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Student Writing Wednesday: Jude’s “I Am…”

“I am, despite it all, myself and all who I wish to be.”

I am of Los Angeles but never was quite there and my family came long ago from across the pond.

From a network choked by the way things are

I am the bystander watching as nothing really changes

I am the chipped white paint hiding the virility behind the walls

I am the PlayStation taking more hours from me than I can give

From the bulky TV and books whose world is too big to understand

I am half the father and half the mother hanging by a thread

I am the son who wonders who he is

Who walks methodically with the sudden urge to sprint

From a tradition of arbitrary anarchy but with good intentions on the outlines

I am, “You can make a difference in the world” and

“There isn’t much hope for you”

From Hey Jude, don’t feel bad

I am barbecue chicken and defrosted pasta

I am the family pictures, the worn blanket with my name blaring

I am, despite it all, myself and all who I wish to be


Every year, 826LA students gather for an immersive five-day workshop on the possibilities of what it means to be a writer. In our Summer Writers Workshop, students engage in writing activities and workshops led by guest writers, artists, and 826LA staff to experience different forms that writing can take. The goal of the week is to build students’ ability to tell their own stories, as well as their confidence to call themselves writers.  The Summer Writers Workshop culminated in the publication of An Echo (Park) Within Ourselves.

Read more about 826LA’s tutoring program and volunteer opportunities here

You can purchase An Echo (Park) Within Ourselves at the Time Travel Mart here.

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