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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

“Feed Your Muse” at Centennial High School

National Writing Day celebrated by Advanced Composition students
Photography by Hannah Kim and Yeseo Lim
Photography by Hannah Kim and Yeseo Lim

In 2009, the National Council of Teachers of English established National Writing Day as a day to encourage people of all ages and abilities to take part in the joy of writing. At Centennial High School, Corey O’Brien’s Advanced Composition class celebrates the holiday through student classroom takeovers. 

Photography taken by Hannah Kim

Every year, O’Brien sends out an email to all the teachers in the building, inviting them to participate. His students then spend time meeting with the teachers and creating lesson plans that incorporate creative writing to teach their class curriculum. This year’s theme was “Feed Your Muse,” reflecting on the idea of finding inspiration and the fuel of your creativity.

“Generally, teenagers aren’t comfortable sharing things with people… There’s hesitation in that vulnerable space,” O’Brien stated. “[So] National Writing Day kind of became a vehicle to do that.” It’s a creative process of welcoming the practice of writing to all students, writers and non-writers. 

This year, approximately 17 students participated in the class takeovers. “[It] felt good to engage other students in creative writing,” junior Yehji Hwang replied. Hwang took over five different subjects, ranging from Chamber Choir to AP US History, and enjoyed creating various lesson plans that challenged her own creativity.  “I’ve liked creative writing for a while now, but didn’t quite have an avenue for it,” she added. Advanced Composition gave Hwang an opportunity to improve her writing skills without having to sacrifice academics. 

While Hwang has always enjoyed writing, Senior Alex Raney chose to take the class thanks to a combination of pressure from alumni and the knowledge that O’Brien would be teaching it. However, over the course of the past few months, he has truly grown to love the process of writing. “Before beginning the class I only wrote when I needed to,” he reflected. “But now I use writing as a tool rather than an activity.” Through the Advanced Composition class takeovers, National Writing Day has allowed students to spread the gift of creative writing, showing others how this tool can benefit everyone.


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About the Contributors
Hannah Kim, Copy Editor
Yeseo Lim, Copy Editor