This is where Erin is this week. The Banff Writers' festival. She went with her writing class (seven students). They'll be attending plays, readings and lectures. Kind of neat, and not something she would ever have had the opportunity to do, nor would she have chosen to partake, if it hadn't been offered and somewhat expected as a result of taking the writing class she's enrolled in at school.
The brilliant part about it is that they'll be spending a day in Calgary first. Partly in order to attend a play, but partly so that the rural teens can spend a day at a big-city mall shopping and hanging out. I guess that city kids get bused to the country for a hike or to visit a farm, so apparently this is the reciprocal sort of trip. Erin was less than enthusiastic, which turned out to be fine. She'll go to the play, but tomorrow morning when the rest of the class heads to the mall, Erin will be picked up at her hotel by her wonderful Calgary violin teacher, and taken to her house for a day of violin-ing and hanging out. Then, when the mall adventure is over, her writing teacher will zip up to her violin teacher's place and pick her up so that they can all head out to Banff for the remainder of the trip.
How neat is that? Erin gets a trip to the Writers' Festival, manages to avoid a gross day at them mall, and gets bonus violin lessons to boot! Without her mom having to leave home and drag her siblings across the continental divide for three days. Best $150 I've spent in a long time!