November has been a busy month for me — I’ve done events for The Path of Names at six schools, one book store and one symposium at UBC’s Green College. (All while teaching three courses, etc. etc.)
I finished up my November events today with a morning reading / interactive event with the fourth graders at Vancouver Talmud Torah (part of Vancouver’s Jewish Book Festival). The students were everything you want in your audience: smart, engaged, interested, and filled with good ideas. So engaged, in fact, that I forgot to give out bookmarks at the end, as I was too busy trying to answer any remaining questions. Doh! If any VTT people read this, let me know and I will drop off a thwack of bookmarks with you.
The highlight for me, as usual, was when I got to the parts in my presentation where I asked, ‘what do you think was going on here? / what do you think will happen next?’ I love hearing what students think is going to happen. Either they’re pretty much on the money (in which case I congratulate myself on doing a good job foreshadowing) or their suggestions are totally different than what actually happens (in which case I generally think, ‘you’re right — that would have been cool…’)
I’m writing this in part, because I told the students today that I sometimes show school groups pictures. We didn’t have the computer projector today, and quite a few students seemed interested, so I promised I would post some of the pictures I would have shown. Here are two:
I usually put these up on the computer projector and then say, “This first picture is a map of Camp Arava in The Path of Names (drawn by the extremely talented Julie Esris). This second picture is an aerial photo of the camp in Pennsylvania where I grew up. Do you notice any similarities?”
Other pictures I post are very slightly different versions of the book’s cover, and some pictures of me as a kid at camp. When I show students the picture below, I ask them to try guessing which camper is me. I don’t think I look that different, but apparently I’m wrong. What do you think?