Well, I've survived the summer school for another year - and so did my students, just about! I had an incredibly nice group of people to deal with, so although the week was frantic and intense, it was also purposeful, positive and fun. We shared a lot of laughs. Well done to them for being so productive too - and so timely with their assignments so that I could get the marking and reports done by 5.30 Friday, when they were required by the admin staff. The one to one tutorials went well - and many students find them the most valuable part of courses like this. When you're on your own with the challenge of writing a novel it really helps to have direct editorial advice and support. Also, there seemed to be particular appreciation of the plotting aspect of the course this year - and it was good to see new stories forming and gelling in people's minds as the week progressed.
Could have done with a solid weekend in bed after that, but it was not to be. The house looked more than ordinarily tip-like, elder son had an end-or-term music concert on Saturday morning and yesterday we went to Thorpe Park as a belated birthday treat for younger son!
Now I need to address the problem of filing away all the notes, lectures, examples and handouts I used last week, the dregs of which were just dumped at the end of each day. Plus there's the aftermath of my normal teaching year. Plus the many off-the-net printouts - things I think may interest students, book news, popular science and astronomy for my book etc etc. All in utter chaos at present. After a major sort-out, when things are in neat files and wallets all labelled, a semblance of order lasts for, oh, about a week, after which the smug grin on my face is replaced by the more familiar drowning-in-sea-of-info expression.
This week we're going to hear nothing but Harry Potter, Harry Potter - an article in the Observer yesterday highlighted the contribution JKR's agent, Christopher Little, has made to her success (and the benefits, of course, he's derived from having seen her potential). And what we all long for is an agent who will be full of critical and commercial acumen, who will drive a gimlet-eyed deal for us while being our biggest fan and support. As Ed Victor says in the article: 'He was the luckiest agent ever - when something like that falls in your lap it is luck, but he made the most of it. He has run the brand admirably. ... He's a charming and affable fellow, but made of steel underneath.'
Note the word 'brand', by the way.