Meet Your Cowboy by Josie Weidner

I want to talk about a new ritual Creative Writing has adopted this week. At the beginning of class, we tear a little piece of paper from our notebooks and write our name on it (I prefer to use Josofinnne, Queen Josephine, Jojo) for Heather to collect. She then distributes our names to a different person in Creative Writing and gives us a prompt of something to write to them (Tell them a secret, What do you admire most about this person?) and then the paper is given back to its original name-bearer.

One of my personal favorites was the prompt “What do you wish for this person?” On my piece of paper was written, “I wish you finally meet your cowboy.”

As a senior, it’s getting increasingly harder to be present in school. With finals week fast approaching, and my own personal schedule growing more hectic, it’s even harder to be grounded and cognizant of other people, of my community. This little ritual, however, has helped me focus in Creative Writing, not to mention create personal connections with everyone in the department. It turned my day around when someone wished for me to meet a cowboy. I realized that, no matter how crazy things might get, I will always have the Creative Writing community, and I will always be valued for exactly who I am.

I highly suggest this ritual for all kinds of group settings. It not only feels good to receive your paper, but it also feels good writing them. I love having that personal connection with one other person in the department, even if it is just for five minutes before class.

I’ve been collecting my pieces of paper in an envelope, and when I’m feeling overwhelmed I read them. I’m looking forward to reading them for many years to come!

Josie Weidner, class of 2016

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