Food is a great motivator for me. While I may not work for food alone, it certainly helps. As it turns out, I will also work for gratitude, adulation and friendship. Sometimes I even work for money. Cake however, will smooth all pathways to productivity.
Having just finished Book Week presentations, I can honestly say, I’ve never before, been so foodily
flattered. At every school I visited, I met cute kids who listened attentively. They asked clever questions as though I might know some answers and they thanked me for my time.
Then they took me to morning tea. Book Week morning teas consist of coffee, cakes, fruit platters and a whole range of wondrous things, which resident authors scarf, in case the food either disappears…or the bell goes.
Following a Book Week morning tea, there were usually more presentations to different classes. By this stage, having grown unaccustomed to such long stretches of continuous speech, my voice became a little hoarse. As if magically attuned, teachers and teacher librarians, heard the initial vocal croak. They quietly sneaked from the room, to return moments later, with cooling glasses of water. Wondrous.
Then they took me to lunch. Bread rolls, more cake, juice, biscuits, fruit, coffee. Again conversation between writers, teachers and librarians, was interspersed with chewing, lip smacking and finger licking.
After lunch there were more in class presentations. I was thrilled when teachers took notes and afterward told me how well what I’d discussed with students, would fit with their upcoming lessons. I was even more chuffed when kids stayed back to have a chat, ask about my books and their own writing.
Then it was home…for afternoon tea.
Of course, this was just the schools. I also visited the YMCA in Browns Plains, where the girls were funny, interested/ing and fed me lamington squares filled with cream.
At Logan City Libraries, I met students from Browns Plains State High. They were part of the school’s writing group. For some reason it makes me inordinately happy to think on teens who willingly spend their time imagining and writing new worlds. These kids filled me with hope, rather than food.
Come to think of it, maybe it’s the hope, rather than the food that’s left me feeling so satisfied. At every one of my Book Week locations, I found myself inspired by my audience. I was awed by the depth of their questions, their eagerness to learn and their determination to dream.
I was humbled by the staff (teachers, librarians, youth workers, counsellors etc)who arrange these events. Their commitment to improving outcomes for kids. Their palpable need to bring words,
understanding and a love of language into people’s lives.
Over the past two weeks, these people, the staff and the students, restored a little of my faith in humanity, so maybe I need to reappraise my remuneration package.
Will work for fulfillment…and food!