Tag Archives: school visit

Unexpected Souvenirs


my new friends Pat, Cheryl, Michilene and Cleo. Cheryl and Cleo were responsible for organizing my trip to elementary schools in Germany.

I came back from Europe completely inspired to write. Just not about my trip. It sucks because it was such a profound experience and I’ve really wanted to show that. It’s been stressing me out because I wanted to get it all down before it fades out. But that’s just not what is showing up on the paper.

So for now, this is what I have to say: I made some great friends in my first week in Europe, working with the teachers and staff of the elementary schools I spoke at. They were amazing hosts and a blast to be around. Good friends, instantly. It was more difficult to leave than I would have expected. It took me 2 weeks to write thank you notes, simply because I couldn’t find a way to express my gratitude for such an amazing opportunity and experience. I’m not sure there is a way to adequately return the generosity. It was an adventure of a lifetime.

Without question, I came back revitalized and ready to dive back in to writing. I’ve pulled old stories off the shelf and remembered why I loved them in the first place. It’s been years since I’ve been here. I have no idea what I’ll be writing next. But that’s what makes it so fun. Inspiration has a mind all its own.

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Hillside Elementary at Fort Lewis


Video 148 0 00 00-26The school visit schedule is off to a great start after last Friday’s visit to Hillside Elementary. Many thanks to librarian Wayne Osborn, PTA president April London, and the students and staff for making it such a fun day. And extra props to April for those amazing cookies, and for making the event possible!

This was my second visit to Hillside, which is the only school I’ve ever visited on a military base. I didn’t get to interact much with the parents, but I found the interactions I did have to be fascinating. I don’t get the opportunity to talk with military personel or their families very often, and doing so has deepened my respect for the sacrifices these entire communities make for what they believe in.

I would also like to give a special thank you to Kayla from Mr. B’s 4th grade class. The picture included with this post is a card that she made for me. I could tell she put a ton of time in to making it. On the front of the card there is an awesome drawing of the cover of Enemy Pie. And on the inside she even included a watermelon sucker! My kids have been jockeying for that thing, but it’s such a sweet addition to her card that I’m not willing to take it off.

Thank you again Hillside Elementary!

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