Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hong Kong Prep

Everything is happening at once. I will have tons of marking to do - signalling the end of classes - but at the same time I'm writing course materials for our classes in Hong Kong. I'll be teaching How to Write Picture Books again at the YWCA, plus other sessions on poetry and fiction writing. Then at the Women in Publishing seminars, I'll be talking about websites and marketing, and how to sell your writing internationally. Phew! And spending two whole days at schools, which I'm looking forward to.

My friend T says, "How can you finish a year of teaching in our course and then go off and do two more weeks of it?" But it's different. Short courses are full of energy and enthusiasm. You don't have to plan for 30 weeks, just several hours. You can throw yourself into it and you know that everyone who comes along is truly keen and wants to know every single thing you can tell them. I find in 30 weeks of classes that students struggle, their personal stuff gets in the way, their commitment (in some cases, not all) wanes and they often don't put in 100%. It can get dispiriting as a teacher.

In short courses, everyone does 100% - teachers and students. We all want to make as much great stuff happen in our allotted time as possible. And Hong Kong itself is such an energetic place - people out in the streets, enjoying themselves, eating, talking, walking until after midnight. The lights, the busy-ness, the combination of ancient and modern culture all serve to re-energise us.

This time I am going on a short trip into China (as well as the big shopping trip to Shenzhen!) and also hope to hop on a ferry to Macau for the day. It is such a different place to be, both mentally and physically, that at the end of the school year, it's a total pleasure for us.
Our YWCA classes are here (look for our Write Start! week classes under Language and Communications), and our WiPs sessions are here (our sessions will be up any day under Events). If you're in Hong Kong, come along!
(And the photo is of one of the great skinny trams in Wanchai - complete with Christmas paint!)

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