Writer-ly Relationships

writers-blockDA’s writing department flourishes a plethora of interesting relationships. We spend four years getting into small groups and dissecting each other’s personal writing. As each year progresses, said writing blossoms into embodiments of the writer. We learn to pull inspiration and authenticity from our actual lives. Then, we go to class and sit idly by while class members peer into a sliver of who we are. On the page this calls to be a highly intimate experience. Yet over these years, I’ve watched us all leave the writing classroom and hardly even share eye contact. On the page, it would seem that these people reading into my life would be the closest friends. Writers, though, don’t follow societal norms. We have to go against the grain.

Instead, we writers associate in more subtle ways. We all walk around on campus as if a part of a secret society. As if we’re all too busy being the quiet observer in the corner -pooling ideas for the next short story- to acknowledge one another. Whenever I’d pass by a fellow writer, my lips would give a small smile accompanied by a quick head nod. This year, I’ve greatly stepped out of my comfort zone. Writing has taught me that nothing is learned if risks aren’t taken. Maybe it’s senior year blues, maybe nostalgia, but I’ve put in a lot more effort to form an actual relationship with these incredible people. Not a single trace of regret has surfaced since.

In the coming months, we’ll all go our separate ways. Inevitability at its finest. But these unique perspectives that I’ve sat beside for the last four years aren’t about to leave. As I continue pursuing writing, I’ll always refer to my original, and most cherished critics.

-Mariah Abshire, Editor- in- Chief


Senior Year

r-HIGH-SCHOOL-COLLEGE-COSTS-large570Being a senior, it’s often hard to think of the last time something was not beginning. A new test, a college application, a new email, etc. But I have recently been trying to teach myself that beginnings are not always troublesome; they happen for a reason. I was recently accepted to the college of my choice. I was attempting to create a password for my new account with them. I had so much trouble with it that I had to call the help desk. I was so entirely frustrated and ready to give up, but the girl on the other line was kind enough to set my password for me. It was a two minute phone call. So, you are asking why I am telling you this? Because it took me that long to figure out how lucky I am to be able to go to college. There I was, sitting on my nice couch, in my warm home, complaining to no end about something out of my control. I had to stop and think about my life this year. Have you ever counted how many times a day you complain about anything at all? For me, the number would be astronomical. I have decided to do more with my days as a senior than complain constantly about trivial things. I will complain about math tests for sure (that cannot be avoided), but I will try to focus on all of the beginnings that my senior year has brought to me. I can’t wait to graduate and start the next part of my education, but for now, I want to take each day as it comes. I want to focus on the opportunities that I receive and I want to learn to be more thankful for what I learn from this year.

-Sarah Buckman, Editor-in-Chief 

Coffee House

Coffee House posterFor me, senior year is a list of count downs: counting down to my eighteenth birthday, to college deadlines and shining most teasingly away, of course, counting down to graduation. In this current world of projects and deadlines, of feeling my toes creep towards the finish line, I can’t help but still feel sentimental towards a few things.

Tonight, the Douglas Anderson Writing Department is hosting its annual Coffee House. It’s known for the unique collaboration opportunity between all arts areas and its determination to showcase original, student created work. It will be my last as an official member of the school.

The beautiful thing about Coffee House is that not only does the show change every year, both in writing and style, but the way that you as a person experience it changes as well. My freshman and sophomore years were marked as a performer, not of my own pieces but of other people’s. I stood backstage, eavesdropping on masterful writers practicing, borrowed someone’s giant, sweaty gray shirt for a prop. I sat on the floor between acts, trying to remember lines that weren’t mine and watching local directors spit out instructions.

I don’t remember anything from my Junior Coffee House, regrettably. I may have been on the bleachers, or at a table, sitting by one friend or another. The only thing I cared about was that the One-Girl-I-Hated wasn’t preforming, and that the pieces were taking me places I didn’t want –but needed- to go.

This year, things have changed again. As a member of the Elan staff, I am behind the scenes. I have sold tickets, painted doors, been pushed past my comfort level again and again to help make Coffee House happen. The entire production feels more meaningful than ever before, not just because of the glare of senior nostalgia, but because I now appreciate every single aspect of the process.

Some things stay the same, of course. There will be a theme (this year it is doors and keys), teachers will be thanked and coffee will be served. Due to the construction on our building, we’re going back to my middle school for the show. It feels a little like driving to an old neighborhood and vaguely recollecting checking that yellow mailbox, or drawing on that old porch. In a way, it hints at an even earlier tradition.

Next year, if I’m in town, I see myself coming back to watch Coffee House happen. It’ll probably feel foreign, a little like trying on a t-shirt half a size too small, it also could feel like a crop top that suddenly fits just right. That’s the thing about tradition, it lets you hold on to the best feeling of things, and create new experiences as you go along.

-Savannah Thanscheidt, Web Editor


If you’re interested in attending, this event will be held at LaVilla School of the Arts from 7-9pm. Tickets will be 7 dollars.