monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (396 words)

Waking Up in Bavaria

Okay, so I didn't really WAKE UP in Bavaria -- but I woke up TO Bavaria. That's because I had a Zoom meeting with Isabella and Sophie, two grade eleven students at Albert-Schweitzer-Gymasium in Erlangen, Germany. That's them in today's photo (Isabella is on the left; Sophie is on the right) with their teacher Vanessa (she's in the middle).

So it's true that writing is HARD WORK and that we writers often feel discouraged and overwhelmed! BUT and here comes a VERY NICE BUT, there are lovely surprises along the way!! So let me explain to you why I was Zooming with Isabella, Sophie and Vanessa this morning.

The English textbook used by Bavarian students includes a chapter from my YA novel The Middle of Everywhere (Orca). That novel is set in Kangiqsualujjuaq in Nunavik, a town commonly known as George River, and which I had the amazing privilege to visit for the first time in 2008. The grade elevens at Albert-Schweitzer-Gymasium are doing a unit on Life in the 21st Century --  and are looking at parts of the world they knew little about. Which brings them to George River!

Anyway, Isabella and Sophie had many questions for me about life in the North. I have been back to Nunavik more than ten times since 2008 -- even so, I feel I am only beginning to learn about the region and its people, most of whom are Inuit. I did my best to answer the girls' questions. But what I'm really hoping is they'll be able to connect with some students in Nunavik -- maybe they could do a Zoom in which the Nunavik students could ask questions about life in Bavaria, and Isabella and Sophie (and their classmates!!) could get far better answers to their questions about Nunavik than I could provide!!

Neither Isabella nor Sophie visited Canada. Both are especially curious of course about Nunavik. But Sophie admitted, "It seems lonely and far away." Isabella is especially interested in seeing a lot of snow, "We don't get snow all that often here."

That's one of the things I love about stories -- they help us to connect with others. And even when my work on a book is over, the book continues to create connections. SO maybe I shouldn't complain that writing is such hard work. Because you know what? IT'S WORTH IT!!

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A Better Future for All of Us
Dazzled by the Kids at Solomon Schechter Academy


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Monday, 15 April 2024

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