04 October 2005

Rosh Hoshana in the Monkey Tree

Yellowknife has been an amazing experience so far, and already I wish I were staying for another week. This afternoon I visited Aurora College, an adult-learning centre that focuses on getting adults back into the educational system. I did a two-hour workshop with a group of about 40 students, ranging from 18 into their 40s, and mainly aboriginal. When I asked at the beginning of the session how many had written poetry before, only 3 or 4 hands went up. I was worried that my crazy methods would be too, well, crazy for them. But it went spectacularly. These students were amazingly open-minded, and those who read their work aloud after each exercise were fantastic. There was actually publishable stuff coming out of this group of first-time writers.

Maybe one of the best workshop experiences I've had.

This morning I was at St. Pat's school for a couple one-hour sessions with Grade 8's. The first group went especially well, and the second was more of a challenge, but ended up well. This is one of the most beautiful high schools I have ever seen. It actually has a huge chunk of the Canadian Shield protruding into its atrium, creating a sort of tiered seating for theatre productions. The whole school has such an open feel; a great place. Apparently the kids even had a say in its architecture.

Last night, the Jewish New Year, I spent on a houseboat with Cynthia and Tony. Getting there was harrowing; had to do it by canoe, and I've never been in a canoe before. Stepping in and out was terrifying. But their houseboat was an amazing place, cluttered with fascinating stuff. Tony is known as the Snow King, and builds these huge snowhouses on the lake during the winter -- and holds concerts, theatre, and film festivals in the structures.

From the boathouse I went to Sam's Monkey Tree for a couple of drinks. Very pleasant bar in the newer part of town. And then it was back to my billet, slipping past a wooden crucifix into my room for sleep. My billet family is really nice, and it's a very cozy place.

Thinking perhaps of spending my last night or two in town downtown. Just for the experience.

Gotta run now to a workshop with the Territorial Writers' Association.

Over and out.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home