Literature breaks out in middle of campus

A student stops to pen his answer to "Why I Write" during the National Day on Writing event on GCU's campus.

Photos by Lydia P. Robles/Slideshow

Public displays of writing (PDWs) brazenly appeared at mid-campus Thursday. Words were embraced everywhere, on sidewalk with chalk or on sticky-note, six-word autobiographies:

I, overuse commas, way too much.

Words only an English major could love. In fact, it was the Grand Canyon University English Department showing off and encouraging others to display wit and wisdom on the Promenade for the National Day on Writing, created by the National Council of Teachers of English to celebrate writing in all its forms.

Students took a moment to reflect and put down words on GCU's Promenade.

English professor Kimbel Westerson enjoys the day “when people are interesting in writing just for fun,” she said. “I think they surprise themselves when they are offered something that’s not graded. ‘It’s OK, just do your thing.’”

When passersby were asked to continue a story started by others on a large board, students' creative juices and absurdity flowed. The collective story started with someone lost (the origins of so many great stories), and the search led to seeking vengeance, on sale for $19.99 at Costco, which wasn’t very private, Christian or affordable.

The six-word autobiographies on display provided inspiration.

But less cheeky moods were struck with sidewalk chalk, not just from Professional Writing majors: “There is not enough space in my head.”

Or on sticky notes: “Give yourself the love you deserve.”

Sophomore Jenna Casey penned that autobiography and pinned it to the display board because it’s become something of a motto for her. She has her own writing page on social media, “just to get the words out I can’t vocalize, especially when you’re going through a hard time. And it might help someone else out.”

She just described writing. And it’s why she wants to be an English teacher.

To share and read words that help each other remember we are all different ingredients of a soup, sometimes blended in just six words, such as:

After all that, I’m still alive.

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.

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Related content:

GCU News: Students take note of National Day on Writing

GCU News: National Day on Writing makes the words count

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Bible Verse

(Moses addressed Israel, reminding them of God's deliverance of them from Egypt, and His commands given to them:) "You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out (from bondage and delivered you.). The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear." (Deuteronomy 7:19)

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