To make up for the lack of last week’s activities where school was concerned, this week was extra busy for yours truly. Can I just take a moment and say once again how much I loved the MACL program? Cuz I do! Anyway, on to the awesomesauce stuff of the week.
I finally spent some time with my friend Teng after being too out of it two weeks on in a row. As is our tradition, there was food, her nails (which are a work of art) and lots of giggles.
Yes, t hose are owls on her fingers. I did say work of art, didn’t I? And the macarons! They were a gift from her to me (I am easily won over, just give me food, hur). I wanted to take better pictures of them but…I ate them. I would feel guilty but they were too good and I have a principle to not feel bad about things I enjoyed.
Our classes were particularly interesting this week. In New Media we talked about using games as a viable teaching method in an educational setting like classrooms and how interactive teaching is beneficial to the kids. There were also presentations – trendspotting – I had no idea that youtube videos of Littlest Pets existed so I was rather intrigued by them. Another colleague talked about World of Tanks? War of Tanks? Or something like that. Anyway, whatever the name of the game is, the presentation was excellent. I have my own trendspotting presentation coming up and I am doing it on teen book bloggers. Hey, I may as well make use of what I am familiar with, eh?
I gave two book talks this week. The first one was in Contemporary Children’s Lit, my LIBR 521 class and I presented on Sonya Hartnett’s The Ghost’s Child. I’ll put up my portion as a book review and you guys can decide whether you want to read it or not. A book talk, if you’re not familiar with the term is somewhat like a review but you are selling it to the people so you usually do it on books you like. This one was an assignment but the other one was not.
The Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable invited Kenneth Oppel to present this year and I volunteered to present on one of the books vying for an information book award. This meant (as I later found out) sitting at the table with him (I was sitting next to him!!) and exchanging conversation with him. I found him to be fascinating.
One of the most interesting parts of his presentation was when he showed us the amount of work he does before he even reaches what he calls a “first draft.” As an aspiring writer and lover or books, I am always curious about the amount of work that goes into writing a book. Oppel talked about how particular he is about research and showed us the tomes that filled his office that were just there for the purpose of research (take note, Kristoff) but the most amazing thing about his writing is that he has THREE editors in three different countries who send him their thoughts and notes about his book separately. So for a modestly thick book as His Dark Endeavors, Oppel’s stack of paper looked like a tiny mountain. The amount of work, precision and effort that goes into creating his novels is frankly awe inspiring. Seriously. I haven’t read anything by him before but I did buy book one of the Frankenstein series and get it signed. His next book, by the way, takes place on a train in its entirety. And that’s all he will say about it to anyone.
I have never actively sought out to meet authors before I started the MACL program but I find that authors, regardless of what they’ve written, are fascinating people. A little bit crazy but you’d have to be to write a book. I mean, the amount of time you have to spend in your head talking to people you’ve made up? They call that schizophrenia in the real world, you know? Or something like that.
Anyway, that was it for me this week. Next week there’s a book sale at the library. I have to air out my suitcase. Hohoho.