Read Across America events were held yesterday in classrooms all, well, across America. And I was a guest for one of them. I did a day of I Don't Want To Write About That presentations for third and fourth graders at an elementary school here in Connecticut. I presented to five groups and ate lunch in the cafeteria where green eggs and ham was served. (I passed on that and ate a ham and cheese sandwich.)
It had been a while since I'd worked in a school, so I was anxious the week before until I'd rehearsed my presentation maybe four or five times and e-mailed my PowerPoint slides to the school's media specialist who assured me that he'd been able to load it and all was fine. The day ended up going very, very well. One group of fourth graders asked questions of such sophistication that I felt as if I was at a writers' conference. We talked about what publishers look for (one child clearly is interested in writing a fantasy novel), point of view, and magical realism.
I like to move around to different tables at lunch (sometimes I worry that I'm annoying the lunch monitors, but they were cool yesterday), and at one point I was sitting across from the Led Zeppelin kid. He was wearing quite a cute little Zeppelin shirt, and when I asked him about it, he and his buddy started raving about how much they loved the group. It does not appear that Led Zeppelin has a big following with grade schoolers, however. I suspect that at least one of those boys came from a Zeppelin fan family.
A third or fourth grader who loves Led Zeppelin--If I read that in a kids' book, I'd say, "That is so incredibly fake." But there you go. Nothing beats reality.
It was a great day, but it was a lot like honest work, which I don't do very often. I was dragging by the time I got home.