Hey cHEwY gum gums!
I didn’t get a chance to blog last week, mainly because I wanted to write about last my school visit on Friday. I was at a high school in Orange, speaking to Grades 7-10 with the goal to ‘inspire’ the students.
Funnily enough, my first author visit of 2020 was doing the same thing, in front of kids who won an education scholarship to help with their schooling needs.
Over the years, my tale of ‘how I became a writer, teacher and comedian’ has inspired audiences of all ages, from beginning teachers, aspiring writers, local entrepreneurs and even people attending a Mind and Body Conference.
I never thought of myself as an inspirational speaker, though authors and illustrators are doing just that in their presentations. They are inspiring people to write and draw. I’ve had kids come up to me and say they want to be writers. I’m old enough to have parents tell me that their kids saw me when they were young and they are on the write track. It’s those kind of moments that inspire me…to keep on writing and write better stories.
If any year needed a message of hope, it’s 2020. So I went there last Friday, nervous because I rarely speak to Grades 9 and 10. Grade 10 ended up being my best presentation of the bunch. I made them laugh. They listened. I dunno if I inspired them. I’m not asking them to walk over fire coals. But a few kids came up for a chat and who knows, maybe a spark was lit.
As I left, the teacher-librarian was telling me that he was getting a bus licence so he can drive a mini-bus of keen readers to writers festivals, the local library and much more. Yes, we know the true value of teachers this year, and you can chuck in inspirational speaker on their lists. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words.