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Class Notes with Amanda Sorrell
By Kaitie Eddy
Capital University junior Amanda Sorrell is a double major in Creative Writing and
Religion. This past summer she participated in the Summer Scholars program where
she wrote a collection of Honduran-inspired poems based on her own personal
Amanda, who is also president of Colleges Against Cancer, an editor for ReCap, and a
part of the philosophy club, shared some of her experiences and inspiration for her
collection of poems.
Q: You participated in the Summer Scholars program this past summer working on a
collection of poetry. Can you give us some insight into what inspired your project?
Amanda: My project was inspired by my past experiences at Montana de Luz and my love of
poetry. I visited Montana de Luz (MDL) the first time the summer after I graduated
high school, and I was deeply moved by what I saw there. I wanted to gain a deeper
understanding of the culture and because I can understand my world better through
poetry, I chose that as my medium for getting to know the country of Honduras.
Overripe and poised, readyto jump, but afraid to fall.The flies whisper closeto the ground where the delicateskin of mangos has been broken,split open by careless children'sbare feet. Bright orange guts on moistground littered with leaves curledaround themselves, blownfrom branches by rainy season winds.It's the end of mango season, the lastof the sweet fruits are ready to go.
- poem by Amanda Sorrell
Amanda: My church has been sending groups there for many years so I am sure I had heard of
it before, but didn't know anything about it. My mom texted me in February of my
senior year of high school and asked if I wanted to go to Honduras. I said yes before
even knowing anything about the trip, but once I learned about what we would be
doing I was even more excited.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about your first experience with MDL?
Amanda: My first experience at MDL was just completely different from anything I had
experienced before; for most of the trip I felt like I was having an out-of-body
experience. My first experience there was my first time on a plane, my first time out of
the country, and my first mission trip. I went with about 12 other people, including my
mom, which really made the experience special for me. I don't speak Spanish, so it was
quite strange to be around everyone speaking Spanish the whole time, but I quickly
learned how well you can communicate without words. Every morning we met for a
chapel-type service where the kids and the people who work at MDL gather to sing
songs and pray. We did a lot physical labor, like mixing cement to build an outdoor
kitchen and setting up a compost system and gardening, but we also spent a lot of
time just playing with the kids or helping them with their homework. The view from the
mountain is gorgeous; it was really incredible to just have some alone time to sit and
reflect. Probably one of the most impactful moments of the trip was our visit to a house
in the village. We made our own tortillas for baleadas, a common Honduran meal. The
daughter of the woman whose house we were visiting sang songs and played her
guitar for us. It was a really incredible experience.
Q: As an aspiring poet, what or who has been your biggest inspiration/motivation?
Amanda: There have been a lot of people who have been influential in my life in terms of
getting me to where I am as a writer. I have such an amazing support system in my life,
and I really appreciate my parents and teachers letting me (and pushing me to) take
risks and take chances; I think that is the only way you can grow. My mom has always
been my biggest fan and that motivates me probably more than anything. I want to do
big things, so I don't feel like all the time she spent cheering me on was wasted. As far
as content for my poems, I am really just inspired by living my life. I feel like I'm
constantly writing in my head and then when something sticks, I write it down. And if I
read it later and I don't hate it, it becomes a poem. All my poetry is really personal, I'm
no good at fiction; it is usually all based on personal experience.
Q: How have your experiences changed you, both at Capital and with the children of
Amanda: I feel like I've become a completely different person since I started college at
Capital University. I've become a lot more self-aware, but also more aware of the world
around me. Being at MDL really opened my eyes to the reality we live in. It also taught
me that I have the ability to enact change in whatever small way I can. I've met such
hardworking and amazing people at Capital who inspire me just by doing their thing
every day. I've become a lot more confident in myself. I think overcoming fear, or at
least just learning to live with it, is the biggest step you can take toward living a
successful life in creative fields.
I came at exactly the right time,like a person pulled from a burningbuilding just before they lose hope and get lostin the flames of absurdity. I'm rescuedby voices of children, who remind methat being small doesn't mean you can't build
Excerpt of "Called"By Amanda Sorrell
Major: Creative Writing and Religion
Anticipated Graduation: May 2019
Hometown: Gahanna, OH