Friday 22 February 2019

Never Give up, General Byng Barons!

Ready to go!

Prepping for a school visit is no small feat. I like to customize my presentations as much as possible and if time allows, I include a student activity. I often head to the public library to check out books to share with the kids. I am willing to do anything and everything to support and foster a love of reading, writing and following creative passions--heck any passions! 

One of the messages that runs through every one of my presentations is perseverance. Keep working to improve. Don't give up when times get tough. YOU CAN DO IT!
A Family of Spies thank-you for the students.

Today's visit to General Byng School, nestled in the "planet streets" in Fort Garry was no different.

This time I brought in books from Dr. Seuss, Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling and Kate DiCamillo.

Today's lesson from these well-known authors: rejection is hard, but it doesn't have to define you nor does it have to defeat you. 

Dr. Seuss was rejected twenty-seven times before he had And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street published. He went on to write a further sixty books.

Judy Blume had two solid years of rejection, then Blubber, Frecklejuice, Are you There God, It's Me Margaret enriched our lives. J.K. Rowling had  twelve rejections and now the Harry Potter Series is one of the highest selling book series in history and the movies are the TOP selling series.

But all awards for perseverance go to Kate DiCamillo. Rejected a whopping 473 times, yet she persisted. Now her books are classics. Because of Winn Dixie. The Tale of Despereaux. Flora and Ulysses. Thank goodness she didn't give up.

Sharing Spaghetti
I shared my own experiences of rejections, rewrites and edits, followed by tales of triumph and success. The students listened intently, asked so many thoughtful and intelligent questions that they left me wanting to return another day!

My most favourite question was one I often hear from the younger grades and when it gets asked, I know the students feel comfortable with me. I know it means I've done my job. It never fails to make me smile.

"How old are you?"

I smiled. "49."

According to the students and the gasps that filled the library, I am ancient. Beyond ancient.
I am as old as their parents.

****And a huge thank you to teacher-librarian, Mrs. Scibak for inviting me to the school. It was the highlight of my week****
Go, Barons!

I love Primrose!

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