Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Speech in NY

I have just returned from New York with my ears hurting, runny nose, and two enormous cardboard posters with my smiling face printed brightly to the side of "Adora Svitak--A Child Prodigy Speaks". They were nice posters but they gave us some trouble at the airport; brobdingnagian cardboard posters in gigantic Kinkos bags aren't exactly the regular carry-on luggage. It was stored in the coat closet on the plane during the flight.

The flight itself was not the worst I have experienced. I was not forced to make use of the small, strangely clean white "Motion Sickness" bag conveniently tucked into every seat pocket--there were times, however, when I felt slightly queasy. We had bought a very interesting and educational card game about headlines from the New York Post about memorable events over the century; we spent some time playing this while eating cake and drinking ginger ale.

I made a speech at the Longwood School, a wonderful, innovative school with classes divided not by walls but by bookshelves or lockers. This idea might sound ridiculous but really I thought it was quite a good idea; walls sometimes restrict movement, while there is less waste of material and space with this idea. The students were highly intelligent; I talked with some of them after my presentation to get feedback on my presentation, how I might improve it, etc., and they also asked me questions. I was also questioned by reporters from MiddleScoop, the school newspaper; a great deal of the questions were better than the ones adult reporters ask me, and I enjoyed the experience immensely.

I was also in Long Island to give a speech at Stony Brook University's renowned Charles B. Wang Center; I sold out the emergency copies of Flying Fingers and began autographing things like my poetry and story writing booklet, tickets, even scraps of paper when people were desperate. There was a reception with delicious Chinese food and chocolate milk that I drank thirstily as I answered questions from all sides; sometimes people would be asking me whether I could take a picture with them and snapping about one hundred pictures; other times they asked where I got my inspiration from, when I began writing, etc.

It was quite a nice event on the whole; the Wang Center was a beautiful place, dedicated to sharing different cultures with the rest of the world--this was even reflected in the wonderful resturaunt, Jasmine, which had all kinds of different foods. My favorite was probably the samosas I got almost daily. There were serene, relaxing gardens with small ponds and bridges; there was an impressive display of a model of a Chinese chariot, and the Wang Center had many fountains that calmed you a great deal.

I had about three to four microphones clipped onto me when I was making my speech; it was amazing they did not fall off or at least get tangled together. I was quite relieved to take them off, however, and prance off to explore the rest of the Wang Center.



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