Monday, August 27, 2007

What I did on my summer holidays

My talk in Halifax is postponed. Not one of us planning the event noticed that we had scheduled it for the first night of Rosh Hashanah. My calendar noted the following day as the day, and I forgot that Jewish holidays always start the night before. We are going to reschedule and this time will check carefully. Stay tuned.

I've had an extreme restful August - I conveniently got pneumonia! It was terrific; I couldn't go to the Y or do any work, just lay around reading - it was just like being at a cottage without tedious commute or lake. I enjoyed reading novels, which I don't usually have time for with everything else I have to read, and watched a DVD or two. (Including "God Grew Tired of Us" - a very beautiful documentary, highly recommended.) Now I am regaining my lungs and will start to venture out into the world - my time at my own particular holiday camp drawing to a close, with the summer.

It's a pleasure to announce that as well as my on-going classes at Ryerson, I will start teaching at U of T in the fall. I had a highly enjoyable meeting with Lee Gowan, the writer who runs the Continuing Studies writing programs at U of T. Their calendar already includes Autobiography, Memoir, Finding your Voice and Creative Non-fiction, my areas of expertise, so Lee encouraged me to develop a new course. A former student of both mine and Lee's came up with the idea of a course in Telling the Family Story, aimed specifically at writers who want to do what I did in the book: track fascinating family figures and commit family stories to paper. Lee has put the course in the Spring 2008 Calendar, but in the meantime Autobiography needed a teacher this term, so I start September 24th.

For those of you in Toronto, don't forget the Cabbagetown Festival, coming up Sept. 8 and 9, a glorious community event. For all of you, I wish you many end-of-summer peaches.

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