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Teddy Steinkellner Reminisces on his Days At DP

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Teddy Steinkellner does a presentation in the Elings Performing Arts Center, where he answered questions from students and read an excerpt from his book. Steinkellner attended Dos Pueblos, and his book Two Roads From Here is about the decisions teenagers are faced with in high school.

Teddy Steinkellner does a presentation in the Elings Performing Arts Center, where he answered questions from students and read an excerpt from his book. Steinkellner attended Dos Pueblos, and his book Two Roads From Here is about the decisions teenagers are faced with in high school.

Photo credit: Sofia Gerli

Photo credit: Sofia Gerli

Teddy Steinkellner does a presentation in the Elings Performing Arts Center, where he answered questions from students and read an excerpt from his book. Steinkellner attended Dos Pueblos, and his book Two Roads From Here is about the decisions teenagers are faced with in high school.

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Many students’ high school experiences are merely memories, but Teddy Steinkellner’s Two Roads From Here was a way to capture his senior year and amuse himself through his work at the same time.

On Feb. 7, Teddy Steinkellner, former Dos Pueblos student, discussed the books he wrote with DP students in the Elings Performing Arts Center, holding a question and answer session at the end of his discussion and book reading.

Two Roads From Here, his most current book, is about five high school students and the dilemmas they face throughout their high school lives. His novel focuses on how high school is such a pivotal time for making decisions; mostly concerning college, relationships and friendships.

During the question and answer session of his presentation, Steinkellner described how the process of writing can be sometimes misunderstood, since it is not always easy to feel inspired.

“People have this misconception that it’s this muse, they just get magically inspired,” Steinkellner said. “The truth is it’s not, it is a little bit magical, but it is a real skill, and a real habit.”

Numerous DP students were curious about the process of structuring a plot, getting over writer’s block, and finding motivation to keep writing.

“Writer’s block is a virus we’ve all been infected with at some point,” Steinkellner said.“It’s one of those things you just have to push through and keep writing.”

Steinkellner also elaborated on how he finds motivation to write, and the methods he uses to be more efficient with his writing.

“It can be hard to sit down and write, it can be very difficult; there are other kinds of work, like coding where you can do it for like 15 hours,” Steinkellner said. “Writing I tend to work better in shorter little bursts. I have two solid chunks of writing a day.”

DP librarian, Heather Magner, has known Steinkellner since he went to DP, when she was a leadership advisor, a program he took part in.

“He helped me every year doing whatever, he was in leadership, so we just have a long history,” Magner said. “When he published his first book, I went to his signings and said ‘Come do an author talk for the kids.’”

Magner plays a huge role in having Steinkellner at DP for an author’s talk after each book he publishes. She and Steinkellner joked about his presentation in the EPAC being his “Katy Perry Moment.”

“With Teddy, I knew I didn’t have to do much selling to the kids, simply because a lot of students read Trash Can Days,” Magner said. “They knew it, and I knew he would be a rockstar.”

Magner is proud of Steinkellner and is impressed by his newest book and his presentation.

“His book had great appeal and he did take a real chance with it,” Magner said. “There’s a genuineness to the story, I love that he did a little bit of the reading, the story really comes alive.”

DP English teacher Margaret Mason taught Steinkellner in 2007, and felt his presentation in the EPAC honestly reflected how he used to act in her class.

“He was very much like the Teddy I saw on stage, which was quirky, genuine, very playful, constantly teasing both me and his classmates,” Mason said. “He was just a delightful student, really fun to have in class.”

As a teacher, Mason is proud of any student who decides to pursue an English major, and in this case, becomes a published author.

“I just feel a sense of real pride in them, that they followed their dreams, pursued their passion, and that it involved language and words,” Mason said. “I am incredibly proud of him.”

Mason referred to the presentation as a “Teddy Talk,” and noticed how there was a wide range of students in the EPAC.

“He spoke to them all, he has such a broad appeal; he sparked their imagination,” Mason said. “It was really awesome to see.”

 

 

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Teddy Steinkellner Reminisces on his Days At DP