NotN Preparation Breakdown (SFU Research Trip Post)

My success at NotN was derived from two things.

1) Some wonderful, one-of-a-kind circumstances that occurred that in no way I could’ve foreseen

2) My prep work. Of course, as #2 is the factor I had control over, it is the one I will be focusing on for this blog post.

For the last 4 years, I have been an avid Shane Koyczan fan. Before I ever wrote a word of my own poetry, I was in love with his. Because of this, I knew a lot about him – I knew the outline of his life story, I knew his work, I knew the cadence and rhythm with which he spoke so entrancingly. Thus, when I began to study him, I realized that the ‘research’ component of this project didn’t seem quite as large as it had originally appeared.

All that changed on October 18th, when I saw Stickboy.

Stickboy is Shane’s first, and wildly successful, opera. It was loosely biographical, and detailed extensively the horrendous experience of being bullied. Seeing this opera completely changed my ideas of Shane Koyczan, and caused my focus to narrow in on a specific part of his life/ psyche/ work: his childhood.

Approximately 2 weeks later, we went off to SFU!

I had realized that I wanted to learn more about the formative years of my eminent person, and now, heading to SFU, I realized that I did not have the knowledge I needed to write my speech and create my learning centre. At SFU my goal was to obtain minimum 3 books, with one of those written by Shane himself. I ended up walking away with 2, of which I only read 1. Nonetheless, I would call the trip a success!

It began with some bus-bonding.

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I fell asleep in the Museum of Anthropology, so I can’t really comment there…

We enjoyed the beautiful grounds.

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And then enjoyed the beautiful, beautiful food.

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A tour of the grounds led by my older sis kept things moving.

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On the way, I learned about effective and eye-catching advertisements.

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And, of course, all roads lead to the library, from whence we departed after completing our tasks. The library was quite extensive, especially compared to the Gleneagle selection.

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The books I took out were:

Our Deathbeds Will be Thirsty – by Shane Koyczan (a poetry collection).

Wonder – by R.J. Palacio (a novel detailing a boy born with a horrible facial abnormality, and the struggles that came with it).

Both books would be a 5/5.

If nothing else, the books I obtained from SFU would’ve made the trip worth it. However, if I add in some spectacular food, the misty and rain soaked campus, and my classmates – an excellent day, indeed.

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