Writing 12 in Victoria

Friday, November 09, 2018 - By: Phoebe H, Hope '19

What do you call a bunch of eager nerds who would happily sign away their free time on a Saturday to look at old books? 

The Writing 12 class.

This class is, in my opinion, one of my favourite things that Brentwood has to offer. Many students submit their work to Mr. Collis as a resume to get into the class, but in the end, only 10 are accepted. Those ten students then take it as a 6th academic course, or instead of a Fine Art. Each month these students produce 10 journal entries, be they poems, prose, short stories, songs, thoughts, or expressions of existential crisis. In addition, they will copy down three poems that they have been enjoying that month, an author write up, and a few month-long assignments. The class is not for the uninspired or weak of heart. But this one Saturday Mr. Collis decided to offer us all a well-deserved break and accompanied us along on a trip to Victoria. 

“Bring your journal and pen” Mr. Collis emailed. He, unfortunately, forgot that some gravol might have been helpful too as we started the trip off by writing two new entries in our journals on the bumpy bus. 

The first task was to write using the prompts “juice, tongue, mountain” and then write for 10 minutes. Following that, we all shared our varied poetry and prose and gave our peers compliments on their work and advised them on what we would have liked to see more of. Then we did the same but this time we were to write for ten minutes after looking at an object that Mr. Collis had given us, a wax quail that had been partially melted by the sun. We got many varied outcomes from that, to say the least. 

When we were dropped off in Victoria, we first went to The Regional Assembly of Text to type up our work on typewriters and then went through the truly magic Fan Tan Alley where we all got lost looking at hidden gems of stores and inevitably many returned with the famous ice cream from Kid Sister. We slithered out of the narrow alley to be spat out at Russells Books, a magical three-part bookstore that left not a single member of the group empty-handed. Then on to Silk Road for the perfect pairing of tea and then to yet another bookstore, Munro’s. There we bought cards, posters, trinkets and yes, books. After the intense workout of cardio (book shopping) and weightlifting (carrying our books), we decided it was time to refuel at Rebar. We took particular note of our meals and later that night wrote food reviews of it for another journal entry. Last but not least, we ran hastily into the games cafe to take in the bright walls full of board games. We then realized that Mr. Collis and his wife owned a solid 90% of the games and would probably benefit from opening up their very own location. 

Needless to say, those who went enjoyed themselves fully. It’s not often we leave Brentwood and even less often do we see Mr. Paul Collis in something other than camping shorts. Both were exhilarating experiences.

Phoebe H, Hope '19

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