Had a great time talking to high school students in Mineola – a small town in East Texas – on Tuesday for the Mineola Book Fair. The students were a respectful and attentive audience, and it is always so much fun to go to the schools and meet creative young people.
In the morning, I talked to two English classes about why we write and one of the reasons I cited was that we write to stir consciousness and stimulate debate.
Toward the end of the first session the teacher pulled up my blog and projected it on a screen so the students could read it. We ended up in a lively discussion about the situation at the DISD that I blogged about on the 16th. That was so neat to actually have live in the classroom a perfect example of the point I was making. One student and the teacher got into a discussion about why the DISD had to let teachers go, and the students ended up with a better understanding of how administration works. Not that it changed her mind that the situation was unfair to students. But it did broaden her view of the issue.
The other great thing about the Book Fair was that the school librarian who started the Fair four years ago said that her circulation has tripled since authors started visiting the school on an annual basis. She said it really seems to stimulate interest in reading to meet authors and have a chance to talk with them.
When someone asks if the event was a success. I tell them about the increase in reading. That is the success for me.