The Jumpers

JJ Medler '27

“A lame, boring, writing-filled misadventure, taking up time that I would rather spend somewhere else,” I thought about Crossing Delmar before we actually started the program. However, after four sessions I learned to feel quite the opposite. I met new people, listened to eye-opening stories and poetry, and had some great food. Our first occasion with Loyola, trying to create a Rube Goldberg contraption, provided a fun way to meet the people in my group and bond together. 

Riley and Micah, the Loyola students with whom I collaborated, were hilarious. I seriously appreciated meeting people from across St. Louis. At first it was tough communicating with them, everyone was awkward. Eventually we got comfortable with each other. Our contraption ended up not working, but I still see our experience together as a win. 

The second and third visits were a little more boring than their predecessor, with more poetry-focused activities, and less bonding with the people around us. I did get to know Riley and Micah a little more, and they wrote powerful creative poems. Writing in response to certain prompts and writing poetry bit by bit helped me develop my literary skills and stay more engaged. I got the most out of the fourth, and final, session. Instead of writing the poetry together and slowing down the whole process, we polished them beforehand. When we chose our group name and combined our poems, we shared the most laughter we had at any session. Laughter is contagious and bonded us, enabling us to have fun and be ourselves. We finally decided on the team name, “Jumpers”, and our poem, “Falling”, because you have to jump to fall. It wasn’t the deepest concept, but it made sense to us, and accompanied our poem well. Each session had a different purpose, and although some were better than others, I still enjoyed each one.

In conclusion, Crossing Delmar was an enjoyable experience, with supportive teachers and leaders like Anna Guzon, who kept the whole experience positive throughout. If I had to critique the program, I would recommend more bonding activities, like sports or games. I think competitions would have brought us boys closer, and formed a closer bond of brotherhood throughout the groups. My favorite part was not the writing or food, but the people I got to meet. The leaders treated us kindly, and the guys from Loyola were so cool. If I could go back and decide to experience the program again, I would; the connections and poetry made it worthwhile.