What a great experience! Just last week I visited Westview Collegiate for the first time, a public high school in the Jane and Finch area here in Toronto. Less than a week later I was in front of an all boys grade 9 class who are part of a specialized program studying goal setting and the dealing with the transition period both socially and professionally. A lot of people wrongly have the concern that young people are inattentive and not particularly interested in anything that doesn't involve or benefit them. But since I've started making appearances at high schools in and around Toronto to discuss my novel and the themes surrounding it, my experience has been the exact opposite. All of the students at all of the schools I have spoken at have been completely engaged and have asked questions both during and after my presentation. I've even had students email me days and weeks after my being there to talk about the impact of my novel and my message.
Yesterday was no different, and the boys had questions that were personal and challenged me to be completely open and honest with who I was and what I've been through, but they also asked questions about following their passion, about choosing careers, and of course about making money.
It was a great feeling to actually be a source of reliable information. I hope to see these guys two or three years down the line and learn where they've ended up. Potential is in all of us, but it's like you can actually see and feel it with young people. I saw tons of it yesterday as they expressed their ambitions of being brain doctors, photographers, NBA players, military men and so much more. They believe anything is possible, and they should.
Huge thank you to the staff at Westview. I'll be back their again soon to speak to students from the English department in detail about the form and themes of Thoughts of a Fractured Soul. Till then.....