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[personal] A school visit - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-10-13 08:07
Subject: [personal] A school visit
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, death, friends, health, personal, writing
Last Thursday I did a school visit. Since it was a middle school, I'm not comfortable naming exact details for the sake of privacy, but suffice to say that I sat with an eighth grade class, then a seventh grade class, to talk about writing, cancer, death and other things.

The particular spark for this visit was my recent blog post on kindness and opportunity [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. The teacher had assigned that as reading to both classes, then had them write essays about kindness.

I got to hear some of the essays, as well as some related fiction from a writing assignment. I was also told some pretty interesting and serious things by several of the kids. But mostly I got to talk with them.

These days I'm on disability because I can neither work nor write effectively anymore. As a friend said to me last week, we all need meaningful pursuits. While bearing witness to cancer and its challenges is certainly a meaningful pursuit for me these days, that's a small amount of time spent at a keyboard a few times per week. To be out in the world, talking to people of any age, about the things I think are important: that is a great gift.

I want to thank the classes and their teacher, and Ellen Eades for driving me to and fro so I could have the energy to focus on the kids.

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User: keikaimalu
Date: 2013-10-13 21:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

For some reason, I find this deeply moving -- talking to children about cancer and death. It could be disturbing with some speakers, but I'd bet that your combination of openness, honestly, and presentness dispelled that possibility.

I'm glad you and they had that opportunity.
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User: yourbob
Date: 2013-10-14 01:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wonder if there's a hospice that does anything like that?

I could also see you, and some others, doing something like "Last Words. Authors on Mortality" as a video or voice record.
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asakiyume: hummingbird
User: asakiyume
Date: 2013-10-14 02:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's *great*. What a great thing to do. And yeah, it *is* great to be able to spend some time out and about, talking with folks (kids), and on top of it all, to know that you're doing something useful.
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