Ninth period creative writing: Unexpected girl power


Olivia Buckel, Senior Editor-in-Chief

Beginning on Sep. 13, 2022, first semester creative writing began at the newly coed Cathedral Prep. Eleven students were originally enrolled, including two boys. However, by the end of the week, only nine girls remained. The class consists of one freshman, one sophomore, three juniors, and four senior girls assigned with writing, on average, one creative work per week. These creative works consist of sonnets, plays, short stories, and many more.

In addition, the class is structured to be almost exclusively workshop-based. This means that the creative work was explained and assigned at the beginning of the week and the rest of the time during the week was used exclusively for brainstorming, writing, advising, editing, and revising.

Between the abnormality of having an all-girl class at the newly coed Prep, and the atypical opportunity of having a workshop class, both the students and the teacher had a unique opportunity to experience a class different from the rest of their classes during the day. With the second quarter coming to a close, students have started to reflect on their semester and put together a final portfolio. With this has come conversations on how the girls felt about having an all-girl class compared to coed, as well as how teacher Mr. Hubert felt teaching his first all-girl class.

Senior Hailey Sliker actually had the opportunity to take creative writing her freshman year at Villa and really enjoyed it, so she had very high expectations for her senior year. She ended up enjoying the relaxed tone of creative writing during the last period of her day and how the class focused on workshopping.

“My favorite piece we were assigned was to write a 10-minute play,” Hailey said. “I loved this one because I took a very creative approach to it and I was able to write about literally anything I wanted. I chose to do mystery, which was very fun to write. It was also super fun to record an audio recording of it with my family. There were many laughs.”

Creative writing was Hailey’s only all-girl class this semester, and it definitely felt different than her other classes.

“Having an all-girl class was so nice after dealing with loud boys all day,” Hailey said. “I would not say that it felt like Villa did, but it did feel a lot more comfortable and it was a nice change of speed for my last period of the day. I really enjoyed having free thought in the class.”

Junior Josephine Dufala enjoyed creative writing as well, especially the free range over her own writing and having the time and space to express her creativity.

“I especially enjoyed the poetry section of our class,” Josephine said. “One of my favorite poems that I wrote was about my car and how I ran into a mailbox. It was a very silly topic to write a poem about, but I enjoyed turning something that stressed me out at the time into a fun story that calmed me down. That’s a big reason why I find writing so therapeutic. If I have emotions that I feel I cannot express in words, I turn to writing to get my feelings out, and this class was the perfect outlet to do that.”

Josephine feels that creative writing was definitely her calmest and quietest class of the day and that may partially be connected to the all-girl environment.

“I wouldn’t say it felt strange, because I never thought to myself ‘It’s so different without the boys,’” Josephine said. “It did give me flashbacks to being at Villa though, especially when we had free time to talk with one another. I enjoyed having a smaller all-girl class because I felt that we were all willing to help each other out when needed, and we also had a closer connection with one another.”

Creative writing teacher Mr. Hubert is grateful for the opportunity he had to teach a group of only girls for the first time and how calming and motivated this specific group of girls was.

“I wonder if it was so calm because it was a group of girls or because it was this specific group of girls,” Mr. Hubert said. “I don’t know the answer to that. Either way, we had a great group of very motivated young women. It felt like they all wanted to be in this class instead of being placed in a class that they didn’t want to be. Everyone wrote about really interesting topics and I think the class achieved exactly what it was meant to for these students.”