Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Made Up Stories. With unrelated New Zealand commentary.


Sweet Girl by Travis Mulhauser. Girl looks for her strung out mom in Northern Michigan but finds a baby in a freezing cabin. Dirt bag criminals pursue the girl and her new found ward.

If I Run by Terri Blackstock. Today's speaker at Rotary is a retired CS professor from UW-Eau Claire, his name is Wagner. He now takes on temporary teaching positions at other universities.

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel. The speaker has taught at Canterbury University outside Christchurch in New Zealand. I chatted with Wagner a bit during lunch and he has taught there on two occasions.

Georgia by Dawn Tripp. Wagner also said he taught in China and had an appointment at Macalaster in Minneapolis. His semesters in NZ followed our winter season. So, he had winter, here, winter, there, and then winter here again. His wife declined to go immediately back so that they could have a summer.

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad. Wagner had a slide show as well. Lots of photos of hiking and kayaking. His wife volunteered at a nature center and had some neat photos of a Kiwi bird.

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson. Wagner and Wife also visited Stewart Island at the Southern tip of the South Island. Wagner said Stewart Island has a population of 400 people, the island is 674 square miles.

The Cellar by Minette Walters. I asked if many tourists visited Stewart and Wagner said tourism was a main draw for the place. He and his wife would often stay in family hostels when traveling but that Stewart also has resorts.

The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield. There was one penguin photo in his slide show. Beer was expensive but the local wine was not.

Coconut Cowboy by Tim Dorsey. I asked about his accommodations in Christchurch. Wagner told me the University is very big on visiting faculty. They have about 70 instructors a year (a semester, maybe?) and send out 30 of their own.  Canterbury has a big endowment to cover the costs and visiting instructors are given a house or apartment for lodging, travel costs are covered, and they get a per diem payment.

Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lipton. Wagner chanced upon the appointment after seeing an email asking for applicants. The previously hired CS instructor bowed out after the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch. Wagner had a few photos of the City but his photos were mostly of the countryside.

Blackout by David Rosenfelt. There was no mention of Dunedin.


dunedin said...

Stewart Island is the most amazing place to visit, I have been there may times. Beautiful beaches, great hiking tracks. I went to Christchurch last week - 5 years after the worst earthquake. The centre of the city is still a mess and they are still having reasonably sized tremors. He should have come to Dunedin it is much safer and more stable.

Lake Mills Library said...

Thanks for the info. I was going to tell the guy to check out Dunedin.

He mentioned that there are still empty blocks in Christchurch. He had some photos of the many murals he said were painted downtown. One photo was a stack of shipping containers being used to shore up a building until repairs could happen.