On the Friday of Wordstock I was picked up by the lovely Donna and taken to Lincoln High to talk to a couple of classes in the school library. What a great bunch of kids. I was quite nervous beforehand, not because I was scared of them, but because I didn't really have anything prepared and hoped I wouldn't run out of things to say. Someone had made this wonderful sign for the event:
I had nothing to worry about. I ended up just chatting to them about life in New Zealand and about being a writer - they asked lots of really great questions and the time just flew by. I asked them what they knew about New Zealand, and most of them said 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Flight of the Conchords' so I was able to supply good anecdotes that arise from living in a small country where everyone knows each other.
Afterwards I played tourist and took photos of a real American high school! This might seem a bit pedestrian to any American readers out there, but imagine what it's like to grow up watching American teen TV dramas and you'll see what I mean. Schools there are so different from ours, and this one was just like the many I've seen on the small screen over the years.
Case in point:
This photo also captures well the gorgeous autumn-ness of Portland. I also discovered that Elliot Smith* and Matt Groenig both went to Lincoln High so they impressed me right back.
Thanks for having me, Lincoln!
*It has just occurred to me looking at this plaque that Elliot Smith would have been my exact contemporary at school. So very sad.