Skip to Main Content
CPCC Library logo

Archival Revival

A digital exhibit highlighting the collaborative writing project between the Central Piedmont Archives and Creative Writing (ENG125).

Student Reflections - Spring 2021

Archival Revival Reflection – Spring 2021


In doing the Archival Revival project, I learned that the history of Central Piedmont Community College and its impact on the community goes back much farther than I thought. Looking at the pictures and trying to pick one to write about made me realize the rich history of my school. It also gave me the sense that I was participating in something much larger than myself. My poem will be archived with many other pieces for years to come. To participate in forging that connection between the past, the present, and the future of Central Piedmont is humbling. And of course, I really like the poem I wrote for the project and think it’s great. – Emiliann Williams


In doing the Archival Revival project, I was able to learn more about turning visual artwork into literary artwork. I was also able to connect more to the history of this school, and to see things I had never seen before. In doing this, I could take a simple photograph and turn it into a poem that expanded on the image’s subject. This led me to view the picture in a different way and it really brought it to life. – Hannah Ward


The Archival Project was hard for me at first. I was not sure what to do because I was not very familiar with the idea. Also, the assignment that I did was something I don’t remember overdoing before. For my Archival project, I picked a random picture and wrote a poem about it, telling a story. My picture was an old photo of people dirt bike racing. In my poem, I write about a dirt bike racer who had a bad accident and is on the road to recovery in order to go back to racing. I feel that this assignment gave me more of an imagination. It taught me how to take simple things and turn it into something elaborate and entertaining. From one photo I was able to make up a story for another person to read. – Gelilla Sisay


What I learned from the archival project is that I need to get more creative with where I get my inspiration from. I knew that the photo I chose had stories within it from the moment Isa it, and yet I never would have written the poem that I did if I hadn’t seen that poem. It’s virtually impossible to write a story that is unique, but the way it’s told is what makes it unique. I need to remember that I have a perspective that no one else in the world can, so I need to be more bold with my writing, which means that I need to be more bold in general. In order to write real stories, I have to live a real life. I also learned that photography as an art form, without Instagram captions and filters and touch-ups, is absolutely beautiful and a great way to tell another part of the story that only images can, rather than words – Lauren Miller


In completing the Archival Revival Project, I learned that if you want to find more to a photo or picture, you certainly can. It just takes a different mindset to get into that “zone.“ Personally, I loved seeing that picture from a different perspective. I thought that it was fun to write about something from a different viewpoint. – Kathryn Duncan


In the Archival Revival project, I learned that art can be inspired by anything – and that it really depends on perspective and interpretation. The way that I interpreted my image is much different than how other people would have interpreted it, and I think that perspective is such an important topic to remember (and consider) when critiquing art. I also thought it was really fun to read previous students’ pieces. Seeing how they jumped off of the picture they got versus how I would have potentially done it was. – Anushka Chalmeti 


When doing the archival assignment I learned quite a few things; however, one lesson stood out more than the rest. That lesson was one of individuality. When looking through the pictures available for the assignment I realized something. There are a million different ways to interpret a picture. Each person is bound to interpret them in a different way. Even if it is the smallest details, no two people have the exact same vision in mind. This honestly made the archival assignment a challenge for me. It was difficult to place meaning to a picture that had no given story behind it. Looking at a picture and describing what was being felt, heard, said, or seen is practically impossible if you weren’t there. That is what made this assignment all the more exciting. – Avery Brown


The Archival Revival project was easier than I anticipated. While I probably failed in creating an image with the provided photo, I think I managed well with conveying the feeling that I felt aligned with the image itself. I tried to convey the emotion I was getting from the photo and put it into words. – Makayla Brooks


The Archival Revival Assignment was interesting to me because I got to see so many different images that had much more significance in the time they were taken. The picture I had used was of a woman who had been smoking a cigarette under a no smoking sign and someone had drawn antennas on her and written “alien” next to her. I decided to write a poem in response to that picture. Something that I learned in doing that assignment was how connected the different arts of writing and photography are. Looking at all those pictures, I realized that picture really does say 1000 words and I got to pick the ones that stood out to me the most. – Richelle Calphen


The Archival Revival project was most fun! I was not sure at first what to expect for this assignment, however, I liked how I went about completing this assignment. What I love most of this assignment is how versatile it can be. One can take a more serious approach, or like me, comedic one. It was interesting to go back and review all the photos that CP has from over the years. I was shocked at how old some of the photos were! But I settled on a photo that was rather unique. I picked a photo of a student in a banana costume checking out a book in the library. When I read the description and saw the image, I was confident that there was an excellent story waiting to be told. Furthermore, I decided to tell the tale of a student who failed to do their laundry and settled on wearing a banana costume to school instead! Surprisingly, I did this through poetry. It reminded me of the poetry I read when I was little, like Carl Sandburg, orthose stories that have strong rhythm and rhyme, like Dr. Suess. – Naomi Benson


What I learned while completing the Archival Revival assignment was that you can truly create a story out of something as simple as a picture. I chose a picture of four students learning in school in the 1990’s. I chose to write a poem about how the students looked eager to learn and that it was a privilege to be educated. – Lilliana Bragg


Doing the Archival Revival project, I learned how think past what I’m seeing. At first, I wanted to make a story out of the photograph, but I was struggling to think of something interesting enough. Eventually I landed on making it a poem. I didn’t want to go elaborate for my poem, because like a picture, I wanted it to be up to interpretation from the reader. I presented a simple idea of a baseball game. It’s up my audience whether they’re thinking about parents cheering for their 18-year-old as they play their first college game, on the track to be famous player, or a man in his 50s going back to school and playing as a fun hobby. – Montanna Britton