Roosevelt Writes, a writing program created and orchestrated by David Grosskopf, just took place in all Language Arts classes. By combining two different LA classes to share and explore different writing ideas, the LA teachers hoped to expand our ideas about writing and get feedback and the opportunity for discussion with other classes’ students. Roosevelt Writes brought together all types of Language Arts students, mixing seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen, and all levels of LA classes. All of these classes gathered to discuss a prompt put together by the teachers, and subsequently write a response, which they’d then share with their class. This year, the focus of the prompt was social media and how it impacts our lives, with the prompt containing an art piece and a quote. With a wide range of possible interpretations of both pieces of the prompt, I could see a lot of variety in the types of creative responses that students in my class came up with, from fictional stories inspired by the subject material, to anecdotal scenarios, to debates about the merits or harmful effects of social media. When writing our pieces inspired by this prompt, the teachers made it clear that there were no rules nor requirements for what we came up with. This lent a great sense of freedom to everyone’s writing.
However, some students didn’t particularly enjoy the prompt they were given. Rose Bryers, a senior in Edmund Trangen’s class, says that this year’s prompt “wasn’t her favorite,” mostly because social media was already such a big talking point in general among students and teachers already, and that there were already multiple in-class discussions on that subject, so it wasn’t a topic that sparked much creativity. Bryers expressed satisfaction with last year’s prompt, saying that while she didn’t really agree with the quote, she found a creative opportunity to “write a really good rant about why his quote was really dumb, in my opinion.” She did appreciate the discussion aspect of it, saying that she enjoyed the discussion more than the writing itself, because the conversation broadened her views and brought up things she hadn’t thought about before.
Phillip Solheim, a junior in Adam Karl’s class, felt that Roosevelt Writes brings the community together in a positive way. He was happy to “interact with different classes and hear people we haven’t heard before, sharing their ideas.” Solheim also thought that the prompt was good, citing its relevance to the lives of high schoolers, and said that he enjoyed hearing other people present their writing. He did find that it was unfortunate that so many students had to be in the classroom at once, which led to difficulty hearing others during the prompt discussion.
Every writer knows the value of discussion and feedback from others when it comes to writing, and thanks to Grosskopf’s Roosevelt Writes program, everyone can get diverse feedback on their creative process.