Summer Homework Revisions by Sequoia Hack

There’s no way to say it nicely. Assigned summer homework is not something all CW students enjoy. Summer is the only extended period time over two weeks in length where we aren’t sitting through classes lasting an hour and twenty minutes. It’s when we do not have to wake up at ungodly times of day to get to the climate-indecisive Glen Canyon where SOTA is located.

I am so fortunate to be a part of the uniquely Bay Area SFSOTA Creative Writing department. Throughout my year and three months here, I have become a much more responsible and aware person. Heather has not only guided and strengthened my writing passion, but has introduced me to perspectives I had no experience with prior to high school. But summer work was not my motivation to apply to this department, nor is it my favorite thing to do now. During the three months we have off of school, I’d prefer to escape to sleepaway camp without any looming deadlines.

However, one of Heather’s many insights is about how to improve one’s writing skills. It is centered around the cliche phrase, “practice makes perfect” (but of course as a writer, Heather introduced this concept without using any cliches). Her reason for assigning summer work is something like this: if one would like to strengthen their writing abilities, one must constantly write. I have taken this mindset to heart during the two times I have been assigned summer work, and I appreciate her firm belief for I have been able to explore my specific strengths in writing outside of the class environment.

Upon arriving back in school during August, CW revises their summer work based off of Heather’s comments. This has been an unpleasant process for me, as revisiting work done months in the past has been like looking at my application portfolio for this department after a year of being immersed in sophisticated writing — cringe-inducing. Regrets come forth about the piece, for example word choices or chosen formatting. Heather counsels us individually after reviewing our summer work, and has jokingly dubbed me the “thousand-poems-in-three-poems” girl after commenting that I wrote a poem with many concrete images but didn’t particularly blend cohesively.

These are some selected stanzas from a poem I had written this past summer and recently revised. I’ve centralized the theme, unified the imagery, and excluded extra words.

Excerpt from Coyote Bones

The bones flow and grow and sway,
suspended from cloud toes,
blown away with a fist of air
carried into Yosemite valley
by millions
of thousand year-old trees,
roots plunged to Earth’s core.
The trees remain there,
forever anchored in an ocean of
lush soil.

Robins greet blue jays
atop speckled boulders,
iridescent wings intertwine.
Slugs the hue of sunflower petals
mingle on slabs of granite.
Raccoons sulk in the heat,
claws clicking on rock,
paw pads lurching forward
to the dining birds.

And the bones keep moving,
around Glacier Point
where young couples marry,
out to fields enveloped in
sunset and lupine blooms.

Thank you so much for your comments and care, Heather! I truly appreciate the confidence you’ve instilled in me.

Sequoia Hack
Class of 2021

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s