*This is a bonus post! After reflecting on how much of an impact the library trip made on me last year, I felt compelled to include the sequel in my eminent anthology. Enjoy!*
The main thing I took away from the trip, other than seven books, was a greater sense of community with the TALONS learners, particularly the grade tens.
-Library post, 2016
Photos to the event can be found here (don’t worry, there are still many blurry selfies to enjoy)
When we as humans experience amazing and life-changing events one year, we feel the expectation to improve on them the next if given the opportunity. I felt this similar weight, small but constantly present, as I prepared three Wednesdays ago to visit the Vancouver Public Library and Macleod’s Bookstore with the entire TALONS program!!! (minus Ms. Mulder). I had some specific goals in mind:
- Get several books about my Eminent Person. These wonders of ink and paper were the basis of all my research last year, and I wanted to make sure I had at least a few biographies of Dmitri Shostakovich. Also, because a quick search on the library’s website revealed that there were more than a dozen books about him, I would have to make several decisions about which books I would use. This process would act as a filtration system.
- Bond with the grade 9’s. I stated in my library post from last year that I felt a great deal closer to the grade 10’s after the event. I wanted to socialize with the 9’s as much as possible, and hopefully learn more about them and their wants and fears about this study and the year overall.
- Gain experience leading a truly large group. In the full year-and-a-bit that I’ve been in TALONS, the entire cohort of 50-something learners has never traveled as a group outside of Gleneagle walls. Now, we would be traversing around downtown Vancouver, and the quiet confines of the library. No matter how much I mentally prepared myself for this aspect of the trip, I had no idea as to how difficult it would actually be!
We met early at 7:45 at Lincoln Skytrain Station, before taking transit to downtown Vancouver. After splitting up into two different groups, I headed into the Central Branch at the Vancouver Public Library, and scurried to the top floor to grab as many books as I could humanly carry. Too quickly, however, time was up, and I dragged the volumes back down to the food court, where I had a delicious and eclectic meal of Hawaiian pizza with a chicken teriyaki bento box. Next, we visited Macleod’s Bookstore, and I was yet again astonished by the literally endless amount of novels. After finding just one book about Shostakovich (and one that will be featured in a future post – but not for the reasons you think), I started to peruse the shelves at random, helping friends find books or just looking out of curiosity. I absolutely plan to visit that store again in the near future, as I could literally spend hours upon hours getting lost in the sea of books. Since much time remained, we returned to the VPL to do a little more research, and returned back home at around 3. I was absolutely exhausted, and took a well-deserved nap as soon as I got home.
- Did I meet my goals?
- Absolutely. I checked a total of seven books about Shostakovich, and dug into a few of them immediately.
- This objective is a little more difficult to assess. My first mistake was to expect the exact same experience as I had in grade 9. This was obviously impossible, since my role in this trip was to be more of a mentor and a leader. Since there is absolutely no way I could have entered the 9’s heads and understand their experiences and feelings, I shouldn’t have banked so much on their enjoyment of the trip to define mine. That being said, I really did enjoy getting to know some of them, and was able to converse with around half of the class.
- I was not ready whatsoever for the perils of leading such a big group without the guidance of Ms. Mulder (nothing on you, Mr. S or Mr. Morris!). We left a 9 at the first Skytrain stop, countoff was an adventure in itself, and we got several slightly annoyed glances from other passengers on the Skytrain. However, the bonding experience between the entire classes would have been impossible if the event didn’t occur. This connects to my…
- When an educational experience is presented in a manner that brings learners together with a common goal (research), it is able to connect them in several ways.
My theme is very similar to that of last years, when I stated that “any work that got done was a bonus”. I think that we all enjoyed each other’s company very much, and are more cohesive as a group now.
That’s a wrap on the final library trip I’ll ever attend! More to come soon….