Writer, teacher, geek from way back
I am a novelist, a high school teacher, a husband and a dad. I live in Toronto. Which is great.
Just stopping in to say, “Hi!” – love the blog too!
Thanks, Gail. Hi right back at you. How’s Messmer?
David – Did you teach English at Winston Churchill CI about 10 or so years ago?
Just read your article ‘Reading Aloud is an Act of Love’. I don’t teach English anymore (pre-apprenticeship carpentry only these days), but I recall reading novels aloud to my grade 10 applieds – Flowers for Algernon (not among my favourites but my students loved it, surprisingly) Crabbe, The Wizard of Earthsea and the trilogy by Ursula Leguin – and they were mesmerized for those 20 minutes or so. The magic of engaging narrative.
I only read aloud (fiction, that is) at home now. My wife and I are just wrapping up Moby Dick. Now that’s a book that has to be read aloud!
Yep, that’s me. I was only at Churchill for one semester. I enjoyed it very much (with the exception of the department head…). Since then, I did a ten-year stint at Borden BTI (which was really great… but tiring) and am now at Lester B. Pearson and having an amazing time.
Are you still at Churchill?
I have enjoyed reading many of the same books you’ve read aloud to kids. Those Le Guins are priceless. I see your point about Moby Dick being a read-aloud; those cadences are meant for a voice. I must admit to having skipped long passages when I read it silently.
All the best!
Hello Mr Lomax.
I don’t know if you remember me, but you taught a science fiction English class at Pine Ridge in Pickering, about 14 years ago, which I’ll never forget.
It wasn’t so much the course content as it was your teaching methods and class discussions. I’m sure I’m not the only student who’s contacted you like this, but, looking back at all of my years in school, I can honestly say that no other teacher has had as profound an effect on me. I can’t even remember if i passed the course… probably not considering what I remember of my high school career… but I still think about how you had every male in the class denying that they played with dolls when they were younger, insisting that they were “action figures”! Ha! Also, I often think about how you said the system was geared to generate “worker bee” members of society. Speaking as a parent with school age kids, I can honestly say that it has never been more true.
Anyways, I just wanted you to know that you had a lasting effect on me, and although I grew up to be a worker bee, I’ll never stop asking questions, and thinking critically.
(P.S. I don’t think I ever did thank you for the Thomas Covenant books.
I enjoyed them very much. Also, if you already saw this message on your Facebook page, sorry. It didn’t look like you frequent it too much, and I really wanted you to get this message.)
I absolutely do remember you. I don’t give the Thomas Covenant books to just anyone, you know. I’m pretty sure you did pass that class (which I loved teaching), though, yes, I also recall your high school career being somewhat … checkered?
I might have been a little harsh with that “worker bee” comment. Please do remember that I would no doubt have been younger back then than you are now.
Thank-you for your kind comments. It’s nice to hear that you have kids. I’d love to hear about them. I have three of my own — daughter sixteen, son fourteen, son almost five. It certainly does change your view of the world.
Oh, and have you read the newest Covenant books? Donaldson has gone back to Covenant after more than a twenty-year absence. His writing is darker now, but I think it’s even richer than before.
All the best. Thanks for making my day.
Hi David (seems a little weird, but damn it, I’m a grown-up!),
My wife and I enjoyed your article on The Hunger Games.
I finished the trilogy about 2 weeks ago, and I liked it. It did seem a little cushy at times, when you consider real world nations like North Korea, and how they’ve got all of the brutality of the capitol, but go much farther than simple media miss-direction, employing brainwashing, and closely controlling all information available to the general public. In real life, they don’t seem to leave much wiggle room.
So, onto a lighter subject: My Kids! My daughter is 10, my son is turning 4 soon, and my newest boy will be born sometime in September. I see you’ve got quite the age span with yours as well!
They certainly keep me busy. My daughter made it into the gifted learners program for next year, so we’re very excited about that.
I think the “worker bee” comment might have been harsh in a room full of adults, but to teenagers, who have yet to make the big time life changing choices, not only was it right on the money, it was something that we NEEDED to hear.
I didn’t know about the new Covenant books, but they’re now officially in my queue. Have you read Stephen King’s Dark Tower books?
I’m curious to hear your thoughts!
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