This term for Just Write – a weekly program that offers students a wide range of writing opportunities – a number of students began to develop work to be used as part of this year’s Storyweavers event, which will be themed around “perspectives”. Alongside this, a key group of students also continued to work on their own personal projects, and this ranged from short non-fiction pieces about the things they loved, to wild and inventive fantasy and crime stories.
The variety of opportunities and avenues, which leads to this diverse range of works, is thanks to the flexibility of the program, which seeks to engage students by offering them a range of ways to express themselves. This term students rated how they felt about writing upon entering and leaving each session, and overall these ratings show that students consistently felt better after having engaged with the program. Student feedback comments have included, “writing about things I like made me feel happy” and “this helped to clear my head space”.
Short pieces and extracts of work from this term will be used in the Storyweavers event and will be incorporated into installations, art pieces, and sound works. For the full reveal of all of these creative works please keep your eye out for event details later in the year.
However, in a small taste of things to come, students and staff considered the theme of “perspectives” in a number of different ways, for example our perspective on what really matters to us, as well as the idea that our perspective is influenced by where and how we live (we used the example of COVID, which although has been a shared event around the world, has ultimately been experienced very differently across the globe) as well as how our perspective can change over time.
Some responses included:
On What Matters:
Little things, like connections matter. You know something matters when you feel something. Sometimes, what matters are the things people don’t see, or notice. The invisible things, like people going out of their way for you, words.
The biggest thing that matters is people.
Deciding what matters the most feels like choosing where to eat for lunch.
But the personal things that matter to me are friendships. If my friendships were a sound they would sound like laughter. If they were a smell they would smell like sweet perfume. And if they were a taste, they would be fresh fruit.
On COVID, and how we first knew it was happening, and how over one year later our perspective had changed:
“It was 11pm and everyone had gone to bed. I got up to get some water, and I heard my parents talking about Covid and their jobs. Who was going to be at home to look after us?
1 year later……We are a bit more cautious and have many rules we have to follow, like signing in before entering a building and having a Covid test if we feel the slightest bit unwell.”
On general creative writing:
I look outside the train window and it has started to rain. I can almost smell the wet dirt; the weird but soothing smell it gives off.
I press my hand against the glass and look out but then catch a lovely scent inside the carriage – someone is eating a meat bun! How good it smells! My mouth is almost watering at the smell of lovely fresh baked bread. I have to buy one myself, as soon as I get off this train. BreadTop. I know it’s that brand. It has to be for sure. Sadly, the smell soon passes, I am left with the boring smell of nothingness for the rest of the trip.
My stop. After a painfully long forty minutes I’ve made it. I step out and oh, the smell of rain!…