by Allie Millay
Over the past two and a half weeks, Writing students have enjoyed exploring the creative corners of their brains. Through both reading like a writer and writing like a reader, students refined their skills and worked on putting even their most elaborate ideas down on paper with strong sentence structure and their own individual flair.
To start each day, we write together from Rebekah O’Dell’s 100 Days of Summer Writing. As we all focus in one one image, quotation, or chart, we reflect, process, and analyze. We make sense of this small piece of the world, track our thoughts in writer’s notebooks, and relish in a communion of conflicting thoughts and ideas. Our class is a safe space where differences and vulnerability are accepted, appreciated. Where sharing thoughts, ideas, and even the burden of writer’s block draws us together and helps us grow.
After our daily workouts, campers are primed and ready to work diligently on their Multigenre Multimodal Projects. Each day they devote time, energy, and mental space to worlds and characters they began developing based on their own unique interests and wonderings. Using a variety of genres and presentations styles, students each are creating a cohesive body of text that, woven together, tells a multi-perspective story that showcases their own artistic interests and talents. Though their topics range from alternative histories to tales of war and poverty to international adoption, they work together nonetheless, providing support and positive feedback to their peers.
In learning to tell the tales they have crafted in their minds, the class has followed the example of those who tell stories around us. In a world filled with stories, the writers digested the people they saw, the conversations they heard, and the words they read. They stored ideas away in their writer’s notebooks for safekeeping. We studied narrative style at Mindbender Escape Rooms in Bowling Green as we became immersed in the world of Jack the Ripper and tried (and failed, unfortunately) to solve the case before the clock ran out. We visited Starbucks and Boba Tea Lounge to find comfortable mental space for writing, to share our favorite poetry, and to fuel our artist’s need for caffeine.
While students’ energy was usually spent preparing their Multigenre Multimodal Projects, other times their creative juices diverged to group projects, like a script for a murder mystery play based on a intense game of Clue. In these moments of scattered thoughts and loudly-announced ideas, the class worked together to give their thoughts life beyond the confines of their minds and crafted deep bonds with one another along the way. Even break time was filled with writing-oriented, critical thinking games. Bananagrams is a favorite for burning some pent-up energy as the class competes daily for the title of Top Banana.
As VAMPY concludes, the writers are working fervently to put the final touches on their projects. Refining their work and perfecting the details, students support one another through a cycle of giving and accepting feedback. On the last day of class, campers will bask in the fruits of their labors in a Celebration of Writing and praise one another for a job well done.
VAMPY Writing: A treasure trove of creativity and talent manifested through hard work, persistence, and heart.