Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Cranbrook & Fremd

Cranbrook & Fremd sounds like it's either a lawfirm or a really bad buddy-cop movie, but they're really the names of two schools I visited in the past couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, none of my pics from Cranbrook saved (meaning, I accidentally deleted them), but my time there was inspiring. I've never spoken at a boarding school, and was fascinated to learn more about that and see how many beautiful experiences that school offers its students.

Just a couple hours after flying into Detroit and driving to Bloomfield Hills, I was speaking on a panel about bullying awareness and suicide prevention. The audience was made up of parents, which is something I love to see. It's only when adults aren't afraid to confront these issues and take them seriously that teens will feel comfortable reaching out and opening up.

The next day, I spoke to two groups of students, one for 90 minutes and one for 45 minutes. Almost all of the students had read at least one of my books, which always makes the Q&A portion of my presentations fun. I love having the opportunity to say, "Thank you! I've never been asked that before."

Oh, wait, two pictures did save! A student had left one of my books at home, so asked me to sign the two books she had with her that she was currently reading.

("Thank you!  I've never been asked to sign these before.")

Shortly after returning from Michigan, I flew to Illinois. Fremd High School in Palatine was nearing the end of Writers Week XIX, where I would be giving two presentations on the last day (Day V). It was fun to follow the tweets all week long and see so many former students saying Writers Week was the one week they wish they could return to high school. And it really is an amazing week! Not only do they have speakers come in from the community (or California), students get to hear other students read their works aloud, and student musicians play between sessions.

Rather than taking the time to compose a beautiful panaramic shot of the students in my sessions, here are three hastily taken and smooshed together shots from each presentation. (You can click to enlarge.)

Yes, I know. It's time to get a new camera!

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