Stockton University Students “Visit” Station Eleven

Thursday, September 27th is the date of this year’s Freshman Convocation lecture. On that date, we are very lucky in that we will be visited by Emily St. John Mandel, the author of Station Eleven. If you are reading this post, you are probably a student in my fall Critical Thinking course, and as such you have spent a lot of time picking apart Mandel’s novel in recent classes (not to mention writing a handful of journal entries in response to the book).  In terms of this book, my hope and expectation during Unit One has been that students will read the novel, and then attend this lecture.  With that in mind, for your first Blogpost of the semester I would like you to respond to Mandel’s talk.  Specifically, I would like two paragraphs of discussion about what you saw and experienced during the Freshman Convocation.  You might consider such things as:  In the wake of this event, what stood out for you?  What did you find enjoyable (or not), and why?  What did the writer say that really touched a nerve with you?  What did you find interesting about her talk, and how/why does it connect up with the themes and topics of our class?  How did this discussion enhance your understanding of Station Eleven in terms of its themes, characters, or style?  Also, looking at Mandel’s lecture critically, why do you think this kind of event is useful and important for all of you as First Year students at Stockton? Having spent so much time together reading and examining this excellent novel, I’ll be very curious to hear your thoughts about Mandel’s visit to Stockton!

45 thoughts on “Stockton University Students “Visit” Station Eleven

  1. Listening to an author talk about her own book was very interesting and unique to me. It helped me really understand the book more and helped answer the pondering questions I had. The novel included many symbolic aspects to it which helped me, the reader, think about it. For example, why did the book kill himself after he killed Tyler, the prophet? The only one who would know the actual answer to this was Emily St. John Mandel. So I was very grateful to be in the presence of her. At one point during the discussion there was one part that really stood out to me and that was when Emily was asked about the characters. She mentioned that Miranda was not an avatar and she based a lot of her personal life for Miranda’s life. Miranda grew up on the same island Emily grew up, with just a different name and also Miranda moved to Toronto just like Emily moved to Toronto to go to school. It is pretty cool how authors can base their own life on the characters they create.
    Again, listening to Emily St. John Mandel really helped me understand the book as a whole. From the characters (minor or major) to the themes that are associated with the text and even the plot of the entire novel. A lot of the things we discussed in class about certain aspects of the story were answered. For example, we talked about why the timeline of the book was all over the place. Simply, Emily said that she would write about one of the characters and just not know where to go from there, so she would jump around time to time when she would come up with new ideas. To wrap up my response, I would like to discuss the Freshman Convocation is important to First Year students at Stockton. Going to an event like this not only helps us understand why an author would right this, or why we read the book. But also to help us understand why we question things and why we think the way we think. Throughout class discussions, questions and ideas would always be talked about. Maybe certain possibilities about the plot as well. From this point on we can understand why we think the way we do regarding reading and could possibly understand books more.

  2. Listening to an author talk about her own book was very interesting and unique to me. It helped me really understand the book more and helped answer the pondering questions I had. The novel included many symbolic aspects to it which helped me, the reader, think about it. For example, why did the book kill himself after he killed Tyler, the prophet? The only one who would know the actual answer to this was Emily St. John Mandel. So I was very grateful to be in the presence of her. At one point during the discussion there was one part that really stood out to me and that was when Emily was asked about the characters. She mentioned that Miranda was not an avatar and she based a lot of her personal life for Miranda’s life. Miranda grew up on the same island Emily grew up, with just a different name and also Miranda moved to Toronto just like Emily moved to Toronto to go to school. It is pretty cool how authors can base their own life on the characters they create.
    Again, listening to Emily St. John Mandel really helped me understand the book as a whole. From the characters (minor or major) to the themes that are associated with the text and even the plot of the entire novel. A lot of the things we discussed in class about certain aspects of the story were answered. For example, we talked about why the timeline of the book was all over the place. Simply, Emily said that she would write about one of the characters and just not know where to go from there, so she would jump around time to time when she would come up with new ideas. To wrap up my response, I would like to discuss the Freshman Convocation is important to First Year students at Stockton. Going to an event like this not only helps us understand why an author would right this, or why we read the book. But also to help us understand why we question things and why we think the way we think. Throughout class discussions, questions and ideas would always be talked about. Maybe certain possibilities about the plot as well. From this point on we can understand why we think the way we do regarding reading and could possibly understand books more.

  3. After attending this year’s Freshman Convocation; I was very pleases with this really interesting meeting. I was really excited to attend this meeting ,because the author of the novel Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel was answering questions for the audience. It was really interesting listening to the brains on a novel that I found very enjoyable to read. It gave me a better understanding of the book that I spent so many hours reading. This was Emily’s fourth book and she said her previous books were all on crimes, but she decided she was going to switch it for Station Eleven. She said she always was fascinated of how advanced technology is today and how so many people take it for granted. She also said she wanted to write about the daily life of being an actor or actress. So she combined those two ideas to make Station Eleven.
    What shocked me at first was how she said that the town Arthur and Miranda are from the same town she grew up in as a kid, this gave a good connection to these characters as she said she does feel like she has a lot in common of the character Miranda. There was also another question if the book was being published as a movie, and she did say it is in the process for being a show and that is definitely a show I would binge watch. A similar question was if this book would be developed in a video game and as a big fan of video games I think a video game of Station Eleven would be an absolute work of art. Lastly, what really touched me was how she said growing up in a small town where everyone knew your name was uncomfortable for her so she moved to Toronto which was the same situation as Miranda because she wanted freedom. I can relate to this in a way, because where I’m from everyone knew me, now that I’m away I can start over and be who I wanted to be.

  4. I was very suprised to hear that the author had not done much thinking as to what happens to some characters after the story ends. For example, she said that she was not sure what becomes of Kiersten. This actually leaves me wondering, has the author really written Station Eleven just to write, or is there a secret meaning that she wants to keep for herself?

  5. In this particular Freshman convocation, the author explained many of her reasons as to why the book was written in such personal ways. Many questions from Station Eleven were never answered, and kept students like myself pondering the ending. Emily St. John Mandel deeply explained her reasonings to the book because they were based off her own life. A specific example is the notorious character Miranda. One thing that caught my eye was that she put such personal experienced about her life throughout the book. The author let readers see the real her while most people would be embarrassed. Miranda and Mandel have similarities as to where they lived, and where they traveled for school. The places seemed random in my head until she thoroughly explained her close relation to this character. Many questions were asked in our class that were impossible to answer due to the fact that we were not the author and had no background of the book itself. Until now, almost all of our class discussions had to do with Station Eleven, and why certain things happened. Speaking of things such as why the author didn’t have Kirsten and Jeevan meet again, or how Kirsten’s tattoos meant so much to her. Another major question our class was “Why does the book jump from different characters and different times?”. This question was answered by the author saying she never could finish a full story without thinking of another character. Seeing the way the author connects with her own book makes it a lot easier to make sense of the book. Freshman Convocation is something not all freshmans take advantage of. The importance of the speeches is to help students make many accusations and have many answered questions. It helped me personally understand how our class of Critical Thinking works. Our class consists of many questions and many different answers. This Convocation helped me not only understand the importance of our class, but understand Station Eleven.

  6. The Freshman Convocation was very interesting. Hearing from the author herself was a different experience than many will get to witness. In the beginning she began talking about where she grew up and how she was homeschooled until she reached age 15. At that age she began public school and also was involved in dance. since age 9 she found writing as a hobby until it grew into a necessity. She stated that she used to dance and write a little on the side but that turned into writing and dancing a little on the side.
    Once a few questions were answered she started throwing a few things to make us laugh into her responses. This really broke the silence in the room and sparked all different kinds of questions. One question that really stuck out was one about the character Miranda. I do not remember the question exact but in her response she stated that Miranda was a self reflected character. That was one of the only characters based on a single person. All of the other characters were combinations of traits from people she once knew. The names are just random names she liked. Jeevan was a name of coworker she worked with years ago but loved the name. These are just a few things that stuck out to me in her talk. I really enjoyed the book and hearing the authors take on how she wrote it and I look forward to talking about it more in class tomorrow.

  7. The freshman convocation was a very enjoyable and interesting experience for me personally. Being able to hear the author talk about her novel gave me the opportunity to get insight as to how this novel was written and how she developed the particular story. Mandel explained how the process of writhing Station Eleven was a unique process. One thing that stuck out to me in Mandel’s talk was that she does not expect to write sequel to this novel. I would enjoy to read a sequel because I have so many unanswered questions, as a reader, about what comes from every character’s life after the novel ends.
    This kind of event is an amazing opportunity for young adults such as college freshman. Being able to read and analyze a book is a terrific skill that must be learnt. By having the author of the novel come to visit and answer our questions is allowing us to further e valuate the novel and dive into the authors motives when writing this novel.

  8. During the Freshman Convocation Emily St. John Mandel discussed her award winning novel Station Eleven I have found the discussion enjoyable due to the fake that she explained her thought process and tied up some loose ends. She hadn’t really said anything to touch a nerve for me but thats in my own experience, others may have felt touched by her words. When she talked about the novel she explained how she thought of such a deep backstory on why Tyler is the Prophet and I found that so profound and confusing at the same time, I wondered but never asked.
    I think that her coming to Stockton was an amazing idea because it is kind of a confusing book and her coming to do a Q&A is very smart on the school. It gives the students an opportunity to understand the reading better and hearing her own process and it from her own words was good to hear in the eyes of the reader. I have read the book over the summer and annotated the text but I was still so confused on some of the areas and now I’m more confident in the book and understanding it.

  9. The convocation was very interesting but she did not make sense when she was talking about she was taking about she did not know what happened to some characters in the book and she did not even know where some of the characters go in the story and she told us she lost track of them and forgot about them. It was very interesting on her views on what she wrote in the book and it made me understand the book better then before going to this convocation. She had a really interesting opinion and I never thought about the book in the frame of mind and she did not want to write another book about the post apocalypse setting is she wanted to write a book that was story or narrative driven book and not a horror story just set in the post apocalypse setting and she wanted to do something different than the usual.

  10. Attending the Freshman Convocation was really interesting, because we were able to see the author of Station Eleven which we talk about everyday in class. Mandel talked a lot about Station Eleven and how she wanted to write something different than all her other books. It always amazed me how a novelist can sit down and think about an entire story to write a book 300 pages long. Mandel said when she wrote her first book she struggled and finally pulled through to finish it. She also said, whenever she lacks confidence in writing another book she always thinks about the first time and how she got it done.
    I was really interested in finding out if any of the characters were related to actual people she knew. Someone asked her about it and she talked about how Miranda and Arthur are from her same hometown. Even though it is not actually called Delano Island, it was described in the book exactly like how Mandel felt growing up. She also talked about how she signed the rights over for the book to become a film. The book is in the early stages of becoming a television show which I think is such a big accomplishment as an author. Being able to attend the Freshman Convocation really was interesting and helped me understand Station Eleven even more.

  11. In attending the Freshman Convocation, many of my unanswered questions about Station Eleven were answered by the author herself, Emily St. John Mandel. This book had me pondering many questions about certain events that occurred and why the book was structured the way it was. One part of the Convocation that stood out to me the most was when Mandel started talking about where the characters originated from. Mandel said she based the character Miranda off herself. Mandel went on to say that she grew up on the same island that Miranda did and just like Miranda moved to Toronto, Mandel moved there as well to escape to freedom. Class discussions were always filled with unanswered questions about the book and after attending the Freshman Convocation, its safe to say that next to most of the questions in class were answered. Mandel answered a reoccurring class discussion questions which was, “Why does the book jump all over the place?” Mandel told us it was because she would think about ideas to incorporate about certain characters while she was in the middle of a section. The Freshman Convocation definitely helped me to understand the ideas behind the book. This event is important for First Year students to not take advantage of.

  12. On September 27, Emily St. John Mandel showed up on Stockton Campus to talk to the College freshman about the summer reading book, Station Eleven. She spoke about her past and how she was a dancer and then talked about how she became a writer. Something that stood out too me was that the people sitting at the panel did not do much all they did was speak a little at the beginning. I found it not to enjoyable considering she forgot what happens to her character she created. Something that touched a nerve is that Survival is never sufficient to humans they need more to live than to only survive. It interests me, and it goes along with the theme in the book.
    The discussion increased my knowledge of the way she wrote the story because it was written out of order when she was writing it. The lecture is a great way for the readers to ask the questions they want about the story that was not answered in the book. I was, as stated before, annoyed she forgot her character Laura when someone asked a question.

  13. In attending the Freshman Convocation today, I found the whole lecture fairly interesting. It was great to finally have my unanswered questions answered by Emily St. John Mandel. The first thing that stuck out to me was her original reason for becoming an author. She told us that she wanted to write about celebrities and their lives at first, but she then decided to write about the world ending. Mandel also explained that Station Eleven was going to be in present time instead of the future. She also really enjoys writing in a non linear structure, she finds it interesting to read in that type of style. She also explains how jumping around in her writing is helpful for her when creating a new novel. In my opinion, sometimes nonlinear written novels keep me focused on the book, but for this novel I was really confused when it jumped back and forth between time periods. One of the interesting questions that was asked was “Would you want a film adaptation of Station Eleven?” and Mandel explained her excitement about a movie. She did tell us that Station Eleven is being pre-developed as a TV series, which I would possibly look into watching in the future.
    Mandel also described her college career and how she decided to be a writer. She told us that she was home schooled until she was 15 and then went to a certain high school to graduate. She then explained how she went to community college and how she was a dancer for a big part of her life. Personally, Mandel didn’t give much advice to incoming freshman. Her main advice for us was “It gets better,” and that’s it. She didn’t elaborate much on the topic but she really only explained that with time, we will get adjusted to college life and soon be comfortable with this new experience

  14. During the lecture given by Emily St. Jon Mandel at today’s freshman convocation, a response to one of her questions really stuck out to me. The question asked by a fellow student was “What was the hardest thing about writing your first book?” Her initial answer had to do with self-doubt but after a few moments of continuous response to the question, the words she spoke were “I felt like this before and, I was okay.” Everyone has a story. It’s crazy to think that you are the only person with issues in the world but in reality, we all go through something and what matters is maintaining the strength to move forward, and push through to next chapter in our lives. In order to have the correct tools to advance throughout your life, you must take them from previous challenges you’ve faced. Simply knowing that you handled the weight on your shoulders before, can be the determining factor in the success of your next challenge.
    Something that really stood out in this convocation was that the author of Station Eleven said that many of the underlying themes within the novel, essentially, occurred coincidentally. As a student in Dr. Gust’s class on critical thinking and reading, this news practically stripped the purpose behind close reading and picking apart the integrity of the novel. It was quite disappointing to hear that she really hadn’t put much sentimental thought into the themes but also serves a very impressive aspect of the novel overall. It’s strategic and complex and she didn’t even really try.

  15. The convocation was somewhat interesting. It was interesting to hear her talk about her own book and how she got to write it. Also, her thought process behind it. I was also interesting to hear a little about her life story and how she grew up. She also answered questions about the book that made somethings clearer.

  16. Seeing Ms. Mandel speak was very interesting. She really answered every question very well. The only part that got me a little bit annoyed was when she didn’t go into detail about why she thought certain ways or she didn’t really come to think about it that way or she didn’t think about this character doing this.

    I liked how she compared Miranda to herself and Miranda is my favorite character so it’s interesting to see how she thought of her being similar to herself. I also liked how she said that it might become a TV show. I think Station 11 would be a great TV show. They could definitely fit the whole plot line and story into a TV show better than a movie. Overall it was interesting to hear the author speak about her book.

  17. After attending this years Freshman Convocation, Emily St. John Mandel answered very few questions which resulted in myself still being confused. Something that stood out to me during the convocation is about how much the characters related to her. Miranda seemed to be the closest character to Mandel, Miranda traveled to go to school just like Mandel did. Emily St. John Mandel also lived in the same hometown as Miranda which makes these characters have multiple similarities. Something that also stood out to me was when she started to explain how she created the characters. She bases it on people she knows and bases it upon their traits and backgrounds. Although she did not answer many of the questions we asked, I found it very enjoyable to listen too. The fact that the author came to Stockton was very cool and listening to her was very interesting. Most students at other universities do not get to experience such a awesome experience like we got the opportunity to do so.
    The discussion Emily St. John Mandel gave enhanced my understanding of Station Eleven because she explained as to why she did certain things throughout the novel. After reading this novel for a long time and discussing it during class I have had a lot of questions that haven’t been answered. I wish Mandel had more valid answers to all of our unknown questions. I believe that it is important to have this event because as a new college student this is the first novel most of the freshman had to read. It makes our freshman seminar more memorable. Overall, I was very pleased about how the convocation went.

  18. During the freshman convocation it was very interesting to hear Emily Mandel talk about her book and why she did some of the things she did. My favorite part of the convocation was hearing about her life before she became an author. One of the first questions ask to her was about her experience when she went to college. It was surprising to hear that she had gone to school for dance and had planned to be a dancer her entire life. She had switched her career path when she was 21 years old because had gotten bored of dancing and it was no longer fun for her. She then started writing because she had read so much as a child and wrote almost everyday.
    Some of the questions that were asked during the panel were insightful. One question was if she wrote the book in order and then changed the order later on. She responded that she did not write the book in order at all and would go from character and because each character would inspire other characters. Another interesting question was why she named the character the names she did because they were so abnormal and interesting. She responded that she just picked names that she liked or people she had known in her life. Overall the freshman convocation was a good experience and gave me better insight about Station 11.

  19. The convocation was somewhat interesting what really stood out or what I enjoyed was the world building of the book. She went into detail about how the characters were basically a combination of different personalities. My favorite character Jeevan is actually someone she used to work with which is something else I liked. She had a journey like the rest of us and the process of writing doesn’t come easily for anyone.
    The aspects of the convocation that I didn’t care for as much as some of the explanations regarding the inspiration. The answers for what inspired her to do this or that ultimately boiled down to she didn’t know. These were really the overall complaint i had everything else was actually okay being able to connect with the author of the book we put soo much work into that is

  20. While attending the freshman convocation, I thought it was fairly interesting. I appreciated having some unanswered pieces answered by the author herself. It was interesting to hear why and how she became an author. She originally planned to write about celebrities and their lives but then ended up writing up the world ending. She explains how jumping around in her writing helps her when creating a new novel. Someone asked her if Station Eleven would potentially become a film. She told us that Station Eleven is being developed as a TV series. I would definitely look into that.

    Mandel told us a lot about her childhood and how she was homeschooled since she was fifteen years old. She told us how she was a dancer for a majority of her life. Mandel didn’t touch on how to overcome freshman year and how it is stressful. Overall, it was interesting to hear from the author about the book, Station Eleven.

  21. During the Freshmen Convocation, when Emily St. John Mandel started talking about her college experience, it reminded me a lot of Station Eleven. Arthur and Miranda grew up in the same small island that she did. She talked about how being in Toronto felt like freedom. In the book, she expresses this same idea though Arthur and Miranda. While reading this book, I came up with many theories about the characters and their roles. When Mandel talked about these characters and their roles, they had nothing to do with my theories. She gave the characters their names simply because she liked them. Choosing to start the novel with King Lear was ironic to me, but she only chose it because it is her favorite play.

    This discussion helped me better understand Station Eleven because Mandel gave us insight into her thoughts about the novel. This event was important to Students. It provided us with a ground to clarify our thoughts about the novel. I found many students to be engaged in her lecture and asked very interesting questions. One student even asked if Mandel was interested in making the Station Eleven comic books real. I personally think that it would be a great idea.

  22. I thought the freshmen convocation went well as far as Emily St. John Mandel visiting to talk about her book. I like how she talked talked about connecting her upbringing to the book. She talked about how Miranda was her favorite character in the book because Miranda’s story line was somewhat related to Mandel’s life. One thing that stoke out to me was when she said that she didn’t want to put the time of events in chronological order. Her mixing up the time of events was a way for her to get the readers thinking deeply. She talked why she went back and forth between the events that occurred and Kirsten’s interview.

    Mandel explaining her book really enhanced my understanding of the book. At first I was lost when one event just automatically changed to another event. I wondered why Mendel wanted to go back and forth between Kirsten’s interview and the events that took place. I also liked when she said that the characters in the book wasn’t really based on other people. I liked how she wanted to be original. Overall I think that the convocation went well.

  23. I think it was very interesting to listen and compare the author’s point of view VS the view of the characters, and it gives a bit more insight to the characters and their trains of thought, decisions,,, etc… It also gives a perspective into Emily St. John Mandel’s PARADIGM (did I use that right?) and some of her thought process while writing the novel.

    It was interesting to learn that she never really gave thought to the ‘afterwards’ of the novel. She didn’t really think of what happened after the book happened, like to Laura. I think it’s symbolic because no one really knows what happened to them, and that’s what it would have been like in real life.

    I also really liked knowing her thought process throughout writing the novel, and I think that that will help me become a better writer. I didn’t really think about or realize how much trouble would have to go into writing could go into a book before. It gives me a newfound knowledge and respect for writers.

  24. I felt the conversation was very awkward and slow in the beginning, but felt warmed up in the end. What really interested me was the Emily St. John Mandel didn’t see to put much thought into things we thought were important, while picking apart the book. The paperweight in the book had no secret meaning to the character or to the reader. The names of the characters had no serious thought into them either, she just liked the names in general. Some characters like Laura Jeevan’s girlfriend just pops up and then never shows up again, simply because the author didn’t care about that character’s story enough. What was really interesting was the idea behind the prophet. The prophet was based on David Koresh a Texas cult leader in the 1990s. I was surprised when Emily said she never planned to make a sequel to Station Eleven, with such a cliff hanger you think she would. I had a feeling Emily’s favorite characters were Miranda and Clark because hoe she said their names throughout the convention. I never got the chance to ask if the Georgia Flu was a terrorist bio weapon or just a unknown flu stain. But thinking about now reminds me of how outlandish it is. Emily talked a lot about adaptations, she was asked about video games and tv shows, but i don’t think video games would work to well, due to the gaming genres have seemed to move away from story telling and are more based on downloadable content and lottery systems for online play. But a tv series would be perfect for the book, and more profitable then a movie. All in all the convention was good I wish it the author had more control of the stage instead of being interviewed by four people as 60 kids watch them talk like a theater audience.

  25. The freshman convocation to me was very interesting. Hearing from the author Emily St. John Mandel her self, was a great experience to me because talking to an author and hearing what her life and thought process is like is not something that happens often. I enjoyed having some unclear thoughts or questions answered by the author of Station Eleven personally. It was interesting to hear why and how she became an author. She originally planned to be a dancer, which is said at one point was the most important part in her day, but growing up she was homeschooled with a family who dedicated one room to all books forced her to read often and change her interests. Mandel talked about how she didn’t think too much into it but how one thought led to another and so on. She said she wrote this because she wanted to write something different than her other novels and she felt as if Shakespeare’s world had such a connection to what she wanted to write. She also went on and said how Miranda was much like herself in some ways, and was also her one of her favorite characters to write about as well as Clark. Emily St. John Mandel also mentioned how she lived in the same hometown as Miranda, describing the town how she remembered it as claustrophobic, small and beautiful. She said if you lived there you would probably want to get way as well. Something that also stood out to me was when she started to explain how she created the characters. She based them off people she knows with a mix of peoples traits and backgrounds, making them one person. A student asked if she planned a sequel of station eleven because the ending left us wanting to know more, to me I was surprised to hear her answer when she said she had not. One thing that I found really interesting was she said she jumped around a lot when writing so she would never get writers block and in the end put them together. I also found it interesting her thought on the interviews she added in. She said she liked the idea to have the characters talk about Arthurs life before becoming famous rather than just go on about it. overall, I enjoyed listening to her speak and hearing her thought/writing process.

  26. After hearing Emily talk about the book it made me realize how hard it actually is to write a book. She said she had to review rough draft for over a year. The audience generated some great questions for her to answer. One of the questions was who was her favorite character I was shocked that she didn’t say Arthur, but she said Miranda. Another great question asked was if there is going to be a sequel to the book. It surprised me that she said she was not interested to make a sequel because the plot of the book would have been very interesting. It would be cool to see some of the characters acting after power was discovered. It was pretty awesome having the author of the book we read come to our school, it was a cool experience.

  27. While attending the freshman convocation it helped me get a better understanding of the book. It opened my eyes to things I was not following and things that were not very clear. She explained/ answered most of the questions I had in regards to how the book was written out. She was very informative on how she started writing this novel and why all the things happened the way they did as well.

    It was interesting to hear about her childhood and the type of family she grew up in. We learned that she came from a very mellow family who loved to read which sparked her interest in starting to write this novel. From learning Mandel’s background it was obvious she had a passion for writing and reading which resulted in such a successful book. Although I did have some trouble understanding the book at times, having her explain and answer questions was a huge help. Overall it is a very interesting and well written book.

  28. After seeing Emily St. John Mandel today and hearing about her thoughts when writing her novel really helped me develop a better insight of the book. Some parts that were touched on that I personally enjoyed were where she mentioned her inspiration for characters like Arthur and Miranda, which came from her own life and experiences. I enjoyed her different approach to the novel compared to her past three, and find her style of writing interesting, where she thinks of a concept, and continues to ask questions to develop the plot. Her idea of pursuing a book of this genre was to make us realize the importance of the things we take for granted and emphasized how unique it was that her characters developed in such a unique way after the flu. The fact that students were able to ask questions as well allowed for an insightful way to understand more about the book that we may have missed and get that info right from the writer herself.
    I enjoyed the immense amount of thinking that we get to do in this book. Mandel openly admitted that she leaves things unfinished or ambiguous to make the reader question the book and think about certain topics more. Although it upsets me that some things are left unanswered and there won’t be any thought of a sequel, it’s interesting that she purposely makes the reader think about things and interpret their own feelings about the book. I feel like overall, getting to meet and experience the thoughts of the author first hand allows for a greater meaning of the book, and this being the first instance of this makes me wish I had met more authors of other books to truly understand the book at hand.

  29. Attending the freshmen convocation not only helped me but the students as a whole get an superior perspective of what the book means to Mandel. Seeing her in person was really cool but just her sharing her experiences was fascinating. She talked a lot about the book and herself. She told us that the name “Jeevan” was not a made up name out the blue. One of her old co workers name was that and it’s insane because the name fit so well with the character.
    Emily goes on to talk about her family and how they love to read. But she never thought she’ll become a famous author. From her background you could tell she was dedicated to writing and sparking ideas in others heads. There was times in the book where I didn’t know what was going on. She goes on to explain she put to different time zones in the book to keep the reader interested and wanting to find out what happened. She explained very vividly and overall the meeting was good. Students asked all the questions that I had, so I was in luck to find my closure for this novel.

  30. Given the opportunity to see Emily St. John Mandel before me talking about her book Station Eleven, was truly inspiring. A good question that was brought up by one of the Stockton faculty members on stage was, how does the quote “survival is insufficient” relate to freshman college students. I thought this was an awesome way to open the Q&A by relating the book to us. Emily responded with just like everything else, it is tough at first but simply gets better. As she said this I thought of the part of the book where Kirsten sees the light and electricity in a small town. Another comparison to real life and the book was Emily’s own childhood and life experiences. For example, her being home schooled. Another being growing up in a household with book loving parents and having a room dedicated to just books. Emily says everything she grew up around shaped her into the author she is today. This related to the book because she explained names she liked and characteristics from other people shaped her characters and the plot of the book, which is fascinating.

    Overall, I had a good time hearing Emily and I think Stockton did a great job hosting this event. I also believe the students had a huge contribution to this event. Not only the questions but the suggestions to create a video game, a movie, and creating a visual representation of the Dr. Eleven comics. Emily seemed to take all these suggestions into consideration and I hope to see some happen.

  31. I found the freshman convocation interesting, It was nice to see the Author speak about how she came up with her ideas for the book and talking about her past experiences in life. Speaking of her past life, she talked about being homeschooled and then at 18 going to college in Toronto. Being far away from where she grew up she spoke about being alone for the first time and the freedom she experienced. While she was talking about this topic I considered the advice she said because I could relate, coming here to Stockton and being by myself but also having a type of freedom I have never experienced before. I enjoyed how the convocation wasn’t just the Author speaking about her book but having students, faulty, and the audience ask questions. This was a better way to engage the students and have them think critically about what the author was saying.
    I found the questions asked to be helpful with understanding the book more in depth. Emily St. John Mandel, the Author did a good job in answering the questions, she explained the meaning that went into writing the book and the process behind it. I liked how she said she would skip around when writing chapters, write three chapters about Jeevan and then a couple for Clark. Especially after reading the novel it was a good experience to hear the Authors perspective on how she come to terms with writing the book Station Eleven.

  32. Honestly, the lecture was enjoyable. Before the time of the event, I was considering attending my club instead. Pretty glad I didn’t. Emily was so full of life. She wasn’t boring and dull. Some of Emily’s answers really surprised me. For instance, she said she mixes her timeline in the book on purpose. Apparently, having the reader understand the text when the timeline are out-of- order, is better than reading it chronologically. That answer really upsets. What if someone was reading a book for their first time? They won’t understand a thing if they tried to read with that kind of layout.

    Attending the lecture was well worth it. I got to learn about things I could never learn from the book itself. Also, hearing Emily’s story through her college taught me something valuable. After graduating, she occupied herself in contorted dancing. After awhile, she just didn’t feel anything about it anymore. Emily explains that when your hobby becomes a job, it gets much less fun. So instead, she decided to write books as her new job and finds it pleasing. About Station 11, some asked Mendel if she was ever going to make a sequel. She says she was not thinking about it at all and there will be no Station 12. It’s a shame, I would have been happy seeing what happens next.
    .

  33. Emily St. John Mandel explained a lot on how she wrote her book. Her coming to talk to us here at Stockton University about how she wrote her book and what made her come up with the ideas of what she wanted her book to be about was cool to hear about. She said that she loved writing when she was a child. She mentioned writing was not what she was dreaming of doing in her future, it was dancing, but she is now a writer and mentioned about how she wrote this book and said since she was into acting so she thought she would write about it in her book.
    She gave really good advice and hearing her talk about her life and how she became a writer and what made her become a writer was inspirational to hear. Sitting and hearing her talk about how she worked her way up to becoming an author really had me thinking that I can do anything as long as I put the effort in.
    She gave really good points about how she writes and how she tries to write about personal connections had me thinking about that, that is what writing is about, connecting the real world to your own personal life. Hearing her talk about her writing in my mind I thought ” that is so cool to go from thinking about your dream that you think is your dream to becoming famous and an author.” Hearing her talk today I know anything is possible if you put your mind to it and you just have to focus on what you want to be when you are older and work hard to reach for your goal.
    Mandel coming here today and talking to us was a cool experience because I got to hear what she had to say about her book and really thought that you can really do anything if you just put your mind to it and never give up. I would love to read more of her books because she is a good writer and very inspirational. She relates to the real world and her own personal connections, and I think that is a good tool to think about while writing.

  34. The Freshman Convocation with Station Eleven’s author, Emily St. John Mandel, was very interesting. I think the timing is perfect as well since our class just finished reading the book. Thus, every detail is still fresh. She started by telling a little background about herself. We got to know that writing is her hobby since she was young and she was, originally, into dancing. It was not until the age of 21 when she realized that dancing is not what she wants to do as her career. Though the Station Eleven is her fourth book, she shared that writing her first book was the hardest as she doesn’t know if she can finish writing a 300-pages book. It was also revealed that she and Miranda Carroll have similarities: they both grew up at the same place and they both went to Toronto to study. These personal connections made Miranda one of her favorite characters. I also learned that she wrote the book not in order and that she likes the idea of jumping from the pre-apocalyptic world to the post-apocalyptic world because it gives the readers an idea on how our world would look like if we do not have the current technologies that we are taking for granted. During the event, the audience also got a chance to ask her questions and the one of that stood out for me was “Why did you chose fly as the reason to end the world instead of war?” and she said that she feels like the readers can relate more and imagine themselves being in the story “because we all have experienced flu”.

    My favorite part of this event was the book signing because I was able to personally ask her a couple of questions i have in mind while I was reading. Some of these are what happened to the people outside of U.S and Canada? Did the flu spread out to the whole world? She replied with “Yes, the flu spread out in the whole world, but I don’t know what happened to the people outside U.S. and Canada, every country has its own story”. I personally enjoyed this event because I had a better understanding of the story and it was interesting to know the author’s perspective and purpose in writing the book. Though some of us are still left with a lot of questions, we still got a brief explanation of what the author is trying to imply to its readers. In the end, the event was significant to us students as we were able to compose deeper questions, look for the purpose, determine which information are important, make assumptions base on the information given, and build conclusions on this interesting book we’ve been discussing since the start of class. This book, together with the help of our professor, helped enhanced not only our reading and analyzation skills but also it spiked our curiosity and boosted our thinking skills

  35. *Correction

    The Freshman Convocation with Station Eleven’s author, Emily St. John Mandel, was very interesting. I think the timing is perfect as well since our class just finished reading the book. Thus, every detail is still fresh. She started by telling a little background about herself. We got to know that writing is her hobby since she was young and she was, originally, into dancing. It was not until the age of 21 when she realized that dancing is not what she wants to do as her career. Though the Station Eleven is her fourth book, she shared that writing her first book was the hardest as she doesn’t know if she can finish writing a 300-pages book. It was also revealed that she and Miranda Carroll have similarities: they both grew up at the same place and they both went to Toronto to study. These personal connections made Miranda one of her favorite characters. I also learned that she wrote the book not in order and that she likes the idea of jumping from the pre-apocalyptic world to the post-apocalyptic world because it gives the readers an idea on how our world would look like if we do not have the current technologies that we are taking for granted. During the event, the audience also got a chance to ask her questions and the one of that stood out for me was “Why did you chose flu as the reason to end the world instead of war?” and she said that she feels like the readers can relate more and imagine themselves being in the story “because we all have experienced flu”.

    My favorite part of this event was the book signing because I was able to personally ask her a couple of questions i have in mind while I was reading. Some of these are what happened to the people outside of U.S and Canada? Did the flu spread out to the whole world? She replied with “Yes, the flu spread out in the whole world, but I don’t know what happened to the people outside U.S. and Canada, every country has its own story”. I personally enjoyed this event because I had a better understanding of the story and it was interesting to know the author’s perspective and purpose in writing the book. Though some of us are still left with a lot of questions, we still got a brief explanation of what the author is trying to imply to its readers. In the end, the event was significant to us students as we were able to compose deeper questions, look for the purpose, determine which information are important, make assumptions base on the information given, and build conclusions on this interesting book we’ve been discussing since the start of class. This book, together with the help of our professor, helped enhanced not only our reading and analyzation skills but also it spiked our curiosity and boosted our thinking skills

  36. The Freshmen Convocation with Emily St. John Mandel was a very interesting event. Emily has this passion within her voice and has a emphasis on how the characters reflect or feel within her own perspective. I felt that She loved theses characters and would love to write about them for hours. I felt that it was also interesting that She compared Miranda to herself as Miranda was one of her favorite characters in the book. They had this personal connection since they both grew up in Toronto and the same passion towards something. It shock me that she was a dancing major, instead of a typical English or liberal arts major that most writers are. I also felt surprised with one of the question that one of our peers ask, which was about the order of the book and her answer surprised me. She responded with that, She wrote all the chapters and parts of the book, before putting it together, since she didn’t know how to line up the chapters piece by piece.
    The Freshmen Convocation was a very insightful event that we should gain from as college freshmen. the message of “Survival is Insufficient” is very common within the first year of college as many people can’t handle college or can’t survive within the college atmosphere. I personality enjoyed this event since I felt that Emily was an interesting author and was intrigued herself about her own book and liked the input from the audience. I felt that this event was significant to us as we go to think about above and beyond, and question many parts of Station Eleven. Our questions were simple and got to the point of the story that felt that could have needed an explanation. We made assumptions based on the reading and information that was given to us and question the purposes of it. This book as a whole was a journey and not only was it a great read, but made me think critically more about the chapters and improved my reading and analysis skills of the text.

  37. Honestly, after attending the freshman convocation, Emily St. John Mandel helped me understand the book a little more. At first I was very uninterested in the book because I couldn’t quite understand anything that I read. When she said she wanted to suggest the ways in which the world kept changing when writing this book. It really opened up my mind as to why she would go back to the past, the future, and then the present in each chapter. So that really gave me a different outlook and understanding on the book.
    I feel like, knowing about the author when reading a book is a plus. It helps you understand where the author was coming from. Emily St. John Mandel told us about her favorite characters which were Miranda and Clark because they were connected together being as though she had multiple timelines and points of view. Station elevens was different from all of her other books that she wrote and that is exactly what she was shooting for. What really surprised me about Emily was that she does not believe in god. I am not one to judge but being as though station elevens talks a lot of the world, dying,etc. I’d thought she’d believe in god. All in all, her speech was great and very helpful to future readers and those who already read it with little understanding.

  38. I’ve never had the chance to listen to an author speak on a book that i have read until today. Emily St. John Mandel was a very great speaker and had very detailed answers to every single question she was asked. She answered questions that weren’t answered in the book like questions about herself. Which was very interesting to me to be able to connect to an author of a book. Emily St. John Mandel was born in Canada and was home schooled because that was a normal thing to do where she was from. She described her parents as hippies that loved book, this explains why she became such a talented writer. Growing up she wanted to be a dancer and went to school to become a dancer but while she was in school she thought of herself as an author then as a dancer. I’ve always been curious on how people become authors or such good writers because it is not something that just happens there is always a reason behind it this visit gave insight to how she became a writer which is very awesome to me.
    A question that intrigued me the most was if any of the characters in the story were based off of people she has met in her life. Emily St. John Mandel said that Arthur and Miranda were both based off of people that grew up in the same town as her. The next question that intrigued me the most was if there is a movie coming based off of Station Eleven. She said someone bought the rights to use the ideas in a movie or however they would like to use the idea.She believes that they are going to use the idea as a television show which is very interesting I definitely would have to watch it. I am very thankful for Emily St. John Mandel’s time this visit cleared many things up about the book and gave us more insight about herself which gave us readers a connection to the author.

  39. Emily St. John Mandel hit a lot of key points last night, but, I should start with why she chose to write the book in a nonlinear structure, for which she gave a couple of reasons. For one, It was fun to write, because it is “like a puzzle”, and she simply just likes writing that way. When she was in the process of writing Station Eleven, she didn’t write the events in order and then mix them up, but rather, wrote them out of order all in one go. This storyline structure is also a good way to amplify differences between today’s world, and the post-apocalyptic world. Now, getting into the characters. When she was explaining miranda, Mandel pointed out that they are quite similar. Both were born in a small island within British Columbia, and then eventually left to the city of Toronto. Although a difference would be that Miranda felt somewhat small and intimidated by the city, while Emily felt free. Another interesting conversation that was brought up was about Tyler and Kirsten on why they are so close in age, but yet came out into the world so different. Mandel explained that Kirsten was “saved” by the Symphony and had people she could be close to and call family, while on the other hand, no one saved Tyler. He had nobody, and this caused him to go on a twisted path in a dying world, and he is left with only one mindset.

    Now lastly, some “why” questions. Why did the boy kill the prophet, and why was King lear chosen as Arthur’s final moments? Mandel explains that at first her plan was for Kirsten to simply just kill the prophet on the road, because that would be the harsh reality that life is cheap in such a world, but, her editors said that it needed to be more dramatic. Onto King Lear and Arthur. This play was chosen for Arthur because it mirrors his life in the way that once he had everything he could have wanted, and then suddenly, he loses it all. King lear loses three sons, while Arthur loses three wives, and his son Tyler. This tragedy seemed most appropriate for Arthur to begin the book, and then to end it.

  40. Nand Patel
    9/28/18
    critical thinking and writing

    This Stockton event was on Emily Mandel, and her book, Station Eleven. It was a freshman event and the freshmen advisors were the host and they were asking Emily Mandel question about her life, If she working on a new book, and If she is what’s it called, and what she’s doing now. This was a one time event, as she was awarded a Stockton shirt. After attending this event I found it useful, and also understand the book even better than before, so it was really helpful and I’m glad I attended this event.

  41. After attending the freshman convocation and getting to meet Emily St. John Mandel herself I ended up understanding the book a little more than I did while reading it myself. Emily left me a little confused on some parts such as why some of the characters just disappeared in the book. They were talked about and then all of a sudden they just fell off the face of the earth and she couldn’t give an answer as to what happened to the characters. She told us that Station Eleven was her 4th book and she was aiming for this book to be very different from her other books. She said she succeeded with that goal. She told us about her life, about being homeschooled until the age of 15 when she went into public school. At the age of 18 she moved to Toronto. She spoke about how living in Toronto was a different feeling then what she was used to, she said it felt good to go outside and be around a bunch of different faces where they do not even know her name.She graduated from a dance program. She was very interested in dance and wrote from time to time then she became more interested in writing and began to only go to some dance auditions. She began writing at the age of 9 thinking it would just be a hobby to her and now it is her career. She slowly drifted away from dancing. She said that the character Miranda was very relatable to her, same island( she just switched the name a little) but they same way it is described in the book is the same exact way it was when she was younger. We learned that she loves to write out of order and that she does not believe in writing blocks. She mentioned that whenever she has troubles writing her books, she just thinks about her first book and the struggles and how she got the book done. Surprisingly she also does not believe in god. She chose to have the king lear play in her novel because that is her favorite Shakespeare play. Someone in the audience asked why did she chose some of the character names and she said because she liked them they were different. She got the character Jeevan name from one of her coworkers that she worked with for a few months. He must have left an impact on her in order for her to mention his name in her book. Someone in the audience also asked how would she feel if someone turned her novel into a video game, she said that she is really not a gamer but she thinks that idea would be amazing.

    Overall, she was an amazing speaker and author to meet. It was nice of her coming to Stockton and explaining her reasons to the book and about her life. Hearing her actually described parts of the book was good for me because I finished Station Eleven and was completely confused at some parts of the book. Maybe I was confused because I didn’t read deep enough but to hear her speak about it helped out a lot. I hope that filming Station Eleven happens so that I can watch and have an even better understanding to the novel.

  42. Emily St. John Mandel gave great answers to the questions asked. Something that stood out during the convocation was her ability to answer the questions precisely and accurately. Something that I did not find enjoyable was that although most questions were answered accurately, sometimes the answer was that there was no reason for an event in the book. Also, that she didn’t know the reason for certain occurrences such as, Miranda’s death. It touched me when she explained how similar her and Miranda were. In a way, the book reflected Emily St. John Mandel and you can tell Miranda was her favorite.

    I found the fact that she actually doesn’t want a sequel to the book, very interesting. The end was kind of an untold story after they found the city of lights, I am sure a lot of people were disappointed with this. It relates to class because we discussed the ending among each other. We all thought that there was going to be another book on the story. However, there is not going to be a second book. She made it easier to understand the characters when she explained how they were all connected. She also bought a new light to the book once she explained the backgrounds of her favorite characters like Clark and Miranda. I believe that this event was important because most people nowadays are not interested in reading or meeting authors. Events like this stress the importance in literature in everyday life.

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