I’ve been coming to Shortridge now since August, and it has been a truly unique experience. Apart from the opportunity to work with these students on such a personal level, it has been a real privilege to watch them grow as writers. As an aspiring writer myself, I know how hard it is to just sit down and make yourself write. So it seems remarkable that they all do every time we’re there. Honestly, I’m a little envious of their productivity—I mean, how do they continuously write such glittering poetry in a mere hour and a half to two hours?

All my writing struggles aside, what I really want to talk about is how much I miss Shortridge when I’m not there. A couple weeks ago I missed a day due to personal reasons. Not being there only highlighted how much I missed hanging out with everyone at Exclusive Ink. I was itching to get back as soon as possible. We all have those things in our lives that we really enjoy, but it is rare to find something that truly becomes part of your life to the point where you wouldn’t know what your life would be like without it. The Exclusive Ink group at Shortridge has become one of those things for me.

After the day I missed, I found out that some of the SHS students had been asking about the whereabouts of “Uncle Luke.” This was pleasantly surprising. I never knew they called me that, and I was so thrilled to hear that the students asked about me. When I’m there, the work is all about them—about their writing, about hanging out with a family of writers that I’ve come to think of as friends. Even when I’m not there, I’m always thinking of ways to contribute to a writing exercise. When I read something, I think of a particular student who may really be into it, too.

Although Spring Break was nice, I can’t wait to get back to Room 238.

Contributed by Luke Wortley