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On Tour

April 17, 2013

A Gift in Fort Nelson
Posted by Yasuko Thanh

Yasuko Thanh

A Grade Twelve student – an emerging writer – leads me to her classroom with a manuscript in her hand.  The ideas for this book have been bouncing around her head since the sixth grade, she tells me.  “I don’t know where this piece is going to fit, yet,” she says when I ask her if she’s holding the beginning or an excerpt. 
I’ll be speaking to the English and Communication classes at Fort Nelson Secondary in a moment.  Caroline Adderson, Bryan Pike, and I flew into Fort Nelson this morning from Fort St. John.  I’m excited to be here, but nervous, too.  I wonder how the exercise I’ve chosen to do with the students will go over. 
I give each student a photograph.  In groups of four, they’ll draft a relationship between the character sketches they’ve written.  Yesterday at Dawson Creek Secondary we had magic toasters and cross country chases.  A family saga beginning with a boy’s birth and ending with an old man’s death.  A tractor, a shooting. 
Today we have a guy who wants nothing more than to be a basketball player, who injures his leg, fulfilling his worst fear.  We have a 27 year-old man who’s goal is to get his high school diploma, before his son in tenth grade gets his.
I usually doubt this exercise before I start.  I don’t know why because the results are always impressive. 
Too soon, we have to head back to the airport.  Before leaving the class, though, the emerging writer hands me her manuscript, her email address scrawled in purple pen at the top. Reading for our flight back to Fort St. John

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