> hanging up a coat in an empty town on literacy day

hanging up a coat in an empty town on literacy day

2013-01-25 - jjackunrau

The other day I wore my Tibetan coat inside the library and was told I looked very urban. Which was funny because I was only wearing the coat inside because I was waiting to go up to Sayward with my boss to see the branch there, which is very rural.

Sayward is about an hour north of Campbell River, and it is a tiny place. It was a foggy drive so I wasn’t able to see as much of the countryside as I would have liked, but there were mountains that appeared when the fog had gaps. And mossy forests that I saw one deer/elk trying to escape the highway into.

But the town itself doesn’t even have a grocery store. If people want more than general store milk and eggs they’ve got to drive an hour down to Campbell River. That seems crazy to me. It seemed crazy to a non-librarian friend of mine that the library branch was in a strip mall, but I had no strong feeling about that.

I’ve had a bit of a tense week because today was Family Literacy Day and it was the first event I’d done to sort of integrate with other community development projects in town. That one of the literacy coordinators was there to help made me that much more aware that I didn’t really take classes in early literacy type things at school. I feel fine doing storytimes and stuff, but really focusing on what kinds of words they’re learning gets a bit wonky for me. My sleep this week was interrupted with lots of inadequacy thoughts I remember from teaching in China. I definitely see myself as a librarian not an “educator” or “literacy expert” though I guess if I keep doing this kind of thing I’ll learn.

But it all worked out. We read some stories, I talked about community and we made “comics.” Nobody decried my event as being terrible and built a rail line to run me out of town on. Now I can relax secure in what I’m doing until my gaming for kids events start up.

On Saturday I’m heading into Vancouver, where one of my awesome librarian colleagues is visiting from Calgary. It means I miss our library’s post-holiday potluck party here, but it’s been almost 3 months since I was in the Lower Mainland. ‘Tis time.

calgary china coat deer education elk empty family literacy day fog forests moss sayward strip mall tibet