Author Tim O'Brien Speaks to Tahoe High School Students
|Teacher Bill Freeman presents Tim O'Brien with NTHS swag.|
The Things They Carried is a work of fiction with interrelated stories based on the author's experiences in the Vietnam War. The book is read by students in Mr. Freeman's Senior English class.
Mr. O'Brien spoke of his war experiences, his reactions to being drafted into a war he did not believe in, and the art of writing war stories which promote peace. He also discussed his belief that any politician who promotes a war should enlist and fight the war. Finally, students commented on Mr. O'Brien's honest opinion of war, and the author's need to speak out and bear witness to all wars.
Students were captured by the emotions the presentation brought out in the author, especially when he read excerpts from the book. "It was as if he was experiencing the war all over again," said one Senior. Mr. O'Brien also spoke about the difficulty of saying "no" to going to Vietnam, citing expectations from his family and the difficulty of being from a small town.
Later, Mr. O'Brien spoke to an audience of over 300 at Sierra Nevada College.