Kristina Pedersen


Ely Shepherd, H100 Staff

Kristina Pedersen


This last Friday, January 26th, an expressive author and or freelance writer and photojournalist also known as Kristina Pedersen visited the high school for a workshop. Apart from living in the charismatic Chicago, she had the much-appreciated opportunity of staying here in Corsicana Texas at the 100 West Residency downtown. She writes anywhere from essays and articles to reviews of her own, and they are introduced in many familiar magazines, journals, and news. A few examples of where her work has been published: VICE, Pitchfork, Wall Street Journal, The Fullest, and many more. And by “many more” I mean it, she is a very talented and inspiring author.

Monday, the day after the open house at the residency Kristina left on her long drive back to Chicago. Not only I, but many other students here at CHS had the thrilling experience of meeting her. During the workshop visit we did a few warm-up exercises before moving onto the writing portion, all including an enthusiastic improv game known as Red Ball, where you throw an “invisible” red and yellow ball and a bag of angry cats around the circle of possibly young aspiring artists. Second improv warmup was a game you might recall from elementary, known as Telephone. The first person to start the call has to come up with an amusing or complicated phrase or movement for the next person to mimic, then so on and so on.

After all those exciting exercises on came the writing. With all of the students gathered around at tables in the library, Kristina introduced us to an essay, also known as “Things You Should Know. The essay was very detailed; it was a young adult growing old who had been on the search for this “list” since childhood. Finally realizing that the list was something you make for yourself, things that you as yourself should know from experiences with people and or places you’ve encountered throughout your hopefully fulfilling and long-lived life. Moving on from the essay, she asked us to write our own list, and let me just say it brought out the thickest part of these students minds, showed what they are capable of producing as young authors.

After the workshop, Kristina invited all the current students to attend the open-house that following Sunday. Being intrigued by the idea, I visited the residence at 3 pm lasting to 6 pm. There were three studios, one being for a writer and two for other artists. Kristina’s was on the 3rd floor where she had been working on a few projects throughout the month. Around 4 pm she began to announce that she was going to read one of her essays, one that was around eight pages long and very descriptive. She read about how if you visit Chicago you are entitled by everyone to grab a tin bucket of Garret’s popcorn before you leave. And how property is a very perplexing situation, for example, someone once owned a penny, that penny falls on the ground, and you come around and pick it up. Whose penny is it? Exactly, I still can’t quite wrap my head around that one.

After the reading everyone was astonished by her essay, receiving compliment after compliment. There was an extended chatting period between everyone, relaxing, and visiting the rooftop admiring the sky. That evening, I realized how broad Kristina had opened my eyes to what I was possibly capable of making out of my future. Without a doubt, I would love for writing to play a big part in my life. And without seeing how successful and the name she has made for herself, I’m not entirely sure if I would have pursued my opportunities in the writing industry. Even if only being mindful for a few days of her presence, having Kristina here has opened a lot of pathways for students at CHS to be aware of. Writing isn’t just an art; it is a journey; a passion.