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Students honor Shafter in prose

Shafter High students from Bronwynn Bowman’s freshmen English class were recently assigned the task of writing an Irish poem/reflection about their favorite “happy place.”

“The kids wrote about places they love, and places that they find peace, a chill place,” Bowman explained.

Two students decided to write about the city of Shafter as their happy place.

Luna Quiroz wrote about the beautiful things that can be seen in Shafter, once you look under the rusty buildings and withering grass:

I live in Shafter. A place so small, undiscovered.

I sometimes wish that I could move out of this town. I strive to see past the dusty farmland with rusty buildings and withered grass.

But then, underneath that dust and grime, I see the beauty it has to offer. Those I know are here.

Like the murals displayed on the walls have become faded with age. And yet, they are still vivid and alive, telling a tale of how we came to be.

How special we are as a community, it’s a lovely sight to see.

So despite all of the patches of dead grass, the shaken trees threatening my allergies, the “fresh” air smelling like a landfill and the older buildings falling apart, Shafter is a warm, inviting hug.

Shafter has my life, and my love. Shafter is still home, my home.”

Henry Wiebe wrote about Shafter as the city where everything grows. He wrote that Shafter has been growing all sorts of things for over 100 years.

We began with cotton and potatoes and now have moved on to rows of almonds and grapes. But, throughout that whole time, the city has continued to grow as well.

While the summers here feel like hell, and the winters feel as if it has frozen over, those little moments in between, when the almonds are blooming, or when the sun crests over the mountains after a spring rain, makes me glad that I live here instead of any other town.

Shafter, the city that does sleep. But when it wakes up, it’s well-rested and ready to do something that helps the town grow.

Bowman said that she loves these tributes to their hometown. “I had all sorts of poems, but these students I thought wrote lovely tributes to their city that they call home.”


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