[DR]: 11/7

by Amina (’17)

Today in C-Dub I, we were joined by the delightful company of shadows (in case any of them are reading this, thanks for visiting, and hopefully we didn’t scare you too much), as we continued workshopping poems we all wrote with a special attention to sound and texture. Basically, our whole poetry unit has been based on sound, because as Heather insists, “SOUND IS EVERYTHING!” So, it was interesting to revisit Josie’s, Noa’s, and Olivia’s poetry with that kind of critical eye. I think we had a pretty rewarding workshop experience this week, especially considering all our comments today. Amazingly, seeing as it’s nearly the end of the week, we managed to stay on topic, sans a small tangent on sleep paralysis brought up by Noa’s poem.

On an unrelated note, Justus and I wore the same shirt today. (We didn’t plan it, I promise.)


[DR]: 10/30, Facing Fears in Poetic Expression

by Clare (’18)

Two weeks into Creative Writing One’s poetry unit, with Halloween and the end of the marking period looming near, we have arrived at a point where few brave writers have ventured before: meter. Last week, a whole hour was spent trying to define stressed and unstressed syllables. Many terrifying terms were floating around the room today such as iambic, trochaic, and –gasp – rhyming.

You see, although rhyming poems are pleasing to the ear, they can be challenging to write and often result in a circle of tired students shouting out words that rhyme with ‘nest’. Nonetheless, the class made a valiant effort, everyone tackling their own pattern of meter, and although some students concluded their poem by smacking their head repeatedly into their notebook, a few gems emerged. These will be read tomorrow with great enthusiasm (in full costume).

[DR]: Tuesday

by Sophie (’17)

IsaacCreative Writing is the last class of the day which means that by the time we get here many of us are exhausted and want nothing more than to sleep for a few hours. Sadly, that’s not possible because we still have an incredible amount of work to do for our upcoming show. Today we started things off with a pep talk slash lecture which seamlessly meshed reassurances about our capabilities as C-Dubs with the fact that we need to go deeper with our theme. It can’t just be the funny story of aliens on a cruise ship— it must be the meaningful funny story of aliens on a cruise ship. As Heather and Rachel said, the best humor is the kind that reflects the truth.

After this Heather took it upon herself to energize and inspire us by jumping around and impersonating various animals on the carpet (see the sotacw Instagram) while challenging us not to laugh, which to her credit seemed to bring stress levels way down. We also fretted about what decorations are absolutely necessary for the show (not to give away too much, but, portholes).

For the second half of CW we worked on tightening up our skits, which are admittedly all over the place in a fabulous sort of way. We developed characters, reviewed dialogue, and tried to bring a deeper meaning into the show. I don’t know about everyone else, but I think my group has definitely got the scriptwriting thing down to a science. Write something down, laugh about it for a while, then realize it’s the best we can come up with and move on.

We wrapped up the day by celebrating Giorgia’s birthday (apparently I was too early with the cupcake/cronut thing yesterday) in a suitably CW-ish manner, involving the rapid consumption of chocolate cake and lemonade.

In conclusion, if you aren’t already planning to attend this year’s Creative Writing show, I have one word for you. C’mon! CW ’13: Insane Alien Cruise Ship Skits With Deeper Universal Meaning is really not something you want to miss.

[DR]: In Process

by Emma E. (’17)

One of the most exciting parts of planning anything is watching it begin to come to life. During Creative Writing today, we began discussing details of what we want our fall show to look like. Although we are still in preliminary (and top secret) planning stages, the show already feels real and immediate. To help us begin working on the show itself, we had two artists, Tony and Rachel, come in. One of the nice things about enlisting outside help is you get the benefit of their ideas and opinions. Having Tony and Rachel in helped us make our plans more detailed and organized. It’s crazy how much can happen in a class period; at the beginning of the day, we hadn’t even decided on a theme and now our show is already taking shape! One of my favorite parts of the day was when we each said one thing we could bring to the show that was specific to us; the list included knife throwing and onstage cooking, so it’ll definitely be exciting. Today was both productive and enjoyable and I can’t wait to keep planning our show and seeing the new directions it takes!

[DR]: The Fall Show Legacy

by Emma B. (’17)

Today in CW we watched Bohemian Rhapsody and The Nature of Offense, fall shows of past years, and then talked a little about our own show, which is coming up soon now. As I watched The Nature of Offense, I couldnʼt help but notice how young everyone looked only a year ago! As a freshman, there were many unfamiliar faces in Bohemian Rhapsody and a few in The Nature of Offense. It was funny to watch the upperclassmen shout out when they saw one of their now-graduated friends, although I donʼt personally know them. I think weʼre all very excited to plan our show, especially the seniors.

[DR]: Today in the World of Creative Writing…

by Amina (’17)

CW BrainstormThere comes a time every year (at least, I assume every year—this will be my first actual Creative Writing show as a Creative Writer!) where the entire department must take on the imperative task of coming up with a theme for our fall variety show, one of our best performances in the school year. Today Creative Writing consisted of pure brainstorming, filling up the whiteboard with ideas and brief phrases that would make no sense to anyone other than a Creative Writer (see: “nature of a fence”), and discussing the most entertaining, stimulating, and alluring ideas for our show. Splitting off into small groups, we all expanded on several ideas and proposed them to the rest of the class, then voted on our favorites. We are well on our way to uncovering that perfect theme and, obviously, I can’t spoil anything… but Creative Writing mermen? Definitely a possibility. Be excited, though, because this show will be a great way to kick off this year, and certainly something you won’t want to miss

Dance Class Distress

by Noa (’16)

I have always enjoyed to dance, but I have never been a good dancer. This combination is absolutely lethal, as demonstrated by my consistent Bs in my PE dance class, taught by the wonderfully intimidating head of the Dance Department, Elvia, and her sidekick (student teacher), Bruce. I know what you’re thinking—a B is not in any way a bad grade. And yes, I may be a bit of an overachiever. But I consider these Bs, taunting me with their nimble, curvy hips (these Bs would be able to dance the Salsa) to be a mark of failure in a class in which one is seemingly graded solely on their natural ability to move their feet in complicated patterns and not trip over themselves in the process. The Dancers, with their twirling, shiny hair and ability to pull off leggings and tiny tank tops, stand at the front of the class and perform every movement with an enviable languid, “god-this-is-so-easy” grace, while I (I can’t speak for anybody else, they all seem to be good at dancing and/or not stress about it as much as I do) make awkward, robot movements in the back row. That isn’t to say that I don’t try. I try really, really hard—I even do all of the sit ups that we always do before class, instead of lying there like a floppy starfish. But for some reason, my consistent efforts always seem to manifest themselves into a “you-will-never-be-good-enough-no-matter-how-hard-you-try-just-give-up-you-failure” B, which will forever haunt me much too deeply.

Pft, easy

Art: the Map of Maturation

by Olivia W. (’16)

I’m the only freshman in my Spanish 5/6 class. I’m not entirely sure how that worked out, but it’s one of my favorite classes, probably for that reason. A few weeks ago, my teacher told me that I had matured. I asked her what she meant, and she replied that I’d been acting less like a freshman and more like a sophomore.

I didn’t notice the change. Well, at least not like I noticed the change from 6th grade or 7th grade. It’s hard for us as human beings to notice change within ourselves unless it’s quite drastic, but there are subtle clues from things we leave behind. I can map my growth from my art. I’m talking about my visual art, the little sketches I ink on the corners of school papers and homework. I can tell just from looking at some small creature doodled in the cranny of some paper what era of my life it came from. This most definitely is true with adult artists as well, but not as quickly.

So much happens in middle school. You are transported to a new world, one you were dimply aware of but not coherently understanding. I learned so much in those three years. I experienced a lot of things for the first time, and because of them I grew. As we get older, there are fewer things for us to newly experience, and we don’t grow as quickly. We may wise up or realize important things, but slowly, gradually. Human beings are always growing, always maturing, but I believe that teenagers and tweens are on a sharp curve of some sort, where everything is going terribly fast. It’s not a roller coaster of ups and downs; it is a roller coaster going the same direction as all life, just a hell of a lot steeper then the rest of the track.

I am a different person than the person I was last week. Something happened, something changed during that time that changed me. I’m not talking about a big thing, I’m talking about something that’s probably ordinary that’s happening to me for the first time. Maybe somebody said something, maybe something ripped or bloomed. I’ve watched my peers change into completely different people since the year started. Unfortunately, it’s not always for the better.

I’m so grateful for my art. I use art the way that people now use cave paintings, to see how far we’ve come. Without art, my younger self would be a complete stranger, a different person, an unrelated species. I can look at photographs from a year ago, and suddenly I remember what I was thinking then, what I was feeling as the camera froze that expression forever, and I can see how far I’ve gone form there. I can read old letters to people, postcards, essays, secret diaries or whatever, and I am amazed by what has changed. I can leaf through old sketchbooks, and sometimes I try to draw an updated version of whatever I find. I thank my art for letting me not lose the bets parts of myself.

The Eatwell Farm

by Josie (’16)

I have worked for a farm called Eatwell Farm at the Ferry Building farmers market, held on Saturdays, for a year now. Eatwell Farm is a small, organic farm located in Dixon, California that produces a variety of products from body scrubs to eggs.

I got the job at the farmers market not only because my family has been friends with the farmer for a long time, but also because my brother and sister worked at the stand when they were in high school. Now that they have moved on to college, I get to fill in for them. I love working at the farmers market and I love Eatwell Farm.

Recently, the farmer, Nigel Walker, had expressed an interest in having a farm rap. So, over winter break, my siblings and I created the Eatwell Farm rap and gave it to Nigel as a Christmas Present. We are very proud of our creation:

Eatwell Farm…it’s all I think about
Let me tell you bout a place called Eatwell Farm
It’s certified organic so don’t be alarmed
And it’s run by a homie named Nigel Walker
He’s an awesome dude but a Facebook stalker
Always tryna set people up with a love that’s true
but that’s okay cause Eatwell Farm’s a great place to meet yo boo
we got cows and chickens 
and food that’s finger lickin’
and a horse and a pond 
and a real deep bond
with the bay area homies that invest in our CSA
that’s who the farm be workin for every single day
growin kholrabi and tomatoes
lavender and potatoes 
without harm in’ the Earth
We’re Eatwell farm dawg
and Dixon, California is our turf
EATWELL FARM that’s all i think about…
Jason’s growin out his hair soon it’s gonna be a mullet
homie don’t complain if we only got pullets
cause our eggs are the best, everybody knows it
the chickens live like kings
and that orange yolk shows it
and don’t get me started with those strawberries man
they the real bomb-diggity 
When yo chillin on the farm there ain’t no better offer
then kickin back in the sun with a Drinkwell softer
but watch yo back dawg
don’t make a mistake
if you ain’t careful the Walker twins gonna throw you in the lake
So dawg you might be askin,
Homie what’s a CSA?
well it’s community supported agriculture baby
and it’s A-OKAY
Dawg you must be cray-cray not to be in our CSA

What Do You Guys Even Do In Creative Writing?

by Olivia W. (’16)

This is a question I get asked a lot. Nobody ever asks, “What do you even do in band?” because that’s quite obvious, as well as “What do you even do in Visual?” or better yet, “What do you even do in Vocal?”

Nobody asks “what do you guys even do in Media?” or “What do you guys even do in Tech?” (Which I personally think are the most obscurely named departments.)

At SOTA, our departments are named for what they focus on. Band will play their instruments and Visual will conduct visual art and Vocal will be vocal and so on and so forth. Creative Writing is no exception to this rule of thumb.

Or maybe we are.

When I am asked this question or someone just wonders it out loud with no direct reference to me, someone in the vicinity will usually answer “I dunno, they just like, write all day.”

This wonderful misinformation has cleared the road for all of our highly amusing Creative Writing stereotypes. We drink tea all the time, read and write at every chance we get, are sadly underdeveloped and love poetry.

We do have a hot water boiler in class to make tea, I know for a fact that I write poems in math textbooks, and we did conduct poetry circles for a couple of weeks in CW1.

The stereotypes of Creative Writing aren’t a far throw from the truth. They are merely grossly bloated overblown romantic renditions of it.

What do we do in creative writing? Sometimes, we have deep, philosophical discussions. Sometimes we eat cupcakes. Sometimes we watch clips from awfully camp movies. Sometimes I have no idea what is happening.

Creative Writing changes day by day. I can tell you that we have a fall fiction unit, and then comes poetry, and we finish off with playwriting. I can tell you that we have Portfolio checks and Lit Reviews and three shows a year. I can tell you that Heather is our head and everyone loves Isaiah even though my freshman class has no clue who he is. I can tell you that on Friday we went to a Zen monastery and we won field day and that I know the names of everyone in my department and their grade but I cannot tell you what we do. It’s not because it’s a secret, it’s because so many things go on in my department I wouldn’t be able to give you the faintest clue in a novel.

Asking what we do in Creative Writing is like asking a mole what the ground tastes like. If you really wanted to know what the ground tasted like, you should take a bite yourself. Moles don’t eat dirt. They just swim in it.