|Wonderful students at Escola|
Now that book events of the last week are winding down, I can get to a school visit in Braga that give me the opportunity to meet some of the wonderful students at Escola Secondaria Maximinos, a secondary school equivalent to our middle and high school levels in the United States. (Braga is divided into civil parishes, and Maximinos, where the school is located, is one of those parishes.)
The visit was arranged by Carla Pereira, a lovely person I met on a previous trip while doing research who has become a dear friend, and one of the teachers at the school. Carla had corresponded with me and asked if I would visit her daughter's school. Of course I said yes! The teacher who set up the event, Senhorita Carminda, arranged for us to meet in the library, which provided a warm and welcoming environment.
|Carla, her 12-year old daughter, |
Beatrix, and me.
Carla's daughter, Beatrix, is twelve, but the majority of students were between 13 and 15. Students from two 7th grade classes and two 8th grade classes met in the library, which hosts visitors and various programs. (You can learn more about the library programs HERE.)
A table had been set up at the front of the room, and what really amazed (and delighted) me was a screen that had a picture of my book cover! I had bought posters to pin up, but they were entirely unnecessary.
|What to my wondering eyes did appear.|
|Senhorita Carminda, me, and a charming|
supervisor from the school district. I'm
sorry I can't tell you her name. I met a lot
of people all at once. But she was warm
and welcoming, like all the staff.
The students were a great audience: attentive, curious, serious, well-behaved. They understood English and asked interesting questions: everything from what made me come to Braga (another book I'm writing), what did I like about Braga (oh so much!), how long I had been writing (all my life), and a few other questions.
|Following along. . . (you can see my|
husband, Rajan, near the door.)
|The students were pretty focused.|
|I really enjoyed their questions.|
Some of the students told me they write, too. And -- impressive -- one young man is studying both Spanish and French, in addition to the English he already has been learning. Here are some
pictures of these cool young
Altogether, the visit took about 45 minutes, and the time went by very fast.
Before it was over, I was presented with a gift from the school - a pen with a wooden shaft in a beautifully crafted wooden box. And because they do things in such a special way, the box was wrapped in paper with a picture of my book cover!
|The special pen. My poetry pen.|
After the students went to their next class, we had some pictures taken with our hosts, two hard-working librarians who also teach classes. They set everything up for us and created this inviting and comfortable atmosphere.
|Rajan, Senhorita Carminda, me, |
supervisor, and 2 gracious librarians.
|Senhorita Carminda, Beatrix, Carla,|
me, and charming supervisor.