I’ve said this before and I’ll say it till the world gives them more credit: my students are awesome.
Every week at our creative writing group meeting, one or more of them blow me away with their compassion, creativity, writing ability, and overall heart. Because I believe the world can never contain too much ambient teen optimism, here you go:
Tonight, one of my yearbook students came up and suggested that we include stories of the janitors and bus drivers in the yearbook. His reasoning? “Their jobs are hard, Ms. Fitz. The school would not exist without them. They do all the work that no one sees.” But he noticed. He saw. And he wants to tell their stories so others will appreciate the contribution they make to our community.
Tonight, one of my students trusted me to help him plan out a key moment in his D&D campaign that he’s been DMing for over a year. His older brother helped him map out a location, the two of them laughing together. Neither of them considered themselves writers when they joined our writing group what seems like ages ago. Now I can’t picture them as anything but. The solution to the kid’s plot problem? “I’m going to make my older brother’s character choose between the thing I don’t want his group to do, and saving a burning library. I know how much books matter to him.”
Tonight, one of my students who doubts himself let me read a poem of his about being happy. He lists several things that are going wrong in the world, the daily disasters and headlines that weigh on all our minds–but he also captures tiny moments of joy, in snow, and in smiles, and declares that he has chosen to live in the moment, “and now I have peace.”
Tonight my student who has been writing a novel for four years broke a major word count milestone, and also finished the key climax scene of her book. I got to tutor her on complex point of view strategies, dialog refinement, and how to leverage contrast to her advantage. She’s a writer, and always has been, and is looking at college writing programs that she will absolutely shine in.
I could not be more proud of these kids and their drive, and most especially their humanity. I hope they will carry this positive energy with them when they leave and sprinkle it out over the world wherever they go.