I taught two 90-minute classes in humor writing today at a seminar for young writers in Westchester County high schools (NY). I think the seminars went well, and the kids really liked David Sedaris's essay "Big Boy," which is about trying to flush someone else's poop down a toilet. But I have a question for you teachers: How do you do this every single day? I was exhausted after teaching one class. It went well and all, but to do it 180 days a year, and with kids who aren't always as motivated as the ones today? How do you do it? How do you do it, Sarah?
Anyway, the kids wrote some great essays at the end (then they read each other's anonymously). I gave them five minutes to write and told them to write whatever was in their head. One girl wrote about how she was alone in the vicinity of a party and wanted to pretend she had friends to talk to, so she kept writing text messages on her phone but not really sending them to anyone. I think this was inspired by the "Humiliation Sheets" in Ned Vizzini's Be More Chill, of which we read the first four pages (they liked that too).
Later, I saw on one of the evaluation sheets for the classes, a girl wrote that she learned in my class that anything can be a worthy topic for a humorous essay, no matter how minute. That's one of the things I wanted them to take away from it. Also, all the kids were on their way to lunch and they were asking each other about which seminar they took and whether it was good or not. I was terrified - I didn't want to hear the bad stuff. I heard one girl tell her friend that mine was a lot of fun, but I got out of there quickly because I was too afraid of hearing anything else. Luckily, to them I was just another adult and an authority figure and not a goofy writer who needs more sleep.
The day ended at 2 p.m. - I didn't realize it was going to be so short, but hey, that's a school day. I took a bus, MetroNorth train, subway, and bus home from Valhalla, NY to my apartment, then saw the three notes I left for the mailman (see yesterday's entry) in a pile on the ground, and my blue MOM envelope safely in my mailbox. Yay!!!!
And there was also a UPS notice on my door. I went outside and the brown UPS truck was coming up the street. I sheepishly held out my note in case the guy was kind enough to stop, but I didn't want to push the issue. But he he smiled and stopped so I could get my package. Yes!
My package was a sample of 100 Advils. What happened was that last month I was at the dr's office and there were some reply forms on the table for patients to send for some free samples of medicine they can take when they have a cold instead of always thinking they need antibiotics. So I sent one in. So today I got this box with a cardboard dispenser with 100 Advils, as well as all sorts of literature to give to patients about cold and flu. I guess they accidentally sent me one meant for doctors. There are also posters about not taking antibiotics unless they're prescribed, etc.
I think I will bring all of this stuff to work and run a clinic out of my office.
So that concludes my day. Time for a nap. Happy Purim.
(For non-Jews reading this, I don't know what Purim's about, either. Ask The Anonymous Blogger.)