I spent part of today at Heritage Regional High School in St. Hubert, working with students in grades eight through eleven. I must say these were, for the most part, really well-behaved young people. Some of the credit must go to English teacher Mary Eva, who organized today's visit, and who seems to have a great rapport with her kids. In her introduction, Mrs. Eva told the students, "You know how you sometimes complain that I'm too lively in the morning? Well Monique Polak is even livelier!!"
The morning group did a little writing, which seemed to go well. Also, there's nothing we writers like more than to be around other people who are writing. When students are writing, I get this feeling that all is well in the universe -- though I know that that's a bit of a stretch.
Several students stayed to chat at lunch. Christine, who's 17, and has a very cool "tattoo" (which turns out to be drawn on her temple with eyeliner; she does one fresh every morning) told me she is working on a story about a vampire named Sultana. Christine has written 28 pages in the last two months. I told Christine this is exactly how writing a book works -- you show up on the page and keep going. Of course, she knows there'll be re-writing to do along the way.
When Carissa, who's 14, told me she couldn't stay too long because she had a detention, I got curious. "What did you do?" I asked, hoping for a juicy story (all writers hunt for juicy stories). To be perfectly honest, I was a little disappointed when Carissa told me she'd been late handing in an assignment. Not that juicy! Still, a student with a detention is a good jumping-off point for a story, no?
I also talked to Bobbi-Jo, who's 15, and who wanted to show me a poem she had written called "Night Slave" (love the title, Bobbi-Jo). I asked Bobbi-Jo's permission to let me quote the first line of her poem, which I think you'll like, too. It starts: "Sun sets". Like I told Bobbi-Jo, I think the fact there are two words instead of just one in that line adds to its power ("Sun sets" versus "sunsets").
And a funny thing -- you probably know by now that I am obsessed with body language. Well, one of the teachers told me afterwards that one male student seemed not to be concentrating all that much during my presentation. The teacher figured this out because she saw him COMBING HIS LEG HAIR!! Though I didn't like to learn that he was not paying complete attention, I do give the young man POINTS FOR CREATIVITY! Have a great rest of the day wherever you are. Best not to comb your leg hair in public!!!
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Well, its me again lol. The character in my story named Sultana is a Valkyrie, lol :P and her love named Shadow is a Vampire, ahh, Romance, lol. I'm having fun actually, I had a few ideas in French class. But the lights were off and we were watching a movie, so I had to write them on a separate paper with my face close to the page It was funny haha. I have a question I want to ask you. I heard my mom say once a long time ago that during the war moms used to tell their children very cool bedtime stories and especially your family living in a different country and some of your family remembering the war must have had some very nice bedtime stories and I think it would be really interesting if you could write a book about stories that moms told their children to help them sleep at night during all those hard days during the war, there must be great Lullaby's and some great bedtime stories.. Just Something I was thinking about . I've been thinking about you a lot since I saw you. Have a great day!
Christine, I think that's a GENIUS idea. If I do it, I'll dedicate it to you! I think I'll begin to ask Holocaust survivors I know what bedtime stories they can remember....
I love the name Sultana by the way. Does she like raisins? Could you add some humour to your story or would that spoil the mood? I'm glad you're still thinking about me -- must mean some of what I said sunk in. Hopefully, it did for the other students, too. PS: Don't forget to concentrate on your French. I don't want your creative powers interfering with your classwork!! Warm regards from me
If you do write a book about bedtime stories and lullaby's from during the holocaust Can I have one Autographed by you? lol Because I would like to have some of the stories, hehe. And I'd love to put humor in my book, Sultana already has a sense of humor :P she has a funny way of being surprised, like, she'd jump on bookshelves lol, and I'll add that Sultana loves raisins, it would be cute lol, She'd see raisins, and crave them for days until she buys them, it would be her favorite snack but we'll start putting that in, in the next few Chapters lol. And I'm glad you like my idea. Me and my mom would love to read old stories from the holocaust. We've been wondering about them for a while.