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The Discoverers: Saria Rosenhaj, Poetry

As a little girl, Saria Rosenhaj would make up stories as she walked through the woods with her cousin. They had made a deal that as long as she was talking, he would keep walking.

But it wasn’t until ninth grade, when Saria discovered the power of poetry, that her conversations turned inward, creating characters and storylines that helped her make sense of her experiences.

“It’s a way of me finding these truths, and these ways of processing experiences,” she said.

She finds that she learns a lot about herself when she’s writing or re-reading something she’s written. “Oh, I did have a hard week!” she said, with a laugh, thinking about how surprised she had been to realize that about herself.

For her, writing “feels like this constant state of wonder” as she excavates ideas in the world she encounters. Saria has found an equal measure of joy in “the visceral experience” of acting in the theater and painting, and wants all three art forms to always be a part of her life.

“I can’t function without those things,” she said. “And when I’m doing those things, it shows in the rest of my work. I could ace a biology test if I’ve just come out of a great day of rehearsal.”

This year, as a senior, she started the Creative Café, a club designed to get the writing juices flowing, that has attracted about 10 students to its weekly meetings. It’s a space for students to explore writing loosely and develop their voices.

“It’s really just an exquisite and subtle way of making a new community,” she said.

Asked if there was anything more she wanted to say, this came tumbling quickly out of her mouth: “Ironically, I think the power of words is indescribable.”

The hallways at Abington Friends are brimming with students who are on a journey, exploring fresh ideas and pursuing deep interests as they search to find their places in the world. Their eyes shine as they talk fervently about wanting to learn all they can in a field of academics, athletics or the arts.

Read more about “The Discoverers” in the Fall/Winter 2016 issue of Oak Leaves

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