Author in The Schools gets unexpected student feedback (or FOOD back!)

Great windows in those Sheldon schools!

Great windows in those Sheldon schools!

Sheldon. This was my Waterloo. The place where I got my comeuppance as a writer.

Years ago, I was doing “author in the schools” work there to share many of the children’s books I’d written.

After lunch, I was assigned to the middle school library. I hoped to hold these tables of 6th, 7th and 8th graders spellbound.

I urged them on. Write from your heart. Don’t let other students or doubting teachers deter you.

I paced between tables. Read. Write. Try every day!

I was getting through! I saw eyes grow wide. Student jaws hung.

I gave the teacher a smug grin and nod. My ego inflated. Then, the explosion hit.

BLUGH!

For years, I’ve tried to remember the sobering, shocking sound of that boy vomiting up what must have been a semester’s worth of school lunches.

The students weren’t enchanted by my writing advice. They were fascinated with the idea of seeing a guest speaker getting broadsided by a puke-storm.

I remember being so relieved that the windows opened. A talented classmate had fetched a wastebasket for the barfing boy. Lastly, I recall being flattered that the librarian praised my ability to finish my talk. I was the boxer who stayed on his feet for all 15 rounds.

Believe in your words. Just remember that your stories alone may not move people in the right way. When adversity spews, open the window and start again.

 

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One thought on “Author in The Schools gets unexpected student feedback (or FOOD back!)

  1. Get a wastebasket and start again…. Laughing and nodding, I understand the experience. So, for years afterward, the kids remembered YOU when asked to write what they knew most when asked “What was the funniest thing you ever saw?”

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