The day I met Maggie Steifvater

The day I met Maggie Steifvater
By Grace Bassett

When I first heard I was going to meet Maggie Steifvater it was January, which was both good and bad. Good because it was probably going to happen, bad because I still had two months to wait. So, to prepare for the 19th of March 2013, I watched every video she has on YouTube, re-read all her books and dissected her website to find the most original, brilliant questions possible to ask her. It all felt so surreal, and it didn’t actually sink in that I was going to meet her until I found myself dancing round Marks and Spencer’s and singing in joy, finding her a small gift and card on the eve of the day.
It was safe to say when I awoke the morning of the 19th, I was excited. I’d barely slept – and when I had I’d been dreaming of books and authors. I’d jumped out of bed – literally, I jumped – and rushed downstairs singing; “It’s the day! It’s the day!” And then, I went on to text, tweet, and facebook the same message to all my friends. My Mum and Dad had grown tired of my constant shouting and screaming, but their smiles showed me they were excited for me – even after I’d spent the night before singing with joy. I made my Mum drop me to school extra early, thinking it would make me one step closer to meeting Maggie – but it didn’t. It was worse; much worse. My morning at school consisted of skipping around the corridors and informing all my teachers that it was “the day”.
After the morning bell had rung, I knew I was getting closer to the much anticipated first meeting and that’s when my excitement really got out of control. I was running round with Mrs Baker, helping to get everything ready, when a press photographer arrived. And because she arrived, I knew Maggie Steifvater would not be far away. I saw the Book Nook car pull up. Well, I was hyperventilating and shaking now. I was about to meet my favourite author so you could imagine how daft I probably looked to the ultimately cool and calm Maggie Steifvater.
When she walked through the automatic doors, I just grinned like an idiot. Maggie was wearing sunglasses, so I couldn’t really see the shock in her eyes as she saw me standing there, grinning inanely. She stepped forward, shook my hand and introduced herself saying “Hi, I’m Maggie.” – Which made me freak out a little bit inside. And then I stepped forward and said, “Hi, I’m Grace, I’m here to meet you…..” I’d done so well, I was so calm and then I blurted out unthinkingly; “I’M SUCH A BIG FAN!” Maggie looked a little bit surprised but she laughed and then Mrs Baker arrived to rescue us both.
The rest of the morning passed in a blur, Maggie was laughing at all my comments and remarks about her books and happily took photos and answered all my questions. The nicest thing was that she was so down to earth and so funny. Every now and then she’d come out with these brilliant one liners that made me crack up and laugh like a crazy, deranged person – which I am. Maggie signed all of my books and in my copy of The Raven Boys she wrote: “For Grace – follow your dreams, love Maggie” which I thought was very sweet.
In between photos and talking to year 9, Maggie told me about her previous short visit to Germany and even dabbled on the school’s piano in the hall. She really is such an inspiration, proving it’s cool to show that you love books and also showed me that it really doesn’t matter what people think of you. Maggie also shared what her first ever review of Shiver was like which made both Mrs Baker and I laugh, a lot. She was fun, lovely, and really lived up to my expectations. As an aspiring author myself, she generously shared her secrets to writing and has really inspired me to write, and to dream, to hopefully be as good an author as her in the future.
I guess now all I can do is continue to thank Mrs Baker and The Book Nook for organising the visit, and especially thank Maggie for her time and inspiration. I’m off to read and read and read all her books over and over again. It surely was one of the best days of my life and one I’ll remember forever.

Our first Share blog with Thailand – Welcome!

Today sees the start of our first ever share-blog which we are doing with Shrewsbury college in Thailand

We are year 9 students and have created resources for students in Year 9 in Thailand to complete which you will find below.

This works in the following way
* We have produced resources and posted them below for you all to read
* The work will then be completed by the year 9 students in Thailand and posted to their blog
* We will then look at the work completed and mark and assess it and send you back through our blog the results

This is the first time Durrington High School have taken part in a blog with another country where we are sharing resources and we’re really excited about this opportunity. Please keep checking back for progress with this project!

Info on Durrington

Impact on peoples lives

Decision making

orderof events

Mapping taskTusami-how happened

What causes a tsunami-presentation

Where is Worthing

We hope you learn lots about the 2004 Tsunami.

Year 11 County Cup

Tuesday 5th March held another game for our year 11 football team. All the boys arrived in to school early that morning as Coach Corbett wanted to rally the troops and get spirits running high again after the previous heartache in the national cup game the week before. We were all treated to a breakfast; thankfully this boosted the vibe of the whole team before our crucial county cup semi-final against Dorothy Stringer just hours later.
The game begun and Durrington were confident as we had previously beaten our opponents; however the team knew we couldn’t afford to be complacent as they were a very strong outfit. We dominated the early part of the game creating chance after chance, however great link up play between the front four of Mitchell Hartley, Conor Chaplin, Jordan Burgess and Barney Bryer didn’t pay the deserved rewards as the finishing was below par from Conor Chaplin on a number of occasions. Stringer enjoyed a spell of ten minute pressure and unfortunately the back five of Lee Whittaker, James Pike, Mathew Smith (captain), Jimmy Punter and David Beaney which had been solid all season were broken down from another long ball over the top which has proved to be our achilles heel throughout the season. Consequently Dorothy Stringer took a shock first half lead of 1-0.
The second half followed the same pattern as the midfield two of Scott Goodman and Ellis Wilson were building up good attacks for the front four however the finishing touch which had been missing still hadn’t been found. Coach Corbett made changes as Jacob Bassett and Mathew Rigglesworth came on and mixed things up. With added pace up front from Matt we looked more dangerous in behind the opposition defence. Evidently that in the last minute of normal time Conor Chaplin spotted the run of Mathew Rigglesworth who touched it on to Mitchell Hartley to finish and crab a well-deserved last gasp equaliser. Emotions were running high and the team celebrated as if we had won the game. Although we all knew there was a long way to go yet.
The game had advanced into extra time and both teams had put their all into the game and were running on empty, this meant that there was more space on the pitch which helped the ball players of Durrington an awful lot. After five or so minutes into extra time Durrington took the lead for the first time in the game when a giant throw from Jacob Basset found the chest of Conor Chaplin in the penalty area who managed to turn and fire a right footed shot past the near post of Stringer’s ‘keeper. Half time in extra time read the score line Durrington 2-1 Dorothy Stringer.
The referee ensured there was a swift change of ends and the second half of extra time began. Durrington continued to have most of the ball and it proved crucial when Mitchell Hartley hooked the ball forward over the Stinger defence which found Conor Chaplin to blast in his second and Durrington’s third. With only 5 minutes to go of the game Durrington knew that with a two goal lead the game was effectively won, however we had to remain professional and stay tight as a group to ensure Stringer couldn’t get through. We done exactly that and with the final whistle imminent, Stringer made a defensive mistake due to tired legs and tired minds which allowed Conor Chaplin through 1v1 to round the keeper and slot into an empty net which gave him his hat-trick and ensured Durrington went through to the final of the County Cup.
Durrington 4-1 Dorothy Stringer.

Update on Year 11 Boys football

As we got the ball rolling (excuse the hideous cliché) we embarked on our 5 hour mini-bus journey to Plymouth. Eagerness was in the back of all our heads, neighbouring emotions of nerves and merely the happy vibes that everyone delightfully carried. However, needless to say testosterone polluted the mini-bus and let’s call it ‘harmless banter’ was flying around.
Two service stations and chronic back ache later and we had arrived at our first set destination of the night, Pizza Express. There isn’t much to comment on here but it was a lovely touch to the outing to Plymouth.
Around 10pm we set about driving through the heart of Saltash and past what was then tomorrow’s venue of the make or break match. This bought much anticipation but it was short lived as we were soon to arrive at our final stop for that night, Travel Lodge. With the quarter final of the national cup in mind, we all sensibly went to sleep around 10:30pm.
Match day.
With an extra two hours in bed than usual on a school day; no-one was complaining. Breakfast (a cardboard box containing various suspicious looking objects) arrived outside our room at 9am. After stomaching breakfast it was soon to be a swift departure from Travel lodge and into Plymouth town centre where we gathered lunch for that day and simultaneously ate it before we made it back to the mini-bus.
That was it. Physical preparation done, it was time to solely focus our mind on the upcoming fixture. Mind games with the opposition had already begun. We had made our ‘last man’ tackles before we had even stepped one foot on the football pitch.
Sat in the changing room pre-match after a brief warm-up we re-grouped and ‘Coach Corbett’ gave his final team talk and boarded the team, with the substitutes disappointed but knew their role was vitally import as any of the starting 11; We were ready.
The whistle blew and the game was underway.
It was an onslaught from the start with Jordan Burgess linking up very well with Conor Chaplin proving the keepers vitality that he showed in the game ahead as he pulled off an impressive save. Chance after chance it soon became apparent that it would be harder to score than first anticipated.
With Mr Fuller finding new feet as a ball boy/photographer Durrington’s relentless attack force pressed on. The pitch was dry which threw up to occasional bobble but this didn’t seem to faze the team. There was however something missing, that one finishing touch.
The centre backs (Jimmy Punter and Captain, Mathew Smith) after a few words from ‘Coach Corbett’, maintained the control of the opposing teams best player, ‘number 9’. But a momentary lapse in concentration had led to an un-needed shot which carried straight into Lee Whittaker’s arm and bought a realism feeling to the squad and re-focused the team.
Halftime: 0-0.
A few words later and Durrington were back out on the pitch. Needless to say Scott Goodman and Ellis Wilson the two central midfielders were linking up nicely with each other and using the football wisely to create opportunities to present themselves. This also managed to get the full-backs involved more within the game. But then: disaster.
Around 10 minutes in, it became an uphill battle. A lofted, perfectly weighted ball rose over the centre backs heads to the extent that even Mathew Smith couldn’t summit and reach this extraordinary pass. Unfortunately this left Jimmy Punter no chance as Usain Bolt was, to no fault of the defence 5 paces ahead of him. With a delightful first touch even Lee Whittaker couldn’t phase ‘number 9’ as he coolly played it past him with such an element of finesse. With a scuttle on the line Jacob Basset was unable to clear the ball as he was put under some immense pressure by the opposing number 11 who somehow managed to keep up with him.
Plymouth 1 Durrington 0.
Clearly something had to be done. With a few strings pulled by ‘coach Corbett’ the game was now back in full swing. Without exaggeration Durrington had in excess of 15 goal scoring opportunities in the past 25 minutes alone. But Hele’s school were intent on keeping their un-deserved lead.
But then, the referee has awarded a penalty towards Durrington following a ‘school boy’ error from their right back tripping Conor Chaplin; it was an unquestionable decision to make. Unfortunately it wasn’t Durrington’s day. This clearly showed when the penalty was missed and the rebound was to no positive outcome.
Very late in the game, the ‘goal line technology’ debate was yet to play another decisive part in this fixture with Mitchell Hartley lobbing the keeper but having the ball cleared off the line to which he was convinced it was in. Mr Fuller, the brain of wisdom did not however share this thought.
Then the sound we were hoping could wait for just a couple more attacks rang in our ear. A sound we never wanted to hear in the situation we were in. Following the final blow of the whistle from the referee the sportsmen within us shook the opponents hand and we headed for the changing room.
Finding ourselves in a position we never wanted to be in, nothing could change the amount we were all distraught at the result. ‘Coach Corbett’ tried alongside the ‘skipper’ to soften the blow words can’t explain our thoughts with the result.
Reading this from a neutral perspective I can understand that it would look biased, but to put it simply we have played much better football teams and ended up beating them 4-0.
The 5 hour mini-bus home was then a long one.
James Pike