Thursday, October 30, 2008

At Virginia Tech with Nikki Giovanni

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On October 27-28, the Moo Moo Book Club traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia. We left the high school at 4:30 a.m. and didn't arrive in Blacksburg until 2 p.m. Needless to say, the bus experience was horrible. We got lost, we went the longest route to begin with, we did our best with using the bathroom on the bus, and finally we made it.

On Monday afternoon, we toured the campus of Virginia Polytechnic and State University. We all agreed that the campus was nothing but beautiful. That night, we toured the Smithfield Historic Plantation. It was so neat because there is no overhead electricity in the house, so we used floor lamps and flashlights. It felt very authentic. Once the tour was over, the students and chaperones walked down the property to an old slave cabin--the summer kitchen--and told ghost stories for an hour.

The best part of the trip was meeting and participating in a writing workshop with New York Times best selling poet, Nikki Giovanni. Students read her book, Blues for all the Changes, and were able to ask her questions both about the book and the writing process. Nikki was inspiring, down-to-earth, hilarious, and oozing with talent. Students were asked to share some of their writing, and if they were too nervous, Nikki read it for them. Hearing her voice resonating and fluctuating with my students' words was astounding. What an awesome experience!

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