I didn't realize how much I missed hanging out with teenagers until this morning when I did the first of a series of four author visits to Lindsay Place High School in Pointe-Claire.
I can't even tell you why I enjoy teenagers so much... it might have something to do with their openness and the fact that they are trying to figure out the world -- and themselves! (I'm still trying to do that myself at the age of fifty-seven!!)
I'm on sabbatical until January from my full-time teaching job at Marianopolis College, so let's just say I had a lot of energy to give to Miss J's Grade 10 and 11 English class. (Meet four of them in today's pic -- Kyle, Evan, James and Liam, who is stroking Evan's cheeks -- it's a long story.) My workshop was in the library and these four kids stole my heart by spending the break with me in the library rather than dashing out to do more exciting things!
I am going to get to spend FOUR HOURS with this gang. Heaven! It means I don't have to rush through my writing tips, I can get them to do a bunch of writing exercises, and I can get to know them a little (and STEAL THEM TO USE IN MY UPCOMING BOOKS!!)
How about I share a few highlights from this morning's visit? I loved when a student named Jo said about trouble (one of my favourite subjects): "You can pull a story out of it." Right on, Jo!! I also appreciated that at the end of my visit, Jo came to offer me a suggestion for the story I am working on (I told the students I had a problem to solve -- how to kill a character in a less gruesome way than I had been planning.)
Anastasia, whose arm was wrapped in a bandage, told us how she'd injured it during the summer while she was playing football with boys at sleepaway camp. I used Anastasia to demonstrate how authors need to be snoopy. So I asked her a lot of questions about the injury and made the interesting discovery that she waited for two months to get an X-ray. In-ter-esting!
My favourite moment of all was when the students were writing about a memory and Brayden asked me, "What if you don't want to write about what you remembered?" So I told him what I thought: that if you don't want to write about something it means YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY WRITE ABOUT IT.
I had another favourite moment on my drive home. I was listening to an interview and someone mentioned something American author Don DeLillo wrote. It was so wise I pulled over to the side of the road and scribbled it down (don't you like the word scribbled?). Also, it's perfect advice for Brayden and writers like him. Ready to be dazzled?
DeLillo wrote: "What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation."
How 'bout I end today's blog entry with that wondrous thought? See you tomorrow, Miss J's class. Looking forward to Part 2 of our adventures together! Special thanks to Miss J for sharing her students, and to librarian extraordinaire, Miss Dunning, for the invite -- and for the inspiration!
Hey miss, it's Megan from Lindsay with Mrs. J. I am having some writers block with the two opposite people assignment and I don't know what to do. Btw love the blog!