823470_472755066107076_549755816_oIt’s been a busy spring semester at Shortridge for the Butler mentors enrolled in the Writing In The Schools course this spring. Besides welcoming poet Major Jackson with open arms and working towards the publication of our second Exclusive Ink literary magazine, our curriculum has expanded to include a partnership with the SHS football team, where several new students have been joining us regularly for homework help.

So far, the new Writing In The Schools class has been up to every task, enabling us to continue expanding our outreach. Here are some of their initial reflections after a full month at Shortridge.

Laura Fernandez: Yesterday was pretty awesome. I was having a really tough day, and I left Shortridge smiling. Thursday was a nice break from writing that allowed us to connect as a group instead of on an individual basis.

Dorene Hinton: I’m glad we now have a system put in place to help the football players and the Exclusive Ink writers, so they both can improve over the course of the semester. Although I was nervous working with some new faces, but the football players understood my explanations and made sense of it. How exciting!

Katee Rice: I was having a difficult time at the beginning of the class working with E– and B– because they were both very independent and didn’t really want much help with the exercise. However, after E– finished writing, he allowed me to help him add some more to his poem and to add more of his own voice to it. I think he stepped out of his shell a little bit. I was glad I got to help him in some way, and I’m glad he was able to open up to me.

Gerry Justice: Recently, I was paired up with J – again. J– is a serious fellow who loves to write. He loves to create. He’s a thinker. He’ll spend a good part of the time looking up at the ceiling, pondering big thoughts.

J– came to class wanting to work on his “Green Light” story, about a guy at a laundromat who buys a special green drink from the vending machine. I told him it sounded like a Stephen King story. I suggested that he try writing a poem based on “Green Light.” He hesitated, but with a little reinforcement, J–  finished a 17-line poem.