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Inspired by greatness

Dear Editor:

For a high school student, there is no better public school to attend than Aspen High School due to the tremendous amount of support we are given from our community. We are frequently presented with unique opportunities and exciting possibilities. A couple of weeks ago, the esteemed author Pam Houston was brought to the school to teach the English classes for the day. This was made possible with private support through the Aspen Education Foundation, for they facilitated this wonderful learning opportunity.

When Pam Houston arrived, the entire room went silent enough to hear a phone vibrate. She carried with her the aura of a writer, a coffee in one hand and a pile of unorganized papers in the other. Houston taught a creative writing seminar in which she read little snippets from her upcoming novel, and we were assigned to write short stories of our own. The opportunity was relished by every student in the classroom. Meeting with Pam Houston was an incredible experience, for it opened my eyes to the challenges and thrills of becoming an author. As a student, it is nice to mix up the lesson plan every once in a while, and this creative seminar was the perfect way to take a break from the traditional English class. I am confident that I can speak not only for myself, but for the majority of the student body, when I express my thankfulness that we live in a community and go to a school that is so open to providing unique experiences for its students. It is not every day that you get to meet with one of today’s great writers, and our lesson with Pam Houston was one to remember.

Throughout my life, I have always had a passion for writing. While in the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted to be a writer, I would push the idea aside citing how unreasonable it was. However, I have met with four different authors in the last three weeks (Pam Houston, Firoozeh Dumas, Anita Shreve and Tobias Wolff), and my dream has been revived. Their influence on me has been life changing, for I have recently decided to begin a novel, something that I wouldn’t have thought without their teachings. This experience has changed my life, providing me with the basis to pursue writing as a career.

Michael Schwartz

Aspen


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