October 20, 2011

Back to School

Hey now!

I hope all is well!  Things are moving at a steady pace with me.

No music today.   Well, I did hear the sounds of the raindrops beating against the window and the swooshing of the wipers on the windshield.
Last night I kept working after I wrote the blog.  I can’t help but keep trying to put this book together.  It seems that it is hard to walk away from it at night and it occupies my mind a little more than it should.  Maybe not.  Maybe my mind will rest when this one is finished.  Maybe…

So, I went back to my drawing pad and updated my progress.  In addition, I managed to find ten things that I need to write about before the book is finished.  The odd part about lists like these is that sometimes it grows and sometimes I find ways to convert two or three into one.  I’m glad I was able to narrow it down to ten and see that I am a lot closer than I was just last week.  I feel like I’m nearing the 4th quarter.
With a list of 10 items to take care of before the book is finished, one might think I’d wake up today and knock something off the list. 

I woke up today and decided that I was going to get out into the world again.  Lately I’ve been asked to come and speak to various classes.   On Monday, I visited Mrs. Korinek’s 1st grade class in Dexter, Michigan.  Today I used my open invitation to visit an African American Literature class at Eastern Michigan University.

I walked in about 15 minutes after class started and was greeted by a springy undergrad that might have thought I was lost.  Professor Guillean welcomed me into the class and gave me a warm introduction.  I’m still getting adjusted to being called a writer.  After years of being a teacher, the transition to the writer title is new.  I like it.  Funny how being a writer still has me being a teacher.
I told the students a little about myself and answered some questions about what drives me and how I work.  I told them a little about my background as a student, teacher/educator, and writer.  I found it really humbling to tell my story to these undergrads.  What do you say to students that are searching to find their space in this world?  I told them to believe in themselves through explaining ironic events that lead me to where I am at now.  We laughed.  We thought together.  We enjoyed the moment. 

After my 20 minutes of interacting with them, the students went back to analyzing a poem that spoke about having the chance to see through the eyes of another person.  It was refreshing to watch them read, dissect, and talk about what they understood from the poem. 

When they finished working on a section, I read The Torture chapter from my The Misunderstanding of Alexander the Grate book.  The writing reflected my previous claims of wanting to provide relevant reading material that 4th-7th grade boys would read.  The jokes from the text went over well.  I finished reading to the sounds of claps and students saying they would have wanted to read something like that when they were in 5th grade.  And, I was invited back to visit again.

Mission accomplished. 


Thanks for reading.

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