In the Little Theater above The Crossroads, communication students wove tales of sorrow, joy and peace at The Yarn on Nov. 8.
The aroma of popcorn and the sound of a crackling digital fire greeted guests as they settled into their seats. A gentle hum of excited conversation hung in the air as classmates greeted each other and newcomers introduced themselves.
“I think this is the perfect networking and social event for Comm,” said Itavi Stearns, a junior studying communication, as she prepared to tell her story. “I love that I’m meeting new people, new faces and also seeing classmates. I think it’s so good. I think that sometimes I miss out on experiences to get to connect with people in my major, but this is honestly a really cute place to do it.”
The event commenced with Stephen Henderson, a communication professor, playing guitar to add to the ambiance as the students came up to share their stories. Each new story focused on a different emotion for the audience to relate to. Some readers shared treasured memories and funny anecdotes and others told candid stories about mental health and grief.
“It’s hard to tell this vulnerable kind of story in just everyday conversation, but you want to talk about it when you have a hard thing,” said Karly Haight, a sophomore studying communication. “It’s hard to bring it up in the right moment, but this really gives you the opportunity to do so, so you can get it off your chest.”
Haight’s story, “Like Drowning,” was about her experience dealing with depression. She wrote about the drives she took with her mother while she was in crisis and what it was like going to a suicide prevention center.
“A while back I wrote a song about it,” Haight said. “But it wasn’t quite capturing what I wanted it to. When we did this I was like, ‘Oh, I have a chance to tell my story.’”
The evening gave many the chance to tell their stories. It also gave audiences the opportunity to hear those stories, engage in them and find comfort in the fact that people aren’t as different as they may seem.
“Hearts were broken and mended back together again,” Henderson said. “I am very proud of the work our students did.”
The audience helped vote for the winners as the evening came to a close. After the prizes were distributed to the readers and the audience raffle winners were announced, people began filing out. The room was filled with conversation once more, but this time it was mingled with laughter and an uplifting sense of empathy as people began discussing the stories they related to the most.
For more information about Writing for Communication Career, the course these readers are writing stories for, visit this link.