Today was the first school visit I have done in a very long time. I accepted the invitation via a fellow author because it was a writing festival! It’s always great to visit a school that is taking a break from the routine and focusing on our craft. I put a brand new presentation together and two groups of 150 kids each didn’t squirm after 45 minutes of slides and babbling from me, and they had great questions that revealed that they really were paying attention. Nice.
I also had an illustration workshop with a group of about 25 5th-6th graders. While others worked on the tasks I gave them, I let one student at a time try out my drawing tablet that they saw me use during the presentation, if they were interested. All of them gave it a try, but the boys were the only ones I had to kick out to let the next give it a try. Hmmm!
Most of my childhood memories are from the elementary-school years so being around these kids always makes me recall those years. Like how Mrs. Farber could cure the hiccups. Mrs. Farber was our 2nd grade teacher. This is a blurry photo from one of our class photos that is so unrecognizable I hopefully won’t get in trouble for posting it:
Here’s how Mrs. Farber cured hiccups: if you got a case, you want a drink of water, right? The drinking fountain was outside the class, down the hall. You had to ask permission.
“Mrs. Farber, I need a drink of water.”
“Because I have the hiccups.”
“Okay. Let’s hear one.”
Poof! Hiccups gone.
52 years later, I think about Mrs. Farber when I get the hiccups, and they still go away. And yeah, I’m working on a story about that. By the way, we loved Mrs. Farber very much. That’s the other thing I revisited today – the love that kids this age seem to have for their teachers. I remember that feeling. I hope these kids don’t forget it either.