On Thursday 31 August we were visited by the author of our most loved class text, Michael Gerard Bauer, author of ‘Don’t Call Me Ishmael!’ Students all enjoyed and learnt a lot from the visit. All the Year 9 classes have been studying the novel and to meet the author in person was a great privilege. He shared the process of writing, how he pieces together different ideas and experiences to create characters and events that engage the reader. The novel is well known for its humour and Michael didn’t disappoint in his delivery, his stories of success and misfortune were both funny and relatable. Just as the book puts the reader in the shoes of the fourteen-year-old, Ishmael, those in the room had a similar experience as Michael recounted his own stories.
Michael Gerard Bauer is a former English teacher and this enhanced his presentation as he was able to communicate the academic art of writing through discussing the enjoyment of the written word. Hearing writing advice from the author of a book all the students adored was powerful. It is always a joy to see learning experiences outside of the classroom and guest speakers are no exception. We all left the room not only enthused for reading but also writing.
The students shared the following comments:
It was very funny, he interacted well with students. – Madison
It was hilarious. – Marco
It was good to hear from the writer’s point of view. – Zac
The story about him fainting was hilarious. – Georgia
He was really funny and got us involved. – Cooper
I especially liked when he knelt to pray and fainted. – Leilani
I loved his fainting story. – Max