Let me start with a few rough statistics.
My first Writer’s Den meeting, in the fall of 2010,* was in a small room in Ackerman Union with no more than eight people and several untouched boxes of pizza, as Angelica recalls.
For contrast: in the spring of 2014, I sat in a wing of Powell Library with over 30 people who had consumed every bit of pizza I’d ordered. And that wasn’t even everybody. (Sorry the pizza ran out.)
Brace yourselves, I’m gonna jump into some math. In economics, there’s a magic “g” referring to the general growth rate of the economy. Every economic policy maker wants to see that g get large and stable.
There are a lot of things I could say about my four years in this club – and that’s probably what makes a recap so difficult – but if I could boil it down to one word, it’d be the g-word, growth. It’s most clearly illustrated in the example above. More members. More volunteering sites, plenty more school students impacted. And on top of that, each of you folks had a story to tell about coming to college, coming to this bear-with-a-pen thing.
As I’m told, the Writer’s Den used to be a pretty simple thing, just to head north to Columbus Middle School to teach a single class creative writing. No complete curriculum, no formal events, not even funding (!). From service to adventures into LA to the number of The Room viewings, the group has grown in every which way, and it’s been a pleasure to oversee it.
And it’s impossible to separate myself from that process. It’s where I found a niche during a rough freshman year, where I discovered a love for community service, where I went through that weird I-am-the-Batman phase, where I heard my work taken seriously, where I learned leadership is a lot harder than the buzzword makes it sound, where I found love for a person, where I met so many amazing funny (ok, hilarious) people, my people, whom I found to go through the very same struggles while sharing the very same passion.
My suggestion? Make the most of it. Grow every which way. And keep writing.
* I was off by one year originally. Man, that is far back.