Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day Three -- Third Try....

Alrighty, then.

It appears I have the horrid internet connection problems sorted out.

Back to yesterday...

Early start. My minder/keeper/driver/organizer Monica collected me at 8 am for a trip to Parkdale Collegiate High School. This school is right off of Queen Street West in Toronto – an inner-city school with a wide range of kids from many ethnic backgrounds. Apparently a large part of the student population come from Thailand.

It seems a vivid, multicultural environment in an old neighbourhood of this city. The school itself is the second-oldest in the city, built in 1888. The library I was in, however, was a mere five years old (and apparently cost $1M).

I spoke with three English classes -- a group of grade 9 pre-IB students, a class of grade 12s and then another group of grade 9s.

Here are some of the thoughts of the grade 9s regarding their school:

  • Sasina says her school is friendly.

  • Nilaj thinks it's a cool school.

  • Javeria and Vivian agreed.
Pretty unanimous feedback! Thanks for having me, Parkdale.

At lunch, I walked along Queen Street. This part of it is loaded with Roti shops and other West Indian cuisine. Very cool shops but Queen Street is looking tired and uncared for. Yonge Street is the same -- at least downtown. Near the Eaton Centre used to be a vibrant area -- now it's a street filled with derelict buildings and strip joints. Homeless folks on every corner. It's hard to understand.

In the afternoon, I nipped down to the Market area to visit the gang at Dundurn in their new digs. (Not so new to them, perhaps, but new to me...)

Just time to buy take-out Thai to eat in the car, and then Monica scooted me (in her fabulous, environmentally-conscious Zip Car) up to Brampton for a reading at the library and an interview on Rogers Cable. (You know you've made the big time...) The cameraman was also the interviewer, and once he positioned me, I was not allowed to move, for fear I would slip out of the shot and he wouldn't know. As an inveterate hand-talker, this was no easy task, but I think it turned out all right in the end.

It was great to see Helene and Elizabeth from the forum, who braved the wilds of traffic to come to the reading. The trip to Brampton took two hours, but back to the hotel was just under half an hour -- the beauty of a traffic-free toll highway speeding our trip back.

And another glamorous day of the touring author closes -- have to be up at seven to make the bus to Aurora!



Hélène Boudreau said...

Hey, lookie there! I have my own tag :-)

It was wonderful to see you in action and a thoroughly enjoyable presentation. I can really tell you love your characters, you injected so much dimension into Logan and Kip during the reading.

Sorry I'll miss Marsha tonight, but the babysitter didn't work out. (basketball practice)

Enjoy the rest of your week in T.O.


kc dyer said...

You deserve a tag, baby. Sorry you couldn't make Marsha's launch -- it was fun! I'm so glad we had a chance to connect...