Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Or even some really scary kids.

Part of my job as a really, really famous author is to go visit schools and talk about being a really, really famous author. My brother has helpfully pointed out to me that I make more money talking about what I do than doing what I do. To extrapolate on that theme yields the result that talking about what I do is doing what I do. I don't know where that would leave the writing and the artwork, so I prefer not to wander down that dark mental alley.

Visiting schools is always a lot of fun for me. I get a chance to show people how I write my books and how I create the artwork that goes into them. Sometimes I do writing workshops with students and teachers. I love those because I get to share my passion for writing and I don't have to correct any papers after.
I also get a chance to answer questions.
That's when things get really thrilling. Especially when I visit a kindergarten class.
I usually don't have kindergarten come to my presentations, but occasionally, I will go to their classes and read a couple of books to them.
Then I ask if they have any questions.
They always do. Here are a few of my recent favorite kindergarten questions:

"I go to bed at 7,  but sometimes I eat Pop-Tarts for dinner."

"My father works in Boston."

"I love you. What's your name?"

"When is snack?"

And, my all time favorite question asked by a kindergartener:

"Do all wrestlers drive trucks?"

"You bet they do," I told him, "Big red ones. With thumping stereos and giant tires."


He was happy. And I presume I'll see him in the ring some day, sweating and grunting and throwing his opponent around before he drives home in his shiny, red truck.

My first job out of college, with a teaching degree clutched tightly in my hand, was as a kindergarten teacher. It was a summer program and I was able to last for almost a whole month before I teetered dangerously close to the cliff of insanity. I was obviously not built for kindergarten in large doses. I love visiting their classes now, though. Because I know that, no matter how scary those kindergarteners might be, I can visit with them, make them laugh, and then escape!

Typically, I find that things go very well with the older kids, too. Even the ones who start out being too cool to listen to a lame-o picture book writer usually have a very good time in my presentations. Possibly because I remind them frequently that they are out of class and not currently taking a math test.  That makes me look cool to them.
Either that or my shiny red truck.

1 comment:

Katie said...

It saddens me that it's almost impossible to make a living enriching children's lives through wedgies and frozen boogers, while those rotting children's brains through explosions, blasters, and bad one liners are rolling in it. I think that going to schools and talking to students is still a pretty great living as it does allow you to stay home to write and paint said frozen snoogs. Ahhhh, the life! On that note, you may wish to figure out how to turn 12 Terrible things into the next big hit movie. I'm not sure I would market it as a Children's movie. Maybe a Halloween type experience. Otherwise a two year old may be brought to see it.