SPAD: outlet for literary, artistic talent at AHS

By now, clear rectangular plastic tubs with “ SPAD ” or “ Scratch Pad ” scrawled on them have appeared in all the English classrooms. Submission season for Scratch Pad has started. Scratch Pad , also known as SPAD , is Ames High’s student literary magazine. Produced by students and published annually, it contains the writing and artwork of Ames High students. Last year the teacher advisor was Mr. Daddow; this year Mr. Brekke and Mrs. Goodwin have taken over. Although Scratch Pad has existed at Ames High for several decades, nowadays many students are unaware of its existence. This is unfortunate, for in the words of Katie Orazem, a co-editor of last year’s Scratch Pad , “ SPAD is a unique platform for the astounding literary talent that we have in Ames, which usually gets all too little acknowledgment.” Behind the scenes of Scratch Pad , students on both the Editorial and Art Boards review the submissions and select ones to place in the magazine. Natalie Deam, a co-editor last year, remembers board meetings fondly. “It’s the best thing about being involved in SPAD,” Deam said, “Occasionally one is blown away by something read at the meetings.” The final edition of Scratch Pad usually consists of many poems and a handful of short stories, but past editions have also contained plays and even music compositions. Naturally the theme of teenage angst prevails among the works in Scratch Pad , but that should not deter one from buying a copy. “ SPAD may be a salad of poor grammar and broken hearts,” Deam said, “but it is also a time-honored soapbox that should be read with a smile.” Of course, one must not forget about Scratch Pad ’s impressive artistic component. A highlight of last year’s magazine was the addition of several stunning color pages of artwork. Scratch Pad always strives to publish a variety of writing and artwork. “I would love to see broader participation in SPAD ,” Orazem said. “It is really meant to be a publication for the whole student body. SPAD would be richer if it were able to engage more students.” Jasmine Chen, the art editor last year, agrees. “People should feel very open to submitting writing and artwork to the publication,” Chen said. This year’s edition of Scratch Pad will be published and sold sometime in May. Spending a few bucks to purchase an issue is surely a great investment, for you will be able to appreciate the work of your classmates for years to come. Perhaps you will even be able to show off to friends and family your very own poem or piece of art in the magazine and experience the thrill of seeing your name in print.