Category Archives: seeing

Mercersburg Academy and “The Perfect Match”

I went to visit Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania last month to meet the students who were turning my short story, “The Perfect Match,” into a play. It was neat to see how the actors interpreted my characters, and it gave me a chance to see these characters in a new light.

I also got a chance to visit a few classes, share meals with some students, and talk to them about a scifi future (I told them about my visions of the robot apocalypse, since you know I’m such an optimistic guy).

It was a blast. Mercersburg Academy has a beautiful campus with excellent facilities, and the students impressed me with their maturity and insightful questions about my story. We ended up chatting about notions of privacy, and whether members of the younger generation really do have different ideas about online personas and privacy than older people.

I’m grateful that my hosts, Julie and Matt Maurer, gave me this opportunity for a visit. And I’m even more grateful for the hard work the students put into this production. I hope to see a recording of the production soon.

World Scholar’s Cup

The World Scholar’s Cup, a world-wide academic team-based competition for teens that celebrates learning (think Academic Decathlon), invited me to their Tournament of Champions at Yale today.

I was there to talk to the students about “The Paper Menagerie” — they had read it as one of the resources to be used in their debates and essays. It was really cool meeting the students: bright, eager, and very insightful with their questions and criticisms. I felt like I learned quite a bit about myself and about the story after hearing from them. These young people were having a great time while also honing their academic skills — it was impressive as hell to see and hear them at work.

Daniel Berdichevsky, the founder of WSC, is a pretty amazing individual (go read his bio), and I think his vision for what WSC can do for students around the world is very inspiring. Jeremy, Zac, Grace, and other WSC coordinators (I didn’t write all the names down in time) were all really kind, generous, and brilliant, and everyone exuded positive energy.

It’s heartening to see this kind of positive work being done in the world.

I had about half an hour at one point free, and I popped in at the Peabody Museum of Natural History because this is where the world’s only “Brontosaurus” is located. (Read the plaque for why I used quotes.)

Brontosaurus

Brontosaurus explanation

Read! Singapore

I’ll be going to Singapore from 9/1 to 9/9 as part of the National Library Board of Singapore’s Read! Singapore initiative to encourage community reading and discussions on a selected story.

I’m incredibly honored that “The Paper Menagerie” has been chosen for this initiative.

You can see a full listing of my appearances in Singapore here. There will be other talks and interviews as well: I’m scheduled pretty tight :)

Although Lisa is from Singapore, I’ve never been there, so this is a very exciting opportunity. I can’t wait to experience the city and meet readers and writers there — some of whom I’ve only known through Twitter and Facebook.

But I will have to miss WorldCon as a result. So let me congratulate all the Hugo nominees and winners in advance. You’re all amazing, and I wish I can be there to cheer you on.

Jacko

I’ve only carved a jack-o’-lantern once before. But I figured I’d make a fool of myself for Esther’s sake this year.

Of course, as those of you who are parents could have predicted, she was more fascinated by the newspapers we spread out on the floor to catch the mess than the pumpkin-carving process itself.

Still, I like the result.

jack-o'-lantern