Monday, March 18, 2013

I love the way younger kids think!

I had a couple of very cute/funny things happen last Friday at Lower Coverdale Elementary school.  Illustrator/author Jennifer Aikman-Smith and I were doing a Writers in the School Program (WISP)  for the day. For those who may not have done one of these we meet with the various age groups, talk about writing and illustrating, how we work together as a team to make a book, answer questions and so on.

In the afternoon we did an enrichment session with a grade 2 class and we met with the students involved in the Hackmatack program.  This is usually a more intensive, hands on writing/drawing class with lots of good Q&A.  The Hackmatack students are selected because of their interest in writing and illustrating.

We often get asked our ages or how long we have been writing or drawing and I'm sure we sound like crypt keepers to these young people.  After lunch, one young lady in grade two asked me how old I was and when I told her she looked puzzled, and said,"That can't be right, you're shorter than Jennifer."  Now that describes a lot of people since Jenn is quite tall but I didn't catch how that related to age.  Then I realized that when you're 6, pretty well anyone older than you is taller.  Therefore, Jenn is taller than me and must be older.  Seems perfectly logical once you figure it out.

The other thing that I laughed at happened in the morning.  Jenn was doing her magic at the flip chart, drawing amazing pictures for the kids when I mentioned a rapper squirrel she had just added to the drawing should have a "boom-box" on its shoulder.  One little girl in grade three said, "Boom box!  Than's from the eighties!  I waited for her to add, "When dinosaurs ruled the earth.", but she didn't.  Got a great laugh from the teachers since they were of the same vintage as I am - more or less.

However, both of these made me think about looking at something from someone else's perspective, something we do as writers all the time.  Often, it's little details like the two I mentioned above that makes a story told from someone else's point of view more real.  Lesson learned.  Again.  Thanks kids.

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