Padian Pays a (Virtual) Visit!
Award-winning young adult author, Maria Padian, recently visited students and staff during an afternoon Google Meet session hosted by the English department and the Library Commons. Padian encouraged students by sharing, “If you write what you know is emotionally true, the deeper you will go.” She told the story of how her own family life inspired the development of the main character in her latest book How to Build a Heart and is the one closest to her own heart and personal life.
Ninth grader, Shawn Jiminez, responded , “I just want to say that I fell in love with your characters in the books of yours that I have read, and I want to thank you for making the books you write relatable and about really bold topics that not everyone might have experienced but could learn more about and feel some sort of empathy and understanding.”
Padian read an excerpt from How to Build a Heart and encouraged students to lean into their own stories to learn more about their characters. As she answered staff and student questions about writing, Padian offered, “Writing is like driving at night in fog without headlights. You can’t see very far ahead but you will get to your destination even though you’re not sure how to get through the murky middle.”
The virtual author visit was part of GAHS Thursdays at Three: Tigers Create! This series grew as an extension of the virtual English department event, A Little Day Poetry, and Silver Lining, a Flipgrid video platform. Teacher-Librarian, Debra Butterfield, and English teacher, Lori Gingras, launched Silver Lining to offer a creative way for GAHS students and staff to stay connected during remote learning. The platform has provided opportunities for the GAHS community to reflect on their own silver linings: introducing pets, sharing virtual vacations, and showcasing creativity in action. Students and staff are encouraged to join GAHS Thursdays at Three: Tigers Create! each week to stay connected, learn more about each other, and celebrate creativity.