The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Pirate Underground

Can social media truly compare to face-to-face interaction?

Pirate Underground
A new outlet for creativity is now available on campus. Librarian Peggy Christensen and student teacher Jeff Van Vickle started a program for students interested in art, such as writing or poetry, dubbed “Pirate Underground.” It is an opportunity for students to express themselves in an environment of people who are in accord.

“It’s basically like an after school community of like-minded people that want to be creative, and it’s completely up to them on how they want to be creative,” Van Vickle said.

Christensen first thought of the idea when she realized there were students who needed the extra library time to work on their assignments.

“I was looking to appeal to kids who may feel like they don’t necessarily belong to some team or with some elite group,” Christensen said.

Christensen was looking for a partner and noticed Van Vickle’s interest in writing. She knew he was once a free-lance writer and has a degree in English.

“I had a feeling he had a passion for that kind of thing,” Christensen said.

The two prepared a survey and received about 80 of them back.

“There was definitely some interest,” Christensen said.

After the survey, Christensen searched for a way to fund the group.

“I applied for a Connie Hill grant to help with the funding and I won. It was $500,” Christensen said. “It was a part of Oregon Association of School Libraries.”

About 20 students have attended the after school sessions, but only about six regularly attend. Sophomore Madilyn Sturges has been there since the first meeting. Sturges said she wants to write a fantasy novel.

“I wanted a place where I can work on my stuff and have people interested in it,” Sturges said.

Sophomore William Crombie has also attended some of the meetings.

“I joined it as a means to get motivation to begin the projects I’ve always thought of working on but never got around to doing,” Crombie said.

Pirate Underground is not a class. The group is a place where students can explore areas they otherwise would not have the time to do during the day.

“One of the most important things that I try to get across is that it’s not a classroom,” Van Vickle said. “There are no grades and there are no competitions either.”

Sturges said the group needs more people, especially upperclassmen.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s kind of an area where you can be really nerdy about books,” Sturges said. “People can share their poems [and other pieces] if they want and some days we can just work.”

Van Vickle said he is excited about the creation of Pirate Underground.

“It’s something I never had, but I would have loved to have it,” Van Vickle said.

He said he wants the students to feel safe and comfortable together, and he sees it happening.

“When they’re in a group of people who are passionate about being creative, they are much more comfortable,” Van Vickle said. “I’ve seen people come out of their shells a bit.”

Crombie said he is optimistic for the Pirate Underground and said it has potential to attract many different students.

“It’s a collection of various artists in both visual and literary sense who are just looking for a place to find people who are into the same things they are,” Crombie said.

The group helps provide structure and critical components to help students with their writing.

“I want to give them a tool box, essentially, a creative tool box,” Van Vickle said.

Pirate Underground meets after school from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in the library. The program will continue until May 15.

Christensen and Van Vickle are excited to see the effect Pirate Underground could have on students and to see how they can improve upon it.

“We just want to see it grow and kids find it [to be] a way to spend their time,” Christensen said. “I would like them to know that there is a place for them and that we honor their work.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Marshfield Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of Marshfield High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Marshfield Times

Comments (0)

All The Marshfield Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student News Site of Marshfield High School
Pirate Underground