merakiCreate the things you wish existed.  In the case of the creative writing
class at Dripping Springs High School, this means the students are using different
forms of writing mediums such as stories, poems, and everything in between, to
create works that they feel the world is missing.

“[The creative writing class] was started last year by Katie Eyberg who did a wonderful job in getting the program established, and what it is and what we want
to be is a place where writers have an environment that they feel like they can
create in and explore without being judged and push themselves to be better and to
give them some tools to be able to do that,” Crain said.

When Ms. Eyberg stopped teaching at the school at the end of last year, she
left the class in the very capable hands of Coach/Mr. Crain.  He has big plans in
store for the class this year and in future years.  It is our pleasure to share
with everyone what is currently and will be happening for this phenomenal class.

“[I bring to the table] more than anything, my imagination.  Just coming at things in a different way, but also having that creative impulse to want to create
something and share that with other people.  I enjoy writing.  I wrote all through
college.  I was doing newspaper and yearbook in my high school career before
jumping into TV.  It’s been nice to come back to it in this way.  I write and I
enter different contests with my writing.  [I just] want to give them a like minded
person who kind of shares that interest and also has a little experience where I
can guide them and say hey this is where you can go to find resources, this is
where you can go to get better, here are people who have done it, that are
successful, and here is what they’ve done” Crain said.

It isn’t a regular english class, and cannot be taken in place of an english
class, but it goes deeper into the subjects that are only briefly touched on.
These are the parts that the writers love the most.

“It’s a break from the english classes where you have to, you know, produce
hard concrete detail evidence, and I think because we have so much variety in the
class, it has something for everybody; whether you like poetry, short stories,
novels, we’ll be doing screenplay for the next six weeks.  I think because of the
variety, because of the freedom, it’s just a slightly different look on it that I
think kids can find appealing.  And we make compromises in here, I’ll give them
freedom to write, but every now and then I’ll tell them hey you need to write this
type of story or these are the pages I’m expecting you to turn in,” Crain said.

The class has a weekly updated website called DSMeraki.weebly.com where some of their poems and short stories are available to read, such as:

Lovely by Miranda McShan

Flowers on her dress

They’re soft and light on pink silk

But she can’t see that

She sees violence and revenge

And bruised knees and scars and lace.

Coach Crain has also confirmed that there will definitely be a literary magazine, otherwise known as The Meraki, coming out with the yearbook again; a compilations of their best poems and short stories from the school year.

“We are looking at doing an open mic night on November the 8th [and making it a regular thing] in the library, and it is open to everyone and it’s free. So yeah there’s a lot of stuff going on, and I’m really proud of our kids,” Crain said.

Their big, long term plan for this semester is a cross curricular/department project.

“Photography is helping us, dance is helping us, theater, theater tech, and foreign language, everyone’s been involved. In the very first six weeks the kids wrote some poems, and we took the top ten from each class and put them together in a packet. And gave them all to different teachers who said they were interested in working with our poems. So we gave them to theater and what theater did was they read the poems and created a little dramatic piece revolving around the theme and the tone of our poetry. Art got to pick their poems and they drew a picture that represented what they thought the poem was about. Photography did the same thing, everyone took still shots of what they thought the symbolism in the poetry was. Foreign language is going to translate them; welding is going to make something that symbolizes the poem. I need to credit Tracy Neef, because it was really her idea; she said hey I have this idea, do you want to do it? I said absolutely, and it just grew into this really cool thing that a lot of people are going to get to work on, and it all starts and end with our words, which is really cool for our kids,” Crain said.

There is a bunch planned for creative writing, and everyone is encouraged to take a look at what this class produces, or even join in on the action. Writing is just another way to express one’s self, and Coach Crain is fully prepared to teach anyone who wants to learn.

“If I can continue to look for opportunities to have our kids’ works out and about with school, or online, or in a lit mag; however we can kind of grow our brand, I am more than willing to do it and [I] have a lot of excitement about it,” Crain said.

Written by Giselle Galletti