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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amelia Earhart Is Chillin' in Hawaii, So Say Philly Students

So I did a workshop at the University City Arts League yesterday with my youngest group of students ever (8-12 years old). And I was a little nervous because when I visited a third grade class last year hands went up after every fifth word I said (“Do you have pets?” “Do you like the Red Sox?”). But I’m happy to report that the group of Philadelphia students yesterday were creative, fun, engaged, and excellent young writers!

Now, my workshop centers on the class working together to create one story based on a nugget of truth from their own lives. So yesterday our story started off with one student’s suggestion that:

He’s “afraid to fly.”



But by the end of that story, our character (Joey, 13, from Philadelphia) had parents who died tragically on the planes on 9/11:



He has a grandmother he’s moving in with who lives in Hawaii and travels for business:



He survives a water landing on the way to Hawaii and has to swim to a deserted island:



Only to find the pilot badly injured and realize he has to fly the plane himself to his grandmother’s house:



Who just happens to be the long lost Amelia Earhart:



Helping him to get over his fear of flying and become an airplane crash inspector:



How great is that?

Thanks to the Philly Spells Writing Center for putting the workshop together. I couldn’t have asked for a more creative bunch of kids!


POP CULTURE RANT: Phillies
I’m so sick of the Yankees. I had the displeasure of living in Manhattan during the (I can barely say it) “Subway Series.” It was a miserable time to be a non-New Yorker in NY. Add to that, I went to school a few blocks from Fenway, and I’ve come to be one of those people who sees (ugh) Derek Jeter and cringes like something smells bad. That said, I’m so glad the Phillies won and put a few wrinkles in all the “predictions” going on in the sports world. As Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News said:

“In the end, almost nobody [sports commentators] could see the most clutch team in recent Philadelphia memory pulling out the series…Such is the power of New York, of the Yankees, of the pinstripes. The history and the legacy are clear and unrivaled, and it is all true. But baseball isn't about history or legacy. It is about two teams in 2009 - because, you know, Babe Ruth is dead. Now the Phillies have the advantage and the Yankees are the team facing the pressure in Game 2.”

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