Society of Writers: Virtual Edition

Freshman Share Stories During DEN, Discuss Inspiration

Reading+out+loud%2C+freshman+Frances+Tran+presents+her+story+to+a+small+audience+during+English+teacher+Sarah+Alarcon%27s+DEN+on+Jan.+15.+After+the+students+spend+weeks+working+on+their+short+stories%2C+Alarcon+invited+other+teachers+and+staff+members+to+her+DEN+so+the+students+could+present+their+hard+work.+%E2%80%9CSometimes+we+get+stuck+in+our+subject+area+at+school%2C+but+many+of+us+are+interested+in+other+academic+areas%2C%E2%80%9D+Alarcon+said.+%E2%80%9CThis+gave+admin.+a+chance+to+have+some+student+interaction%2C+which+they+love%2C+and+it+gave+teachers+an+opportunity+to+enjoy+a+different+subject+area+from+the+one+they+teach.+It%27s+also+exciting+when+teachers+and+coaches+see+their+students+excelling+in+other+areas+at+school.%E2%80%9D

Photo by Morgan Kasel

Reading out loud, freshman Frances Tran presents her story to a small audience during English teacher Sarah Alarcon’s DEN on Jan. 15. After the students spend weeks working on their short stories, Alarcon invited other teachers and staff members to her DEN so the students could present their hard work. “Sometimes we get stuck in our subject area at school, but many of us are interested in other academic areas,” Alarcon said. “This gave admin. a chance to have some student interaction, which they love, and it gave teachers an opportunity to enjoy a different subject area from the one they teach. It’s also exciting when teachers and coaches see their students excelling in other areas at school.”

Morgan Kasel, Assistant Editor

After months of editing and perfecting their short stories, students in Sarah Alarcon’s English I pre-AP classes had the opportunity to present their hard work to a small audience of staff members during the last few weeks.

“The students’ stories were so creative and well-written that I thought it’d be fun to share them beyond our virtual classroom,” Alarcon said. “I emailed our admin. team before the holiday break and everyone was on board to listen when we got back.”

Students began working on their stories in November. Before the break, students shared a scene with their class and then proceeded to vote on the writer that had the most entertaining and well-written story. After each writer was selected, Alarcon set up DEN times on Jan.8, 14 and 15 and sent out a google sheet where the administration could sign up to listen to the students read their scenes.

“Sometimes we get stuck in our subject area at school, but many of us are interested in other academic areas,” Alarcon said. “This gave admin. a chance to have some student interaction, which they love, and it gave teachers an opportunity to enjoy a different subject area from the one they teach. It’s also exciting when teachers and coaches see their students excelling in other areas at school.”

Inspired by winter break and Christmas, freshman Frances Tran chose to focus on a child-like adventure rather than a more serious topic for her story. She said that she enjoyed presenting in front of a small audience, especially after spending many weeks working on her story.

“For certain things, I get nervous presenting, but I felt relatively confident and happy with my story,” Tran said. “I didn’t feel anxious or nervous when presenting because I had put a lot of effort into it, so why not show it off.”

Freshman Isabel Conde de Frankenberg also read her story during DEN. Her story follows two teens, both struggling with tragic backgrounds, that end up meeting and becoming friends on a train. She said that while presenting had been scary, she was excited to share her story.

“The thing that inspired me to write about this topic was my mom and [I’s] love for trains,” Conde de Frankenberg said. “The whole story takes place on the train. Another thing that inspired me is my love for adventure and friendship because it’s important to have both and be able to [have an adventure] with someone you enjoy.”

While this was the first year that Alarcon had offered this opportunity to her students, she said that she hopes to provide a way for all of her students to share their stories in the future.

“I’m hoping that students felt honored that their peers selected their scene to be read, and they enjoyed the experience of reading their work to a mostly adult audience,” Alarcon said. “Next time, I hope to find a way for every student to share a piece of their work.”