On Friday, December 4, students, families, volunteers, and staff came together at the 826 Valencia Writing Lab to celebrate the release of the chapbook My Deepest Layer. The chapbook is a gripping and heartfelt collection of autobiographical essays written by Mission High ninth graders in Ms. Hacker’s classes.
“There is an idea that the Universe is infinite, but it’s not. At one point the Universe will collapse due to the gravitational force of everything. Now this isn’t going to happen for billions of years, but it makes me think that I’m going to die someday … From then on I’ve tried to make the best out of every situation.” – Kai Nozawa Auclair, My Deepest Layer
My Deepest Layer documents students’ struggles and discoveries, their moments of hilarity and heartache. The collection emphasizes personal reflection, growth, and the formation of one’s identity.
The festivities started off with hot chocolate, cookies, and brownies for all. On their way in, students and families picked up their very own copy of My Deepest Layer and marveled at the beautiful cover art, a swirling sketch of the earth’s crust to represent layers of identity. The students then read not only the excerpts of their narratives published in the book, but their whole autobiographies. Their stories dealt with everything from human existence, to Karl the Fog, to the decision to move to America.
Ms. Hacker personally introduced each of her students as they came up on stage, which made the event even more intimate and heartfelt. The air was abuzz with excitement, pride, and an overwhelming sense of community. Students celebrated their new status as published authors the only way that made sense: with tons of whipped cream and chocolate.
Thank you to Ms. Hacker, students and families, and our volunteers for helping us celebrate the stories of these amazing authors!
– Dana Belott, Programs Associate