Yes, I’m still alive…

…I just haven’t been blogging. Busy, busy busy busy, is why. And what have I primarily been busy with? Well, I’m currently the writer-in-residence at Michael A. Riffel High School here in Regina.

This is a program sponsored by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, and it’s been an interesting experience. I’ve primarily been doing classroom presentations–more than a dozen, each an hour long–where I talk about myself and my writing, answer questions, and occasionally read.

Oh, and sing: more often than not I’ve finished off my presentation with “Me,” Gaston’s song from the stage version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This seems appropriate since it comes at the end of an hour when I’ve talked of little else but myself. (A topic you’d think I’d never tire of, but by the fourth classroom presentation in a single day…)

Next week, the final week of the three-week residency (the first week was the week before I went to Toronto), I’ll mostly be meeting with individual students: I’ve got half a dozen lined up. I’m going over samples of their writing and will give them some feedback on that, then answer whatever questions they may have and, I hope, point them to some additional resources.

My impressions of Riffel have been very positive: I like the teachers and the students I’ve met. It’s interesting how every class has its own personality, though. Also how class personalities change during the course of the day. First period classes seem a little sleepy, but not as sleepy as the final-period Friday class! Mostly, though, the kids have been, if not necessarily fascinated by what I have to say (though some have been), at least pretty good listeners. It’s been fun.

It would have been nice to do something a little more ambitious, say putting together a magazine of student writing or something like that, but the timelines didn’t allow for it. Perhaps if I get to do this again some time…

I’ll try to take my camera this final week and maybe post a photo or two later on.

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