Saturday, August 15, 2009

School visits to remember

Since it's almost time for the kids to go back to school, I was reminded of some of the school visits I've made over the years. (In fact, I've mentioned a couple on my blog.)

I love visiting schools.
Every spring I visit the local schools wearing my librarian hat and representing the public library to tell the students (and teachers) about this year's Summer Reading Program. I also bring along a selection of neat books that I think the kids would enjoy reading for fun. I fully believe that summer reading should be FUN!

Do I ever talk about my own books at these school visits? Hardly ever. Wellllll, if I have a new book out I might show it to one of the classes if I think they'd enjoy it. But these are library visits, not me-me-me-the-author.

And then there are school visits that I make with my author hat on.
I love doing these, too. (I've come to the conclusion that I'm a ham. I'm basically shy, but when I do have something to talk about, I'm a ham.)
It so much fun to arrive at a school and find it is all decked out with student's interpretations of my books. One school a few years ago had adopted the slogan -- Fly High with Books -- and had plastered the school with it. They had no idea that that's what I put into every copy of TO FLY, THE STORY OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS when I sign them. Wow! Great minds with but a single thought. I was blown away.

And then there are the disasters.
Most memorable was year I took 3 to 4 hours driving through a blinding white-out snowstorm to travel to a school near Washington, DC -- a trip that should have taken an hour and a half at the most. When I realized that traffic on I-95 was stopped dead because no one could see, I began calling the school -- and nobody answered. For an hour, as traffic crept along, nobody answered. When they finally realized someone was trying to call them, I got the distinct impression that they didn't believe me. After all, the snowstorm had left their area, only leaving a dusting of snow.

From then on, whenever a school near DC asks me to come, I make sure I get the school secretary's phone number and I state over and over again that I really, really will try to get there on time, but you know how the traffic on the DC beltway often is a traffic jam....

Anywho, all this is leading up to Marc Tyler Nobleman recent blog entries where he has posted about his 10 most memorable school visit moments. Only a few are disasters. The rest are typical of some of the wonderful interactions we all get with students and teachers when we are the 'author' visiting their school.

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