An opportunity to inspire college grads

2016 was an exciting year for me. It was the year I donned my new hat – that of a children’s author. It was also the year I gave my first career talk as a children’s author. My audience was the graduating class of the Department of Zoology at Stella Maris College, Chennai.


What does a children’s author tell Zoology majors, I asked myself. Upon further inquiry, I learned that my talk was to inspire them to consider writing as a potential future career where they could use their knowledge of science to create books for children. I was going to address and hopefully make an impact on likely future creators of STEM books...Wow!
As I began to prepare for the talk, I wondered if I had made a big mistake by committing to it. I was not a science major in college and it has been several years since I’ve grappled with the sciences, except of course, when working on school projects with my children. 
But my self-doubt was short-lived when I began my research. I searched online for existing children’s picture books on science and was stumbled to discover an overwhelming number. How was I to extract a few examples from the deep ocean of children’s books on the sciences? 
However, common sense prevailed and I procured a list of recent topics studied by the students. Thereon the rest of my work was a breeze.

Several fallen trees at Stella Maris College
When the big day arrived, it was a few days after a major cyclone in Chennai. The city was still recuperating from its effects. Stella Maris College too suffered a loss of several trees in its beautiful campus.There was a turnout of about 45 girls (Stella is a girls-only college) for the talk. I was a tad nervous, but my passion for children’s picture books soon overtook my fears. I went with the flow and enjoyed myself.My audience was surprised to learn about children’s books that revolved around the very topics they had studied recently in college, such as migration of monarch butterflies, preservation of animal habitat and biodiversity. Here are some of the examples I shared with them...
  Stories about a lost monarch butterfly, a girl using her old toys to make art, real-life stories about saving the Puerto Rican parrots, a tree-planting project in Africa, and several others. 
And YES, I did mention my very own book about brushing since it is related to microbiology!


Overall, my audience was fascinated. I could see that they were not cognizant of the information I had shared with them. Later they expressed that although they enjoyed learning through storytelling in the classroom, they had never thought of applying their knowledge to make up stories of their own. A fresh idea had been implanted in their young minds. An idea I hope grows and takes fruit. 
For now, I feel satisfied knowing that I have shared my passion with another generation and hope that they will share what they learned with others. After all, that’s what storytelling is all about!
 


     











Comments

  1. Hi srividya this is Nirzara from AFCC.
    Can you give me your email id I want to talk to you regarding
    something...my email id is naav1951@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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