I think is a big part of poetry. Altogether, I would say that this was a successful day at Shortridge.

Compiled by Luke Wortley