Halton Oakville Speech Contest

Last night I acted as a judge for a speech contest. The students spoke on topics such as volunteering, smiling, technology, epilepsy, miracles, child labour,Emilia Erhart, positive attitude–okay that accounts for nine of 15 of them–volunteering was tackled twice.

I sat at the back of the room and had to watch for eye contact (do they even have eyes, next time I’m bringing binoculars) and check for a whole list of things including correct use of language, logic and devolopment of topic etc (I was given a ruberik). Whenever I hear that word I’m worried I’ll have to move coloured squares into the right position.
The problem, of course, was this 15 students were all winners from their own schools so they were masters. You couldn’t eliminate anyone for obvious errors such as mistiming or reading her/his entire speech.
Whenever I judge a contest, whether it’s for writing, plays or speeches, I hope that someone stands out as the best because really, many are very good. And in this case so did the other two judges, really nice people–an Oakville city councilor and a consultant for the board–can’t find their names in my notes right now.
Here’s our unanimous vote for winner: Sabrina Freeas. She spoke on Child Labour and actually gave out brands that employ it. Lucky I can’t afford those brands anyway. I wonder if we should all just sew.
Congratulations to Sabrina and Halton Separate Schools for hosting such worthwhile activities.

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Coming up with ideas is hard-Charles R. Beaudoin School

This is a shot of the grade 5 gifted class at Charles R. Beaudoin. They are my last students for this year’s Ontario Artist in Education stint and for each of the six weeks I essentially taught the same thing in various degrees of intensity depending on abilities. This could get boring after a while except for the kids. They’re all so different. These students like to offer up random interesting facts much like my adult writing friends do. Sometimes they’re all over the place with their thoughts and things, pencils, paper etc. Just like me. So I feel at home with them.

So far my favourite comment has been “This isn’t as easy as it looks,” from a boy who was trying to come up with his license plate motto. So true about coming up with any idea or writing in general.

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March Break

Besides rewriting Death on YouTube till it was Dying to Go Viral and recovering from a cold, I spent March break recovering from a cold and hanging with my favourite people, the grandchildren. What did we do? Well, one hillarious passtime was spinning until Omi wanted to hurl or until you dropped. See the first shot. Jadzia has already dropped but even Mortie the Jackapoo enjoyed the challenge.

Of course we read together. I love the shot of Hunter and William reading together. Wish I could say they were entranced by one of my Canadian friends’ writing. But no, it’s Captain Underpants.
Thirdly we had great weather and went to Crawford Lake. Hunter loved the aboriginal stuff he saw on his trip with his grade three class. He’s making cornbread with a gang of volunteers here. We also went to Bronte Creek twice and ate maple candy. A great holiday all around.

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