TWICE ASK Author: Nothing But Trouble

Today TWICE is hosting a day of sessions with author Sue Stauffacher on her book Nothing But Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson.

Althea Gibson was “the first African-American woman to be a competitor on the world tennis tour and the first to win a Grand Slam title in 1956. She is sometimes referred to as “the Jackie Robinson of tennis” for breaking the color barrier.” – Wikipedia.

This program is an excellent Black History month program because the students get to learn much about the history of the time, as well as the writing process. Sue has a great PowerPoint with historical photographs that show the history and what Althea’s life was like.

Did you know that in Sue’s book Donuthead, the character Sarah Kervick is based on Althea Gibson’s toughness?! Now you’ll have to go read that book again to compare!

Here’s a flavor of the conversations and discussion from these sessions.

  • How do you get inspiration for your books? Usually by accident!
  • We noticed that the colors in the book around Althea Gibson are much brighter in the beginning of the book than at the end of the book. Why is that? The artist was trying to use colors represent how Althea moved from chaotic energy to focus towards the end of the story.
  • Why do you think Althea was so angry and wild? The answer included explaining how great athletes often have a wild streak and the ones that are great are able to harness and focus that energy.
  • What does “nicking sweet potatoes” mean?
  • What is your favorite part of the writing process?
  • How do you overcome writer’s block? I like to do something that uses my hands but not my head. Then I let the question rest in my mind and sometimes the answer comes!
  • What are your favorite genres?
  • In talking about publishing and failed projects, Sue explained to the students that if you want to succeed, you need to expect to fail. It takes persistence and many tries to succeed.
  • On her upcoming TillieRide, she invited the students to write notes to her to tell her how they overcame something. She said I’m scared, but sometimes you just have to overcome your fear!

Sue has a quirky sense of humor, and engages delightfully with the students. We hope you can participate in another session with Sue! There are still openings in the some TWICE ASK sessions with Sue in April if you want to join us!

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About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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