I just have to brag!

I had a realization this week that I often have maternal feelings about my students. It’s not because I’m older (though I do confess I love working with younger writers), but I think I’ve come to care more about their successes than my own. This week I have had THREE happy prideful moments.

Students show their wonderful work

Students show their wonderful work

Last week Peg Gignoux (check out her website: http://gignouxart.com/) and I worked for a week with 18 incredible middle schoolers at Waterworks Visual Art Center in Salisbury, NC (check out their website: http://www.waterworks.org/). I guided the writing of a collaborative story about Ombre. As usual, I learned much from them, the first being that “ombre” is not a misspelling of a Spanish word. It refers to gradations of color. This name was suggested by a marvelous student and we all loved it at once for it represented so perfectly our emotionally-shadowed character. In our story, Ombre spends a life-changing night in a woods. This was visually represented by the students as they constructed individual Secret Room Books with Peg Gignoux.

Student making art in Salisbury

In the middle of secret room books is an illustration of a “big moment.” Our story elements had to support this, showing how that all-important night in the woods later led to Ombre’s dream. The story turned out marvelously well due to these students’ caring and concentration.

Two students editing

Two students editing

One of my biggest brag moments came when working with several small groups. We spent almost three hours on several key moments, each ultimately wound up being only a paragraph long, but they saw the worth of this work. I wasn’t alone in my pride. A roomful of parents came to a final “show and tell” and thrilled with Peg and me over their successes. The only sadness is that I was so in the middle of the action, I didn’t take pictures, but I will add them to this blog when I get them!

On Friday, I returned tired, but buzzing with their success…and then more good news arrived this weekend!
One of my students, Amanda Scherle, won first place in SCBWI-Carolina’s contest in the novel category.
A. Rhee Theodore (known to me and other students as Rhee) won 1st place in SCBWI-Carolina’s contest in picture book contest.

This is the fourth year in a row that I’ve had a student win…but two? And on the heels of such student success in Salisbury? Well, I’m high as a kite with mama-like pride!

4 thoughts on “I just have to brag!

  1. Virginia Meldahl on said:

    Susie –
    You more than deserve such successes. You selflessly cause such creativity with your ability to inspire and illuminate. I’m delighted to be around such winners!

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