Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wanda Campbell - Hope Encourages Creativity

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.
~Anne Lamott

During the week of October 4-11, 2010, I participated in Random Acts of Poetry at Wolfville Junior High (Wolfville, Nova Scotia) with students selected by the resource staff, and at Highbury Education Centre (New Minas, Nova Scotia), an experiential high school for students seeking an alternative to the traditional school environment. I met one on one with 25 students, and read them each a poem from my poetry collection entitled Grace that I thought they might find meaningful. I found out their names and something about them so I could individualize each book that I signed before giving it to them. They seemed thrilled to have a poetry collection with their name and mine at the front. This I had hoped for, but three delightful things I didn’t expect also happened.

1) Several students read poems of their own to me with metaphors and music that were surprisingly mature, testimony to the power of words to make us brave in the face of great challenges.

2) Two students from Highbury Education Centre found me as I was packing up to leave. They thanked me on behalf of their fellow students and gave me a mug with their school’s letters on it, and now when I drink my dark hot coffee from their gift I think of those letters HEC as Hope Encourages Creativity (and vice versa as we know).

3) The Wolfville Junior High teacher who organized my visit sent me this note the next day:
One student in particular was SO pleased to meet you! I think she may have shared with you some of her poems. She has newly moved here and is in need of "something" for her. Thanks for what you do. :)

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