Tuesday, May 17, 2011

belated post: the writer in the community gala

April 2, 2011: I am so exhausted from The Writer in the Community Gala today!  I'm pretty sad that the class is over already.  I had such a great time working with the kids and reading their stories.  Plus, Aimee Bender is like my most favorite professor ever, and I hope I can take one more class with her before I graduate next year.

We spent the entire day preparing for the gala.  From 1:00-5:00, we rehearsed with the kids, picked up the anthologies, printed/trimmed/glued a page of missing stories and a single story that was accidentally cut off by a graphic into the anthologies, picked up refreshments and Subway sandwiches, walked families over from the kids' school to the SGM auditorium on USC's campus, and finalized the Powerpoint.  Every member of my class had different responsibilities, and it became very chaotic in the few hours leading up to the event.

I'll never forget the excitement in the room as the kids held the anthology in their hands.  They were so proud to see their work in a typed format and published in a book.  It was so worth the entire week and weekend that I spent designing it.  It was even more rewarding to hear the kids read selections from their stories aloud as I controlled the Powerpoint and projected the full story on the screen behind them.  Some completely embraced the art of acting and storytelling and really had a good time hamming it up!

A huge thank-you to my friends who helped me fundraise by buying Diddy Riese cookies!  The audience was a little small because many parents had work or other responsibilities that conflict with the gala so we ended up with leftover Subway sandwiches, cookies, and drinks which our class gladly took home. 

We started the class as a bunch of writers with a mission, and today, we saw the culmination of our efforts throughout the semester in many different forms.  We managed to raise over $1,000.  We designed the books and had them printed professionally.  We started from scratch to create lesson plans and teach kids about writing for nine weeks, and I truly believe that we taught each one of them something valuable about writing and imagination.

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