Room 1022

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 18:52 -- gsc2020

Freshman year is terrifying. 

Your friend’s older siblings told you your friends would leave you, 

your teachers fail you,

your upperclassmen hate you. 

But still, you walk into the school building on that first day and you walk into that first classroom, halfway down the hall.

Room 1022. 

It doesn’t look like much, but English had always been your favorite subject. 

The room was strange. 

Desks that were supposed to form pin-straight lines from the front to the back instead formed a circle.

Cement walls painted a dull white were covered with colorful posters and drawings. 

The clinical bright lights were off and in their place: four little lamps, decorated and homy. 

The windows were lined with plants and the smell of pumpkin spice mingled in the air. 

“Hi, my name is Mrs. Williams, welcome to Honors Gateway English.”


Senior year is terrifying. 

Your friend’s older siblings tell you college horror stories,

college debt finds you, 

your roommates hate you.

But still, there is that classroom half-way down the hall,

first floor, fourth door on your right,

that still smells like pumpkin spice and old books.  

Room 1022.

Mrs. William room. 

The person who still greets you with a smile, fuzzy blankets, and advice. 

The teacher who encouraged you to take chances in your writing,

to trust the process and to never lose faith in yourself. 

The friend who you can talk to and to whom you direct a “Good evening” in a funny British accent when you part for the day. 

The room you call home. 


Freshman year I wrote 116 pages of creativity,

116 pages from my soul,

all because I was encouraged.

Freshman year I learned how much fun it is to analyze the structure of a poem.

Freshman year I decided literature was always going to be a part of my life. 


Senior year I took chances,

I tried new things, read new books, explored new ideas,

all because I was encouraged.  

Senior year I wrote a personal narrative inspired by Roxanne Gay’s “Fat Girl Rhapsody.”

Senior year I still sat in that one room, half-way down the hall,

first floor,

the fourth door on the right,

that still smells like pumpkin spice.


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