The Kids are Alright
Went to speak to Mrs. Debbie Steiniger's 6th grade English class at Harmony Magnet school last month.
As you can see they were a great group of kids. What I really appreciated was how engaged they all were to participating in class. When I asked what most of them were currently reading (a question that often stymies adults) nearly every one of them had an immediate and different response than their peers.
I know what you are thinking, and yes... the little ginger kid with the afro was the trouble maker of the group.
The little girl in the picture was doing her 6th grade Pre-AP project over the writing process. Because of this she asked to interview me in front of her class. Somewhere out there, within the confines of academia, the interview is recorded for posterity. I think I did alright considering my biggest worry was (literally) not cursing in front of nearly thirty eleven year-old kids. We covered all sorts of topics including what it means to be a writer, in which I shared my two rules for writing:
Rule #1: Writer's write. They don't wait until they 'have time' or for 'inspiration' to strike. It won't and you are NOT a writer unless you physically engage in the act of writing.
Rule #2: Writer's finish what they begin. No matter how much you might hate your current project it deserves an ending.
A lot of them asked for my autograph afterward - a concept I'm still trying to wrap my head around. In life we are asked to sign many things, often these are of the negative variety (traffic citations, taxes, etc); but seldom are we asked to add our signature to something grand - something beautiful.
My favorite part of the day was after the interview when each tween asked me to sign their respective copies of the first Time is Relative, or notepads for their language arts class - not because of any vanity that comes from a chorus of approval from one's creation; but because it gave me the opportunity to engage each child individually and hear their thoughts on my lecture.
"Mr. Williams, have you cut your hair since your book came out?"
"Are you rich?"
"How long did this take you to write? Was it hard?"
"My dad writes numbers in crosswords." - believe this kid was referring to Sudoku.
"Do you have a car? Is it big? Could I write in a car? I like trains. Trains are big. Muffins!" -But there were no muffins. Nor baked goods of any sort. The child just sort of wandered off, leaving me to hold their assignment book. Full disclosure, I didn't understand this kid's nonsense at all. The teacher assured me that he/she was quite brilliant despite their ramblings of theoretical locomotives and invisible baked goods. Makes me think I'll see him/her in a uni-bomber type situation on the news someday. Hopefully not.
Here's a fun game - from the pictures, guess which person asked/said what to me. Results in the next post. Until then remember...
Time is Relative
Brett Matthew Williams
The Architect of Eden