Last week was the local Homeschool Expo, which is a conference devoted to homeschooling. I usually avoid things like this like the plague, because the idea of voluntarily going to a place that is crowded, noisy, and involves lots of shopping makes me jittery (I also dislike going to the mall, particularly at Christmas). Plus at a conference you actually pay for the privilege of going through that particular hell.
But the kids' Musical Theater classes were presenting pieces from their productions -- Annabeth's group was doing 3 songs from Mary Poppins and Thalia's group was doing some numbers from You're a Good Man Charlie Brown -- during the Talent Show, so we HAD to go on Thursday night, which is the free night when all the vendor stands are set up and thus even MORE people come into the place to browse and buy. Gah.
Add to this that Thalia and Annabeth have never really been aware that the Homeschool Expo exists, so they were naturally curious as to what it's all about. I logged onto the Expo website to prove what a waste of time it all was and discovered, lo and behold, that Jim Weiss was going to be there. Yeah, Jim Weiss, whose audio books we've spent hours and hours and hours listening to -- THAT Jim Weiss. Thalia grew up listening to him tell stories via our stereo. And thus began the kids' campaign to go back to the Expo and hear him talk. Also, there was a seminar on high school that really did sound interesting once I actually LOOKED at the schedule rather than just simply dismissing it as silly. So we bought passes for the Friday and Saturday sessions.
And arrived Friday morning to hear Jim Weiss tell us about historical heroes. Amazing stuff. He spoke for an hour or so, without notes, pausing at one point to mention that he really hadn't planned this out -- he was just seeing where the stories went. Afterwards we left for lunch, and the kids spent some time pulling out our old cassette tapes from Chinaberry Books that had been our introduction to his storytelling years and years ago.
In the afternoon we went back. The kids went to a session in which Mr. Weiss was going to explain how to weave a story, although apparently he asked the kids whether they wanted to learn THAT or just have him tell more stories, and the kids voted for more stories (although I have the impression he did explain to them some of what he does). In the meantime, I learned about the various kinds of test that high school students can/should take.
The kids wanted to get some of the Greathall Production CDs before we left. I sort of wanted to wait until Saturday, but it was apparent that the stuff was selling like hotcakes. So we selected some to purchase. And I asked if I could snap a picture:
"You gotta know -- you're a rock star in our house!"
And went home with plans to return Saturday afternoon for his final talk. But, alas, the snow started falling after lunch, and we would've been slogging back to the Expo during the worst of the storm. So we stayed in our cozy home, secure with our stack of new CDs -- I'M SO GLAD I LISTENED TO THE KIDS ABOUT GOING AHEAD AND BUYING THEM FRIDAY!
We're thrilled that we met another one of our heroes -- seeing Rick Riordan last October was another one. What a banner year!