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Gr. 7 Learning Commons Orientation Video!!! Weclome to St. Joseph H.S. LC!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

White Pine Readers Frolic in the Forest of Reading in Toronto!!!

On Tuesday, May 20th, six members of the St. Joseph White Pine Book Club left our school in a luxury coach bus destined for Toronto, along with 44 other students from Sacred Heart, Immaculata, St. Paul’s, and Lester B. Pearson. Five hours later, after lunch at a highway stop, we arrived at the Ryerson University International Living Centre where we stayed the night. After an information session in the dining area, we were sent off to our dorms to unpack and get ready to go to dinner and a play.

The Richtree Restaurant was a buffet, the likes of which most of us had never seen. What at first resembled a grocery store, we soon realized was an intricately laid out buffet in which each person received a “credit card” which they could use to purchase different kinds of food. The food was delicious and, needless to say, the $15 we prepaid was not sufficient enough for most.

Freedom to roam the mall came after dinner, but unfortunately, all the stores had just closed as we were leaving the restaurant. On our way to the play, we made a ‘small detour’ to do the Canadian Walk of Fame. Many photographs were taken along the way. We were like tourists visiting Canada’s – sorry Ontario’s –capital for the first time.

Finally, we arrived at the Bluma Appel Theatre at the St. Lawrence Arts Complex. We were glued to the edge of our seats by the first intermission of Stephen King’s, Misery. The suspenseful, terrorizing play adapted from King’s novel by Simon Moore, held our undivided attention for the next two hours. The Question and Answer session afterward was very intense and suspenseful in its own right. The actress, Nicola Cavendish, playing Annie Wilkes, admitted that she was a bit dyslectic. She revealed that the movement of actor Tom McCamus’ leg, off the bed was so she would remember to chop the fake leg rather than his actual leg.

After walking the –you don’t want to know how many—blocks back to the residence, many were ready to collapse into our beds and sleep…others were not so inclined. Forcefully woken at 7:00 am, we all enjoyed an 'all you could eat’ breakfast at the dormitory cafĂ©. Then we boarded the bus again and headed to our main attraction at the Harbourfront Centre. Arriving half an hour early, we had plenty of time to find our way around and decide what workshops we wanted to attend. We were set loose in the Forest of Reading Festival along with 800 other Ontario high school students.

Workshops included a 90-minute live spoken word performance and motivational talk by renowned poet Dwayne Morgan, (who was also the Masters of Ceremony for the award show), a book making workshop, a writing workshop hosted by author Teresa Toten, a graphic artist anime workshop and various other writing themed workshops. Other activities included a balloon artist, ball toss activities, live music, a stilt walker, a tour of a tall ship, and the opportunity to meet the authors and have an autograph signed in your own book.
At 12:45 pm we gathered, half frozen, at the Sirius Stage overlooking Toronto’s harbour of Lake Ontario. The temperature was about 8 degrees Celsius and the wind was wickedly cold. However, the crowd still listened attentively to the inspiring and hilarious speeches from the nominated authors, some who were there in person and some who had students read their speeches by proxy. A student whom read his/her own critique of the novel introduced each author. Finally, they announced the winner, Martine Leavitt who wrote Keturah and the Lord Death. The runner up Honour books was Carrie Mac’s Droughtlanders and Don Aker’s The Space Between. See Ms. Murray to check out these books @ your library!

By the time we were ready to go home, we were ready to call it the Frozen Pine Award Ceremony (Thank You Mr. Kay for canceling the swim in the lake!). Climbing gratefully into the warmth of the bus, we headed home after an exciting two days. And no, we didn’t lose anyone…nearly…

I don’t think anyone will be forgetting this trip anytime soon. So, thank you Ms. Murray and all the other teacher-librarians who helped make this possible. We are extremely grateful for the two days off school the month before exams!

Article by student author and reader extraordinaire, Deanna Edgley!

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