Saturday, July 4, 2020

BR Students Express Themselves!

By: Morgan Mansfield/Co-Editor in Chief

As many students can probably agree, writing essay after essay about a topic you are not interested in, or analyzing a book you didn’t really care for, can become quite boring and mentally draining.  Wouldn’t it be better if you could get your creative juices flowing and write something connected to you?  A number of students were able to do just that in the new high school elective offered at Blue Ridge for the 2019-2020 school year called creative writing.

Throughout the year, students taking the new writing course have been able to express their creative minds by writing unique short stories for a grade, but for English teacher Mrs. Aimee Krause, this just wasn’t enough.  Why let those amazing stories go to waste after receiving an A?  Krause, along with her students, wanted to share their creativity with others, which is why they decided to create Expressions.

Expressions is a blog created by and linked to the Raider Reader website where creative writing students share their stories with the public.  According to Krause, “Mrs. Davenport (Raider Reader Advisor) was the inspiration to start Expressions.  Once she brought up the idea, I was in love with the idea of the creative writing students expressing their works for others to read.”

Expressions is filled with stories for people of all age levels, as the students write stories for whatever audience they see fit.  “Some of the poetry the students have written would be great in a nursery book filled with tongue twisters and adventure in a small amount of words.”

Along with the variation of age levels, there are many different types of stories published on Expressions, along with clearly created outlines of what could become a novel someday.  Just to name a few, the students have written personal narratives, three-act structure stories, a hero’s journey story, a story that starts in the middle of action, and are currently working on a story that ends with a cliff hanger.

I was not able to take the course due to conflicts in my schedule, but after learning so much about the course during my interview with Krause, I already know what my favorite type of story would have been, “Fractured Fairy Tales.”  Students were to take the plot line and characters from a traditional story, such as Jack and the Bean Stalk, and create a derived story with a twist.  Krause compared this assignment to Hoodwinked, where Little Red Riding Hood has a grandmother who is an adventurist.

Just to give an insight on the creative energy of the course as a whole, Krause loves teaching creative writing, naming it her most enjoyable class of the day, and believes her students would agree.  “There are so many possibilities in a classroom where students are able to just tangle words together as they choose, to create a whole new world filled with just about anything.”

Her year of instructing creative writing has been so enjoyable for her, she hopes the course will continue to be offered in the future, and would love to do a creative writing II for students who would like to continue writing.

With what you’ve heard about Expressions, I hope you decide to read their work and encourage others to do so as well.  “We have such talented writers in our class.  The students are able to create characters and situations that are so unique.  Each writing assignment is completely different from the next and each time, these writers has amazed me as I know they will to others.”

Click here to go to Expressions.

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Morgan Mansfield
Morgan Mansfield is a third year journalism student, taking on her senior year of high school.  She spends most of her free time singing, playing, or writing music.  Fascinated by the human mind, Morgan plans to obtain a degree in Clinical Psychology and become a therapist to help people work through their troubles.

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