These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

the school

friday i spent at ada vista, a magnet school for forest hills, talking about writing, my vision and revising.

a friend of ours invited me to speak to the children throughout the day. i spoke six different times to students ranging from kinder through fourth grade.

i had to do the presentations in spanish. ada vista is a spanish immersion school and all classes are conducted in spanish.

it's amazing to hear these kids, mostly white, asking me questions in spanish. one teacher told me that when the kindergartners come in in sept. they know nothing. by march, they understand some spanish, quite a bit actually.

the day started shaky, at least for me. steph didn't think so. i showed no outward sign of nerves. i am not used to talking in front of 30 or 50 kids. but as the day went on, i refined my presentation, especially the biography part.

i found that many of the students were intrigued by my vision and asked how i do my job despite my lack of vision. the older kids really go into that. one student came up to me later and said she has problems with her vision. it was nice of her to share with me.

i also met some very nice teachers, who welcomed me and shared some of their stories with me. i got to eat lunch with some of them in the lounge. one of them, from guanajuato, was very talkative and we talked about my story and about how she came to america.

i give a lot of credit to teachers for what they do. i was exhausted after my presentations, h aving to stand most of the day. and that's because i didn't have to put up with any hassles.

but you know, i'd do it again in a second. i loved it.