Last night I had the opportunity to attend a talk and book signing given by the Earls that was being hosted by PSUB at the Purdue Memorial Union. Lori and Wayne Earl are the parents of Esther Earl, the girl who inspired John Green to write The Fault in Our Stars. This book and it’s movie were insanely popular with people my age, and it was incredibly interesting to learn about the life of the girl who inspired them. I live tweeted the event last night, and you can check out my tweets on my twitter page.
Though I was familiar with the Earl’s book This Star Won’t Go Out and I had heard of their daughter Esther before the talk, I did not know the whole story of Esther’s life and how she became friends with John Green. Both Lori and Earl took turns talking about their daughter’s life and her continued impact even after passing away. It was awesome to get to learn more about the inspiring person behind one of my favorite books.
The talk was very emotional with Esther’s parents painting a picture of an amazing young girl who never let the fact that she had cancer get in the way of living her life. Esther’s father said that near the end of her life her biggest concern was that she hadn’t done anything for the world. Esther was incredibly empathetic and even though she was so young, and seemed to think that she hadn’t done anything for the world her impact is huge. Her friendship with John Green prompted him to create “Esther Day” and to make the day a time to celebrate the value of words, and telling those you love how you feel about them. She also worked with the Harry Potter Alliance and helped them raise thousands of dollars for their cause. In fact, the Harry Potter Alliance still celebrates Esther Day and they shared the following video at last year’s LeakyCon to celebrate her life!
The talk was amazing, and very emotional. Listening to Esther’s parents talk about her life, and especially watching a video of their home videos of Esther definitely made me cry more than once. However, it was great getting to learn more about this amazing person and the impact her very short life had on the world. After the talk I even got to have my book signed by the Earls!
While I really enjoyed getting to live tweet this event because I think it helped me document and remember all of the highlights, like quotes that I would have forgotten later if I hadn’t tweeted them right away, there were some challenges. The talk was very emotional and it did take away from that to have to be on my phone tweeting what Lori or Wayne had just said instead of just digesting it. However that might have been a blessing seeing as I already cried a few too many times during the talk. The other biggest difficulty was trying to pick out which parts of the talk would be best to tweet because it couldn’t just be the parts I liked the most or thought were the most profound, they had to be able to be understood by people who were not at the event.
I do think that the benefits of live-tweeting outweigh the costs however, and if I was trying to keep up with an event that was still developing I would definitely appreciate live-tweets so I know what is happening the whole time, and didn’t have to wait for a full news story to come out after the event. Though I usually prefer reading online news stories, I think I would choose a live tweet if it was still developing, so I could know it all as it was happening.