What is Scary

Writers in the Schools

By Rachel Kessler, WITS Writer-in-Residence

This fall, I have been a writer in residence at Washington Middle School, in Seattle’s Central District. Inside the school’s deceptively low-slung building, approximately 1,200 students who reflect the ethnic, cultural and economic diversity of Seattle move between classes through labyrinthine hallways that always smell faintly of donuts (Franz bakery churns them out next door). Navigating these bustling halls, I am greeted by friendly shouts of, “MS RACHEL!” and “POETRY LADY!” Even students who have no idea who I am kindly offer to help me find my way to a remote portable when I look lost, which is often. My own experience of middle school was one of terror and angst – I vividly remember being bullied and writing a sad poem (anonymously, of course) on the girl’s bathroom wall. All these years later I am astounded by the warm, trusting atmosphere of the…

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