Famous songwriter visits Miss. Writers class


Sid Taylor

Brad Arnold makes a guest appearance in Mississippi Writers Class.

Jaida Strahan, Executive Editor

   The Mississippi Writers class taught by English teacher Teresa Eubanks welcomed surprise special guest Brad Arnold. Some may know him from his role as the lead singer of the internationally known rock band 3 Doors Down. 

   In this course the main objective is to expose students to the rich literary history in Mississippi and how we connect to the larger whole of American literature. 

   “We read all genres and we also read the 20th century writers as well as contemporary writers,” Eubanks said.

   On the previous day, in class the students were given song lyrics by Arnold, and they analyzed those in  their small groups. 

   “They were very surprised the next day to see him come in and speak to them,” Eubanks said. 

   Arnold spoke with the class on  how his writing personally connects to the Mississippi Writers class by explaining  the importance of writing, the significance of writing and where it can take you. 

   “You are learning communication here, the nuance of communication,” Arnold said.

   Arnold originally got into writing through poems because they had such similar structure to song lyrics. “Kryptonite” was one of his earlier songs that was originally a poem.

   “I despised math but I really loved writing because it allowed me to express myself. A lot of my songs that you all were studying yesterday and “Kryptonite” along with half the first record I wrote sitting in a desk in my high school algebra class,” Arnold said.

   He grew up with a love for music for as long as he could remember, whether it be beating on pots and pans, listening to whatever his sister was interested in or playing his drum set.

   Being part of his hometown church choir helped him become less bashful, which made it easier for him to take the opportunity to sing for his band early on. 

   The Hurley native Arnold found his way to the high school through his sister, counselor Allyson Howard. 

   “Last semester when we offered Mississippi Writers and Creative Writing my first thought was him because he will tell you how he connects to a creative writer class and how it was good for him,” Howard said. 

   This year Arnold is already set to perform at least 60 shows around the world.