Lately I've been racing against time, making effort to overcome my weakness in using computer software by putting talented people to good use and learning not to obsess about certain details. Finally, here is our first book, hot off the press printers.
This is a collection of short stories revolving around the theme of the age 16, including the works of 15 students and mine. Everyone had to write and illustrate their story. In the process I repeated to the girls: My ex-classmates are in Bologna participating in the illustration fair. I don't want to publish terrible stuff here. Knowing they could meet my expectation, I had never stopped saying: You can do much better. No wonder today they finally admitted that I am a tough woman.
My group project in Camberwell last year was nothing but a nightmare. However, when designing this book, we brainstormed together. After deciding on the main concept, the girls helped each other with enthusiasm. It was hard to imagine that teamwork can be so smooth and beautiful. I am very thankful to my kids.
Though each story is no longer than 1500 words, we had discussions on the themes before we got down to work. That explains why most students wrote about their personal experiences (since I highly recommended it). There were also weekly talks before the girls finished the whole stories. Also, Sophy and I proofread the final version for numerous times.
After these four months, many students' life had changed. Some of them chose to face their past wounds and through writing, they found remedy. Also, this project boosted their self-confidence. I got to know more about each of them. However, I should be the one that underwent the most change. I had never belonged to any group, but this was the first time I felt connected to some people because of a common goal. I didn't mind how much I'd given because after all I was part of the project.
Though I can't remember them all, there are so many stories during the process. Next week when the girls upload all the works to their blog, you are more than welcome to savor the beauty of 16....