I live a double life (or perhaps even a triple one). I write novels as well as educational resources for many different publishers. As well as a writer, I am also a primary (elementary) school teacher. This term, we are studying science, with a focus on chemistry.
Like most teachers, I spend hours on the internet looking for relevant activities and resources. In particular, I look for ‘experts’ to come into the school to do hands-on activities with the children. To my dismay, I could only find one here in NZ. This is science in a van.
These guys are great. Unfortunately, we’ve had them in for the last two years and the children have seen most of their activities.
So then I went off on a tangent and found sites more relevant to the living world. This, I confess, was motivated by my three year old son’s keen interest in animals. A few weekends ago, we took him to a ‘farm’ where children get to pet animals, ride on horses and tractors and feed pigs, cows, donkeys and goats. A few weekends ago, he went to a birthday party where they had a petting zoo which included reptiles (turtles and snakes), rabbits, rats, mice and even a chinchilla. He loved it. Here in NZ, there doesn’t seem to be many people who offer these types of interactive activities. If you go offshore, you can find more.
Canada seems to offer more. This place in particular:
They even offer reptile themed birthdays which I know my son would love. Pity they’re so far away otherwise we’d be there in a flash.
I received very good news recently. I applied for study leave next year to get my Masters in Creative writing. My study leave application was successful and so next year, I’ll be out of a classroom filled with little people and back into the classroom filled with big people. To say that I’m excited is an understatement. This is a significant step in my writing journey. By completing this course, I will (hopefully) become a better writer and as an extension to this, become better able to teach it.
It’s only recently that I considered myself a proper author which is a little sad – especially after 50 chapter books and 7 novels. As such, I think I need some of the trappings of a proper author. That’s when I decided I needed a business card. One that says ‘author’ somewhere on it.
So I did a little research. Here in New Zealand, two of my writer friends suggested a good place. It’s called Vista Print.
I got 250 business cards for $30 which I considered a bargain.
A couple of friends in the states recommended this place. Printing Peach. They do business cards as well as booklets and a whole lot else.
Of course, now I have to hand out my business cards. Not really sure of the etiquette of this. I don’t even know 250 people. Gotta start somewhere I suppose.
Phillip W. Simpson
Phillip W. Simpson is an author of YA and children's books.