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We Should Respect The Living Authors

By Author: Arsenalo
Total Articles: 116

In contrast, when we were arranging for some of our Humor Conference authors to make presentations at schools where they would be paid by the PTA or through other special funds, that the authors were being paid did not keep them from drooping with discouragement or bristling in irritation if they felt "dissed." They were never insulted on purpose, but sometimes there were hurt feelings simply because we did not take the time to explain to busy teachers, principals, and librarians what they needed to do as good hosts.

For example, both Alleen and the poet Jack Prelutsky were embarrassed when she took Prelutsky to speak in a middle school and found that in honor of April being National Poetry Month the school's hallways were decorated with Shel Silverstein poems and student drawings. An incident that did Cartier Pasha Replica not happen to us but that we heard about concerned a famous author who went to speak at a school assembly. The first thing he did was to ask how many in the audience had read one of his books. He invited these children to come to the stage and sit with him. Then he surprised everyone by telling the teachers to take the other students back to their classrooms. When Alleen recounted this to a YA literature class in hopes of making the point that hosts need to do some serious preparation for having visiting authors, one graduate student—a school administrator—boldly said that he would not have paid the speaker's fee.

That's an understandable reaction, but it's also not practical as we learned when one of our authors went to speak at a school where the cafeteria doubled as an auditorium. Shortly after lunch, 200 students trudged in to sit in the hastily arranged rows of chairs. Only a portable divider separated the students from the kitchen where the cafeteria workers were still cleaning up after lunch. When an especially loud noise interrupted the author's presentation, he stuck his head behind the divider and demanded to see whoever made the noise. Out came an embarrassed woman who was thoroughly scolded by the author. This was bad enough, but then a girl in the third row ran crying from the room because the cafeteria worker happened to be her mother.

We heard about this event from several different sources, including from the principal who was so angry that he told the author not to come back the next day for his second scheduled visit and that he wasn't going to get paid. The author proudly told us that the principal backed down on the payment issue—but not on the matter of a return visit—as soon as he mentioned that his New York lawyer would be telephoning.

Some mutual respect could have gone a long way in preventing this unfortunate situation, which if nothing else shows that authors Breitling Replica Watches are just as likely as any of us to loses their cool when they feel dissed. In fact, they may be more prone to such feelings as explained to us by one cranky author who apologized for his bad behavior by saying that before presentations he always needed to instigate some kind of a conflict just to get his adrenaline flowing.

In a different year, we remember the shocked look on a teacher's face when she was telling an author about how much her third graders had enjoyed acting out his prizewinning book and he interrupted with, "You know, that's a copyrighted story."

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