why my students write [round 3]

If you have been reading this blog very long you may have noticed that this has become an annual event. I started this with my first class, and this is the third year I have given it a try. Every year I have been impressed; every year my students have inspired me.

Year one: click here
Year two: click here

Each year I simply give my students this prompt: I write because...
And then I turn them loose. And they give me the true, raw response to that question.

Thess kids long to be heard.
Please listen.

Why Mrs. Irwin’s LA II students write:

I write for the fun, the joy, and the need. I need to write my ideas and dreams like a baby needs milk, or anything needs air. Ever since I learned to write, I have been writing. If I do not write I become sullen and, eventually, withdrawn. The safe haven that is a pen and piece of paper can be found anywhere. Growing up around noise, I slowly lost my vision—I have begun to find silence in writing. It seems unlikely I would be sane without the ability to write.

I write because…

- each day I take another step in life and feel it should be on paper for everyone to read

- the sun comes up and then goes down every day

- the sound of a pencil on paper is like a song playing joyous music that sets your heart at peace

- the words that go down on paper bring me into another world; a world of freedom

- words are a miracle

- I want to show the world I can

- my mom and dad don’t know how I feel

- I like it

- I don’t want to think about what it would be like if I couldn’t write

- I know it’s right

- my thoughts are important

- my thoughts need to be said

- people need to know how I feel

- I want something to show for myself

- I mean something

- I want to be loved

- it seems like I’m the only one who understands

- every day is the same

- my life isn’t all that easy

- the hurt is too much sometimes

- I’m crazy

- life is numb

- I need it

- it’s fun

- I’m trying to come alive

- I’m a beast

- I hurt, and writing makes me happy

- no one listens to me

- I want people to know that I’m not just a quiet and shy person; there is someone else behind that shell

- I want someone to be impressed with me

- my real dad wants nothing to do with me

- I’m not perfect

- I want to have dreams

- I want other people to see a change in me

- it is my happy place

- it makes others smile

- I could change my life

- it’s relaxing for my mind

- I can tell a story when there is no one else to tell

- it’s my only escape

- I have a fire burning deep inside me that won’t burn out

- once the pencil hits the paper I can’t control it

- my life depends on it

- my singing is bad

- my heart tells me to

- I am different than everyone else

- I have a say in the matter

- we only live this life once

- the more I write the more I open up

- the world depends on it

- I have to say something

- I take one step at a time

-, just like hunting and fishing, it is so fun to catch something new with my words

- I care what I have to say even if no one else does

- if I don’t my thoughts will drive me crazy; if I do I can escape them

- if I didn’t no one would know who I really am and what I’m actually thinking and feeling

- if I don’t I will begin to cry because there is no other way for my feelings to be released

I write because…

- this could be my last breath

- I want people to know what it feels like to be alive

- I want something for people to hold onto

- I can share things with a piece of paper and it won’t judge me

- sometimes writing will give me the right answer

- it gives me the chance to get to know myself better

- I want people to feel what I felt

- I need to write about issues at home and what I think about everyday

- I feel used and stepped on by people around me

- what I have to say is different than what you have to say

- I have to out-do my sister

- I am lonely and the notebook is my company

- I am not afraid to express my true self when I write

- I feel an urge, a compulsion to reach for the pencil and paper

- it is my place to speak, rather than listen

- it is a hiding place; a sanctuary I can go to and feel okay

- it lets me live in a new way

- I want to be different

- my emotions get the best of me

- I am happy

- my dad is not there to talk to

- I’m a klutz

- I’m changing

- I sometimes feel ignored

- I miss the people who have left me

- I want to be the voice to someone

- I love to make up stories

- I have something to say

- I love my family

- I want to be the girl little girls look up to

- I want the world to be a better place

- it makes me feel like I can do anything I want

- I want to be the girl people will never be mad at

- there are no boundaries

- it’s the best kind of therapy there is

- I want to be recognized for something

- I can live in the world I create

- I keep things bottled up and I’m afraid to let them out

- I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing or hurt someone’s feelings

- it helps me face my fears

- I feel loved when I write

- I hurt

- I want people to understand that I have feelings too

- I’m shy

- I am important

- it’s a challenge

- it doesn’t hurt

- it’s an art

- I can make a song

- I want others to see stuff how I see stuff

- I have no one to talk to

- it helps my journey

- it makes me free

- I’ve been hurt and healed

- I love someone

- I’m alone

- I love and hate life

- I have nightmares

- I miss them

- I want to know the world

- life is short

- I don’t get along with everyone

- I feel ignored

- I feel incredible

- I’m unstoppable

- I feel others’ pain

- I am normal

- it helps me realize what I have

- I love to laugh or cry, or sometimes both at the same time

- it shows that I’m different than others

- it means something to me

- I feel wanted

- I want to scream

- I feel all eyes on me

- these boots can only take it for so long

- it hurts to cry sometimes

- I have questions but can’t ask them

- I’m an idiot and believe I’m the best writer out there

- I know who I am

- I have lost

- I have the right

- I have an imagination in my head that just won’t leave

I write…

- to put emotions on paper so I won’t show them in real life

- so I don’t cry

- to fly

- to feel something

- to get it all off my chest

- to make my feelings known

- to stand up for the things that bother me the most

- to heal the hole in my heart

- so I can start a revolution

- to relieve my stress

- so I can tell the world how I cope with all the changes I’ve gone through

- so my parents will actually be impressed with what I do

- to share my memories

- to get my anger out

- to get better at it

- to hear from the past and the future

- to expand my horizons

- to keep my imagination flowing

- to sort through my life

- to take away the sad facts

- to change my attitude

- to make a difference

- so I don’t feel so lost

- to have fun

- to create something I want

- to prove a point

- to confuse you

- to have something to look back on when I’m old and frail, because I will have forgotten

- to study my own improvement

- to tell a secret

- to find a friend—one that offers more room for me because she’s interested, friendly and can’t beat me

- to fill up a page

- to feel human

- to make my day better

- to be creative

- to remind myself that there is a ‘before’ and ‘after’ to my story

- to be somebody

- to show others I exist

- to share the story others couldn’t

- so I won’t explode on the people around me

- so I can inspire others

- to ask questions

- to feel alive

- so I can be remembered as someone


Mose said...

I really love when you share these comments. They are so much more brilliant than I would ever expect.

Kali said...

"just like hunting & fishing" -- not words you were likely to hear in your old job :-) Love it!

Aunt Linda said...

I think they write because they have an awesome teacher who INSPIRES them! Love you!

Pamela said...

I write because I cannot. It takes a good teacher to inspire this type of participation.

bridger said...

Taken as a whole, these kids have expressed why we do most any creative outlet.... music, art, writing. They have really captured every angle of the meaning of "expression." Thanks for highlighting it for the rest of us, Kelsie! Keep up the good work!