In three short months at TT Patton, I have come to understand just how much untapped potential lies in pen and paper. I’ve officially been deemed a “pen snob” for my newfound inclination towards high-end writing instruments. I adore my Lamy AlStar Fountain Pen, recently installed with a converter so that I can use well ink rather than pre-loaded cartridges. I’ve relished in writing since grade school, and in attempting to write well, so a passion for poetry, and even for penning essays is far from new to me, but this summer, I was granted the responsibility of sharing my passion with 4th-7th graders, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
Some entered through the doors of the shop with eyes aglow at the thought of their own fountain pens with which they would compose short stories and journal, and others walked in shyly, with assumptions that they had been brought here to improve lacking writing skills. Regardless of the group dynamic the first ten minutes of camp displayed, I can say with confidence, that each and every young author and poet left the Writer’s Room smiling and discussing the fairy tales, poems, and mysteries that were written into their journals that day, and exiting with a high-five for “Miss Katie.” Each camp came to a close with tiny paper take-out boxes, which we stuffed with slips of written encouragement for each student, and read aloud to listen to the praise every camper hand-wrote for each other.
I cannot accurately express here in my summer blog just how powerful this experience has been, simply to be able to observe the transformation each of TT Patton’s writers took on throughout the weeks, let alone to have been an active participant in creating these programs. I can, however, make a point of how grateful I am to have been given a little corner of the world devoted singlehandedly to each of the beautiful things associated with the handwritten word. From letters to old friends written on personal stationery, to the concrete poems our campers painted onto canvasses, to paging through the journals left on my desk each day, brimming with tales of mystery, fantasy, and poetry, I am genuinely moved by what each 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 year old turned his or her pen and paper into here at TT Patton. Our incredible Write Under the Stairs camps would not have been possible without Theresa T. Patton or Deb Brown Bryant, so consider this last blog my public gratitude to them. Thanks for keeping up with our summer happenings, and we can’t wait to see you writing with us again next summer.
All the best,