I think that the highlight of my time at Shortridge so far was the first day that we actively taught a prompt. I was taken aback by how friendly the students were, asking me about where I was from in England and bombarding me with all the usual requests to say Harry Potter, aluminum, garage, and cheers mate. I was worried it may take a session or two get some sort of meaningful interaction going but my accent proved to be a great ice breaker, and one girl in particular, Jammonica, seemed to take to me from the off.

Since then I have made an effort to take some time to see how Jammonica is doing each week and, with the exception of the week she wrote about me (still not sure how I feel about that haha), she has not only let me read her work, but asked me to. This culminated in her coming over to me with a piece about a girl leaving on a train as she sees her love out of the window. We worked together on it and I was able to help her hear the rhythm of what she was writing and explain why certain types of line break might add something to her piece. She ended up with a great poem titled, “Leaving Train,” which I’ve typed up again below (She wrote it out twice and gave me a copy which was really sweet).

Leaving Train

She looked out the train window
as a tear fell down her
scars on her face.
Her scars on her face
as deep as the hole she’d
been buried in.

She looks out the train window
and sees her love
as he sees her,
as the train slowly leaves.
She promised to never come back.

Tom Curr is a junior English major from Stroud, England.