There are a lot of assumptions about SOTA by students at other schools—that we are introverted, socially awkward, and slackers; that all we do is smoke weed and flunk easy classes and sneak out to rendezvous in Glen Park. These qualities aren’t true of anyone I know—nor are they defining characteristics of our school. Other predispositions come from other departments—Creative Writing is sometimes thought of as a cult-like department; that all we do is sit in a dark room and write until our legs grow pasty and our muscles grow withered, weak from disuse. Of course, the majority of other students call us these things playfully—any department-versus-department strife in my experience is purely bravado.
I find the Creative Writing department to be more diverse then I ever could have imagined while applying. Coming into this department as a serious athlete, I was worried that I would grow to fit CW stereotypes—that I would grow soft and become as wary of the sun as a vampire. Some of my friends from middle school decided not to apply just because of the lack of sports teams. And, though it’s true that us Creative Writers can’t participate in school sports due to department rules (as many SOTA students play for Academy of Arts and Sciences), many of us find the time to become things…other than writers. Creative Writing is home to actresses, dancers, parkour experts (ahem), musicians, gymnasts. Most of my friends in the department agree that, in order to become a true artist, you have to be as well-rounded as fits your ability—that you have to try out other mediums, become immersed in SF’s art community, get out of your comfort zone. It is my belief that Creative Writing is the most accepting and varied department, in terms of character—in the entire school. I am proud to be part of it.
Stella Pfahler, class of 2019