Canadian National Anti-Bullying Day

9 Mar
Sam Waller, Museum Founder and Curator, 1895-1978

Sam Waller, Museum Founder and Curator, 1895-1978

February 27th was Canada’s National Anti-Bullying Day. So many wonderful minds are at work to try to address the bullying that is so prevalent in our schools and elsewhere. Once again, I return to publishing student letters written to me from students at Scott Bateman School in The Pas, Manitoba, in response to my Artists in the Schools visit, and their reading of my anti-bullying novel, The Beech Nut of Big Water Beach. Students are eager to understand bullying, and to name their experiences, as these letters prove!

In today’s post, I include photos taken in the charming, informative local museum in the Pas.

Museum Photo, from "The Northland" by Bert Hoffman, 1920

Museum Photo, from “The Northland” by Bert Hoffman, 1920

November 13, 2012

Dear Margaret Shaw-Mackinnon,

Thank you for come to my school! It was cool. I like how you read us your book! My name is N. and I love to read. I read a lot ever day. I liked your book. It was awesome. I am 11 years old. My favorite sport is soccer. My favorite foods [are] pizza and tacos. Those are my favorite foods.

My favorite character is Munro. He is my favorite character. It must take a long time to write a book like that. How did you like The Pas? Was it awesome or not good? How many books did you bring to the The Pas? I read your whole book. It was the best I ever read in my life! I like how everyone confessed that they had a lie. Munro had lots of lies, like Jack hanging out in his dreams. How long did it take to make that awesome book?

I’ve never been bullied in my life. Do not bully anybody—just be yourself. Bullying is very bad. Stand up to bulling. Do not hide from bullying. Stand up. Bullying has no power.

Sincerely, N. V.

Museum Photo, Indian Days 1995

Museum Photo, Indian Days 1995

December 11, 2012

Dear N.,

A Policeman's Jacket from Early 1900s, from Sam's Collection

A Policeman’s Jacket from Early 1900s, from Sam’s Collection

Thank you for your enthusiastic letter about my visit to Scott Bateman Middle School and about your experience with The Beech Nut of Big Water Beach. I’m glad you thought my book was awesome, and that my visit was cool! Your comment that my book was the best you’d ever read made my heart sing! It’s nice to know that you like soccer, pizza, and tacos!

In response to your comment that “It must take a long time to write a book like that” I have to agree that it does. The first draft didn’t take that long, but all the rewrites, and getting it just right, took a long time! I enjoyed it all, because writing is what writers like to do.

Local Animals from Sam's Collection

Local Animals from Sam’s Collection

I did enjoy The Pas! I stayed in a cottage on Clearwater Lake, and I thought it was the most beautiful place. Also, I found that the teachers at Scott Bateman were really nice, and the students were great. I liked the Museum, and the movie theatre, and the tea shop. Yes, I enjoyed The Pas very much!

I’m so happy to know that you have never been bullied. You really understand about bullying now, that it’s bad and we must stand up to it.

Best wishes,
Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon

Home of the Swampy Cree, By Sam Waller, 1925

Home of the Swampy Cree, By Sam Waller, 1925

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