Friday, June 13, 2008


What an amazing week that was.
Everything went according to the planned list, but one thing I added was, as the children came into the classroom, I decided, rather than me just stand around like a spare part, I'd do a drawing.
So, I took in an easel and drawing board and drew out the thing that triggered the idea for The Boy with an Axe in His Head - a bear with... well, you know.
It was a little bit of a performance thing on my part, but it proved to the class that I could at least draw a bear. I put the finishing touches to the drawing and added the caption during registration.
After a brief introduction from the teacher, it was my turn.
When I attend signings or public appearances of any sort, I often has a degree of uncertainty about how the occasion will go. Will it be difficult? Will it go wrong? Will I make an idiot of myself. These four mornings were similar. Until I began, I had no idea what the outcome would be.
So, away I went. I spoke, I pointed, I waved my arms around quite a bit. I read my book.
But the amazing thing for me was the enthusiasm from the children. Maybe it was the subject matter, perhaps it was the chance to do something different to regular lessons. But it was so rewarding to work with all of the children and get the wheels and cogs of their imaginations turning. Luckily, the teachers kept an eye on the time and sent children out for break and lunch, otherwise, I'd still be there today.
I had no need for any of my worries beforehand - I assume it's similar to stage fright.
For each of the mornings, I was carried along on a roller coaster of energy provided by the children. Propelled through the morning until, when lunchtime arrived and my morning with the class ended, I'd be buzzing with energy and excitement from the experience.
Interestingly, on the first morning, no one asked for an autograph. On the second morning, one or two children asked me to draw the bear on a sheet of paper and sign it. The third day saw more autographs and sketches. Day four, I was still signing and drawing bears with axes in their head when the class came back in for the afternoon session.
Another effect I noticed - often, when I write captions, envelopes etc. I'll use a cartoony serif type of writing. Some of the children picked up on this and asked me how I did it. "Easy" I said, "just give your letters hats and boots" and demonstrated by writing some of the children's names. Funny how a typographical element derived from Roman antiquity can be summed up in such a simple fashion. Hats and boots.
As I left the class, I saw some of the children practising writing their names in a serif font. Viral education - I often wonder if I cased an epidemic of typographic proportions.

1 comment:

domanique said...

Great work Peter, love your updates from 14 June. It reminds me of when I go into just come away buzzing especially when the children get so much from the session....

Sorry didn't make the meeting tonight only just got back from herefordshire.