An illustrator/author friend, who is also a wonderful art teacher, invited me to run two writing workshops for her Year 2’s at Wesley College yesterday. I left the peace of our bush home around 7.15 a.m. to join the parade of vehicles fighting for survival along the Eastern Freeway, like matchbox cars in a race.
1 ½ hours later I reached my destination just as parents were dropping off their students. The sight was reminiscent of a scene in the movie ‘Mr Mom’ where Michael Keaton innocently takes the exit instead of the entrance on his way into school. That was me, almost.
Once I’d sorted out the parking I was warmly welcomed into the school and taken to the wonderful library where I worked with two groups of enthusiastic, eager and very creative 7 and 8 year olds.
There was an interesting moment when, to give four boys the idea of ‘action’ in story, I threw myself flat on the floor (a demonstration of a frog basketballer who has shirt-fronted a pole in the middle of a game and bounced off it) when a teacher, who I thought was the principal, strode in. The look on his face was priceless – my face probably wasn’t much better as I tried to elegantly pick myself up from the floor.
I survived that and the ‘good work noise’ that was happening throughout the sessions. It never ceases to amaze me the exciting words children can produce, when they are given a sprinkling of ideas and suggestions and the freedom to let their imaginations fly.
And the still silence when I read them ‘Flame Stands Waiting’ and ‘Queenie’, was priceless and reminded me again, of why I write.