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We capped a incredible Fall semester with a Holiday Party on December 9. To commemorate the momentous afternoon—one that saw more than 50 Shortridge students flock to our room for food, gifts, and fun—I’d like to share a reflection from EN 455 graduate student Laura Riches (who kept a fascinating running diary of her experiences at Shortridge all semester), followed by a brief photo essay.   

It was time for Exclusive Ink’s Holiday Party. The students swarmed in, by far the most I had seen in the classroom all year, with those old and new all smiling and very happy to be there. The food was eaten in minutes, and the children all began to write or revise a piece of work to read aloud at the end of the session. It was such a lovely day in the classroom, with all the students being so friendly. It was fun chatting with a large number of them. Some of the students even produced a song and dance outside in the corridor, with Butler students acting as their managers. This just sums up Exclusive Ink. There is so much the children can get involved in; there is truly something for everyone. It has been such an amazing experience being involved in all that goes on at Exclusive Ink. I won’t ever be able to forget hearing all the wonderful work these talented young minds create.

party 4Logan and Tommy dish up some Hot Cheetos and Takis, a perennial Shortridge buffet favorite.

party 2After serving up a feast, the Butler mentors saddled up next to the writers of Exclusive Ink to discuss strategies for the final Open Mic of the 2014.

party 6In order to restore surprise to our Exclusive Ink Holiday Party proceedings, we eschewed our traditional readable gifts, instead opting to wrap brand new Moleskine notebooks for our budding poets and storytellers.

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Either Exclusive Ink veteran Jadon (who has been present for all four Exclusive Ink Holiday Parties!) was being his typical charming, hilarious self and keeping mentor Kate in stitches, or she simply couldn’t hold back her excitement at the sight of him and first-timer Jonathan opening their gifts. A great picture regardless.

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The aforementioned song and dance routine, which functioned as the Open Mic finale. Kudos to Arienna, Destiny, and Michaela for sending us out with a flourish.