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full day at school

This event season has been amazing, but I'm starting to get awfully tired.

I was so wiped out last night, getting ready to leave early this morning for an all-day school workshop and having to cycle over in the dead of night to the studio to pick up some things I'd forgotten, that I was starting to get a bit weepy. When I went to school in the morning, I was so dispairingly certain I'd never make it through the day that, actually, the reality wasn't so bad and I even had a bit of fun. The kids were surprisingly gentle with me. I only took a couple snapshots of their work, but the gang at Drayton Park Primary School came up with some good stuff. As I was making my way back to Holloway Park tube station, I overheard a bunch of them excitedly talking about their day with me, which made it all seem very worthwhile.

But I do think I may need to re-evaluate agreeing to all-day workshops. They're tremendously draining (I don't know how teachers manage to do it EVERY DAY!) At the same time, a one-hour school assembly, when you add in travel time, preparation and general faffing can take up nearly a whole day anyway, and the kids don't accomplish half as much. I think the activity I chose was just on the brink of being too old for 7-year-olds, but I think they benefitted from being pushed a bit. I had to do some rather intensive one-on-one work with at least half of them, wrestling to make their stories clear to someone other than themselves. But they still seemed to enjoy it, mainly because they got to draw monsters and say the word 'poo' a lot.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 24th, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
Hello Sarah, Hopefully you are listening you yourself and will administer some self-care. Your drawing seems an apt self-portrait. Tomorrow is USA Thanksgiving. Hopefully you can take the day off and rest -- and count your blessings. Hugs, Mom
Nov. 24th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
Listen to mom. :)
Pace yourself, Sarah.

I once stayed up all night drawing to meet a dealine, and then had to teach a 4 hour college class (or maybe two 4 hour classes?). It was crazy and I knew it. I try to avoid that kind of scheduling now, if I can. With all the workshops and book/comic conventions you go to, I'm amazed you are still able to make all the great drawings you make (like the sketch above!).

Keeping a day planner (the little booklet with 3 or 4 days on a page) has been very helpful for me. And while it is flattering to be asked to appear places, feeling OK about saying "no" is also helpful. I'm not as disciplined as I'd like to be, but I'm learning.

With school or library workshops, I tend to go for about 90 minutes (and stay later sometimes, to talk to students with questions). 20-30 minutes is me talking and drawing things on the board. The last hour or so is devoted to the student activity (which for me is always having them create their own little comic book). I couldn't imagine going for a whole day! And no one has ever asked me to. Maybe American kids have shorter attention spans? Whatever the case, I admire your dedication.

Also: Happy US Thanksgiving!
Nov. 25th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Listen to mom. :)
Thanks, David! Yeah, accepting full-day workshops was a bit nuts; I accepted doing four days very early on, when I didn't know if I was going to get any other events, but I wouldn't take it now. 90 minutes is much more reasonable. Thank goodness they let Gary do two days or I would have had six. Killer!
Nov. 24th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
That self portrait is possibly my most fave drawin you've done. Captures the zombie exhaustion perfectly.

Hugs to you and keep your chin up. You're blooming brilliant.

I'll keep working on that cloning experiment.

Nov. 25th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
Listen to your mum, she's talking alot of sense. Look after yourself dude.

Nov. 25th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
I know EXACTLY what you mean. I just finished my very last event for 2010, and I want to sleep for about a year. All-day workshops are definitely a "sometimes" thing...I am saying no to more and more of them as time goes by. Especially the ones that require a lot of travel beforehand!

I am also learning to state my own limitations right up front: I can't start earlier than 10 AM; I need a break every 45 minutes; I need adults around to help mediate; and so forth. It makes such a difference when I can at least be in control of a few things.

Anyway, just wanted to sympathize. :)
Nov. 25th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
Hi, Raina! Thanks so much!

Those are good limitations to set, I'm getting a better idea this year of what I can and can't manage. The writer Sally Nicholls just told me that the Society of Authors guidelines say we shouldn't really accept doing more than three hours a day for a school visit. And we have this great new law in Britain where we can't be left alone in a classroom with the kids, which is such a relief. I think it's a child protection thing, but what it really means is that usually we can leave the crowd control stuff to the teacher and get on with doing the workshop.

I hope things are going well with you! xx
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
thanks sarah
hi sarah,
thanks for teaching us how to make a comic,
we enjoyed having you and that was a great lesson.
We hope you come and visit us again soon.

jupiter,Emma and Fatima.
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
Re: thanks sarah
Thanks, Emma & Fatima! Aren't comics great? I could read them all day. :)
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
Sarah Mcintyre
hi it is Charlotte from jupiter in drayton park that was a fun day going to come again if let me know p.s you rock anyway I have been makeing my own book if you want to see it just blog me how do make a wesite plase tell me loads of people by my bboks
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Sarah Mcintyre
That's fab, Charlotte! I think the best way is either to start up a blog or get a photo sharing website. Perhaps your school or your family can help you with it? You can either take photos of your work and post it online, or scan it and post it online. Or make copies and send it to people through the post. :) Good luck!
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
making books
Hellow sarah how ara you we thank you for cumeing in and us lernig how to make a comic p.s wish you luck
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
Re: making books
Thanks very much! I had so much fun seeing how creative you people all were!
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
sarah mcintyre
you are funny. terry
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
Re: sarah mcintyre
Hey, Terry! :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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