By Aura Delgado
Meraki means to leave a piece of yourself in your work.
Some teachers don’t like it when students put how they feel in their writing. They will be assigned essays that don’t interest them, and as a result, they don’t try.
Students typically only write for school: argument papers, rhetorical analysis papers, synthesis essays, and other critically examined writing assessments. This writing prepares us for college, but also takes away our desire to write for fun.
Grandview English teacher Ms. Zilliox is all too familiar with this dilemma.
“We have such strong practices to guide you guys to college level writing,” said Zilliox. “But at the same time, in that pursuit we lose the opportunity to learn about ourselves as writers.”
“You don’t have to do any analysis,” Adriana Joga said.
“And not just writing for assessment, but for ourselves and for our communities,” Zilliox said.
What if there was a place where you can write what you want, how you want, and share it with others?
Have no fear.
Meraki is here.
Meraki is a literary and art club where students can be themselves, they collect writing and art from around the school so that they can publish it into a magazine.
“Before I moved to Grandview six years ago, there was a club called ‘Signatures’,” Zilliox said.
“When I took it over, I changed the name to ‘Meraki’ because it means to leave a piece of yourself in your work.”
Meraki loves coming up with new ideas, and the members are not afraid to say what’s on their minds; they encourage students to be expressive.
They don’t limit creativity.
“[It’s] Where students can be themselves on paper and through their imagination,” said Ms. Zilliox.
It's where students can be themselves on paper and through their imagination.
There’s no judgement: people support one another and help each other by offering ideas.
“It’s also really fun to just sit down and write together,” said Helene Rix.
Students enjoy this club because they like to read other people's stories, and to learn new writing techniques to better themselves in their own writing.
And the best writing only comes from the best environments.
The atmosphere of Meraki is very calm, everyone is relaxed and laid-back, which makes the club feel welcoming.
But Meraki just isn’t a club for writing, it’s also about art.
“[The magazine] still incorporates the art side of Meraki. Besides our writing portions, we reach out to the fine arts and bring them in to complement the literary pieces,” Zilliox said.
“I think that we can cater towards artists more, and I think that we should get an artistic appeal out there that would attract artists to our club,” Joga said.
If you can’t make it to the Meraki meetings that’s okay, you don’t need to be in the club to get worked published. Submissions are available through the Grandview Chronicle Meraki link. All artists who wish to be included in the 2018 Meraki magazine must turn in their submissions by April 23rd.