SJC Celebrates Day on Writing


Courtesy of David LeMaster

Celebration attendees on the Central Campus were greeted by a “Wall of Positive Words” written on the exterior glass of the Student Center. Arriving guests were asked to contribute messages of inspiration and positivity.

The National Day on Writing is an annual tribute taking place Oct. 20 across the United States as a unified effort to celebrate the written word. Originated by the National Council of Teachers of English in 2009, San Jacinto College Central Campus organized its first commemoration in 2010 at the urging of an English professor. This year, the Central Campus English department hosted a celebration Oct. 24 in the Student Center featuring a wide array of writing-centered activities. North and South Campuses held tribute events Oct. 17 and Oct. 23, respectively.

English Professor Nicholas Weiss, also the committee chair, said the event aims to convey to students that writing is a lifelong process and regardless of technological advances, it is still necessary to learn how to compose written messages for different audiences, purposes, and occasions.

“A day like the National Day on Writing is a day to remind ourselves and remind others that no matter what happens, no matter what technology you have, you need to learn the structure of writing, and write eloquently.”

This year, as students walked up to the entrance of the Student Center, they were greeted with inspirational messages written on the exterior glass of the building on a “Wall of Positive Words” where they were asked to contribute further with words that conveyed positivity.

Inside, students and other attendees took part in many creative writing exercises including composing letters and captioning photos, as well as exchanging books at a book swap station. An activity called “Adding to Stories” asked participants to use text, image, GIF, or meme to continue compositions started with a few words like “On a dark and stormy night …” or “When it’s finals time …”  A notable addition to this year’s lineup was a politically-themed exercise asking students to write down what issues they would like to see on the 2018 ballot.

Weiss acknowledged writing changed over the years, but he said it is crucial to develop a sense of creativity through written words, especially now that fewer students major in English and more are showing interest in technology-driven careers. Even if students choose to use emojis instead of traditional writing, he noted, basic writing skills are still necessary to adequately express one’s thoughts and ideas.

“It is not enough to just create something,” Weiss said. “You have to write about it. Otherwise, people won’t know the importance of it.”


Naomi Gudino contributed to this report.