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The Order of Oddfish

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Odd-Fish Art From My Teaching Gig

July 31, 2011

Check out this beautifully detailed Odd-Fish ring fan art I received the other day! What? Where did it come from, you ask?

Friends of the Internet, I’ve been keeping a secret from you. For the past two weeks I’ve been teaching a class on Science Fiction and Fantasy at Northwestern University!

It’s a three-week course. This week is my last week. It’s for Northwestern University’s Center For Talent Development, a program for gifted students (the CTD first crossed my radar when my protegee Freya participated a couple years back).

My class is fifteen seventh and eighth graders, most of whom are living on-campus for the three weeks. It’s been a blast so far, although grueling―it’s 8:30am-2:45pm, Monday through Friday, for fifteen days. I realize that real teachers do this all the time, but I haven’t taught in years, so it takes some getting used to.

Still, I love the students. Why do I love them? Because these are my people. One of them wears a black cape to class every day. Another has a collection of hissing cockroaches at home and knows string theory. And how about the sweet, quiet girl who on the first day told us all about her extensive knife collection? Did I mention they can also write like angels?

Due to the program’s reasonable privacy rules, I haven’t really been able to talk about the class, or share pictures. Suffice it to say that this class is turning out to be the highlight of my summer!

Last week, I spoke to a joint class of my group and another creative writing class. The other creative writing class had read The Order of Odd-Fish, but most of my class hadn’t. (By design. It would be unforgivably Gilderoy Lockhart of me to assign Odd-Fish as required reading. And I want to be Remus Lupin. Except for getting killed part. Wait, doesn’t Lockhart end up in the insane asylum? Maybe, deep down, I’m really just Slughorn. That sounds about right.)

Anyway, I received some great Odd-Fish fan art from the other class. Look at that amazing Odd-Fish ring above, by Karen G.! It’s gorgeous! But that’s not all:

Yup, it’s the hedgehog with a gun from the costume party in the first chapter! Great job by Melinda L.!

And here’s the washing machine in which the infant Jo was found at the ruby palace, by Anna M. I particularly like that the “wash mode” is set to “dangerous baby”!

Finally, we have a model of the Odd-Fish lodge from Trize, and a picture of Fiona Fuorlini. Great art from everyone, and very much appreciated!

I’ll be back in reasonable blogging form in a week or so, once I can catch my breath from this class. It’s a thrill, but it’s exhausting!