A student in a Catholic high school, Ivy doesn’t feel she fits into a box, but also believes she must choose between “the lesbian or straight world.” As she struggles to deal with emotions from her growing feelings toward a female classmate, she becomes pained and confused.
This scenario sets the backdrop for Brooke Davies’ manuscript, a work in progress that also delves into race, class and environmental issues. Davies wrote throughout the fall of her senior year when she was part of HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs), a learning beyond borders program that takes students outside the classroom and coordinates community partnerships around the world. Davies worked with the Pangea World Theater, which gave her firsthand experience with people looking to represent diverse voices.
“Diversity doesn’t just happen,” Davies said. “I’ve learned so much from the people I’ve worked with there. They’re so humble about the incredible social change they’ve enacted in their lifetimes.”
The novel is an extension of the compassion Davies grew up feeling and focused on through her social justice and peace studies classes.
“There are different events that happen that make Ivy accept herself and realize that she can be who she is and … she doesn’t have to choose between the lesbian and straight world,” Davies said. “She can love who she loves.”
Plans for next year: Teach ELS abroad, preferably in Spain.