Yesenia and her classmates visited the AWM in November and participated in the Write In program for middle and high school students. Write In combines the unique experience of a museum visit with specially-designed curricula that aims to increase students’ knowledge about American writers as well as boost their confidence as writers. Since the museum opened in May, we have welcomed nearly 1,500 students from throughout Chicagoland. If you are interested in bringing your class, or sharing this opportunity with a teacher, you can read more here.

Everyone makes mistakes, even writers. When I sat in the chair in front of the typewriter and started typing away, I ended up making a mistake. I began looking for a back space key. I didn’t find one and I asked one of my Scholar Coaches, “How did you erase the mistakes?” He said, “Oh, writers would have white out or simply start all over again.” I was shocked, start all over?! It’s completely unimaginable.  How could you work on a piece of writing for hours or days knowing that if you make one common mistake you’d have to restart that whole page!?

Then it hit me, if we never made mistakes how would we learn from them in order to improve our writing? Most new ideas or inventions come from previous mistakes. It caused me to reflect on times that I’ve made mistakes and how, for a moment, I would usually feel like giving up.

In the end, I no longer felt like giving up and was amazed by the process of writing.

However, there’s always a small voice in my head saying “Making mistakes means new opportunities” and I’d always smile afterwards. In the end, I no longer felt like giving up and was amazed by the process of writing. Although I ended up with something completely different than what I started with, I appreciated the opportunity to make a mistake, revise my writing, and continue to create something new. I believe the writers featured in the American Writers Museum knew this. They knew that making a mistake was a possibility, but they also knew there would be an opportunity for growth and improvement. No matter what mistake you make, if you walk past the negative you’ll find a clear and bright road ahead filled with new opportunities. Making mistakes is what makes us human and united.

-Yesenia Sanchez ’20
New Tech High @ Zion-Benton East
Schuler Scholar
Date of Field Trip: Nov. 1st, 2017

Write In is supported by the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Christopher and Christina Combe.