As our Creative Writing 1 poetry unit comes to an end, I am beginning to feel nostalgic reflecting upon the content we have been studying, and the way it has been taught. Heather divided up the unit among the sophomores in our department. The sophomore class agreed to teach 1-2 day mini-units inspired by their diverse backgrounds and rich cultural histories. They came up with their lesson plans over the summer. Their lessons incorporated short videos, poetry, stories, songs, topics to discuss, and homework prompts.
These mini-units helped me get to know the sophomores and the cultures they come from. The sophomores impressed me with their ability to take advantage of the creative freedom they were given. They brought so many new artists to my attention. They also introduced new writing styles, political issues I was not previously aware of, and other elements of their cultures and religions. I left every class with a myriad of thoughts and ideas that inspired me to focus on the poetry I needed to write. I also came out of the unit appreciating many new styles of poetry that I had not been exposed to before.
The sophomores had no problem communicating their thoughts clearly while stimulating controversial discussions. The fact that they are only one year older than me feels intimidating because it sets a high standard for the freshman class, but it also makes me want to work harder and participate more. I am looking forward to next year when I am given the opportunity to set an admirable example for the incoming freshman, just as the current sophomores have done for us.
Nina Berggren, class of 2020