Northboro School Visits (Part 1 of 5): Zeh
I am hereby dubbing last week my Week of Awesomeness. Last week, I drove up to Northboro, Massachusetts (my hometown and the setting for INTO THE WILD), for a week of school visits. I visited all four elementary schools plus the middle school in Northboro (one school per day). I gave a total of twenty presentations and met 600-700 kids. It was AWESOME.
My first stop was Zeh School, which used to be Oxford Academy when I lived in Northboro. I learned two important things on this first day:
1) The elementary schools in Northboro now have mascots. (Zeh is zebras, Peaslee is pandas, Lincoln Street is polar bears, and Proctor is penguins.) This makes them far cooler than they were when I went there because it opens up the door to some rich, eccentric alum someday donating an actual zebra, panda, polar bear, or penguin to be housed in the school, which would be AWESOME.
2) I love school visits. This was a somewhat shocking discovery for me, given that the mere thought of doing an announcement in assembly in high school would turn me into a quivering mass of jelly. But I think they're really fun. I love talking about writing and telling students why I think it's the most magical thing in the world. I love the looks of horror on the students' faces when I tell them I did 30 drafts of INTO THE WILD. And I love meeting kids and answering questions and signing books and... well, all of it.
Best moment at Zeh School was when I came into the library about ten minutes early for my presentation. A class was in there so I snuck into the back and sat quietly in a seat behind a pillar. A few seconds later, I see a face pop around the pillar and then pop back. Then another. And another, until about a dozen kids are all peeking out at me, whispering, "It's her! It's her!" Kind of made me feel like a rock star. Also made me feel like looking behind me to see who they were talking about.