BVR academics: Author Dr. Jerald Walker discusses the power and hardships of writing

Class: The View (English Class)
Grade: 11th Grade
Teacher: Matt Lippman

Students in The View (English Class) heard from critically-acclaimed author Dr. Jerald Walker about his writing process—connecting their readings in class to the author himself. Dr. Walker talked about his writing career, the benefits and hardships of being an author, and his experiences with racism. Emphasizing the difficult times that life presents, Dr. Walker gave students honest, refreshing, and open insights.

Some takeaways students had from speaking with Dr. Jerald Walker:

“Dr. Gerald Walker was refreshingly honest and open about his experiences and his writing. He didn’t hold back considering we are high schoolers and gave us truthful and thoughtful answers to every question we had. I was engaged the whole time and was inspired by what he had to say.” -Lucy Carlson-Pietraszek ’22

“He continued to wow me with his knowledge and personal stories. As a white person, I don’t experience racism, I mostly hear about the horrible things that happen in the news, so it was interesting hearing about him being stopped by police and held at gunpoint as a man I have never even heard of. It opened me up to the harsh reality of racism today and the injustices that every single black person has to go through every single day with no ability to stop for air.” -Ellis Gatewood ’22

“It was so interesting to listen to his experience with writing and being an author. I love that he was completely honest with us and didn’t sugar coat anything, such as the way he feels about being an author. He explained the benefits AND the hardships. I feel that other authors I have talked to usually sugarcoat it to make it seem like as long as you love it, everything will go smoothly, which is not completely wrong. Yet, even if you absolutely love writing, there are still a lot of hardships that come with that, and Dr. Jerald Walker explained that very well.” Koi Horne ’22

“The experience I had today with Jerald Walker was different than those I’ve had with other speakers and presenters. Instead of talking on and on about himself, he came to answer questions, related to him, his work, and his ideas. He gave us part of his own perspective and allowed us to take a peek into himself as a writer and father. I was able to learn about his experiences as a POC and father and listen to him talk about his personal experiences and hardships. It was wonderful.” – Izzy Calderon ’22

“I was inspired by our speaker today because he focused a lot on getting through things that are very difficult. As someone who finds roadblocks a lot in my writing, his advice encouraged me to push through hard times.” -Sadie Stedman ’22


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