Confucius say: Well, this Confucius didn’t say much of anything because he was a statue on the grounds of the Western Academy of Beijing, where Sara and I spent eight days working with the Elementary, Middle and High School scholars plus an after school teacher session.
Librarian extraordinaire, Trish McNair – a short cropped redheaded Canuck who has seemingly harnessed the energy of the Calgary Stampede - shepherded us through our visit, finding us when we were lost, making us espressos when we began to get bleary eyed and never complaining (too loud) when we asked for another print-out of our schedule.
Having thoroughly author visitized the elementary school the preceding week, Sara and I tackled the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Monday through Thursday and then moved over to the high school on Friday.
We worked on figurative language, memoir and definition poems with the students and presented on vocabulary acquisition and writing across the curriculum for the teachers. The students then had an opportunity to perform their or other’s work at an after school Coffee House Poetry Reading that saw way more hot chocolate being consumed than coffee.
Friday we moved over to the high school and presented on public speaking and the politics poetry during a global issues conference entitled Speak Out. The morning keynote was given in the gymnasium by the US ambassador to China, Gary Locke. Which was cool – but the real highlight was the international lunch where all the different nationalities comprising the student body of WAB present native cuisine for the epicurean pleasure of students, staff and presenters. Extra super yum.