Thank you, Uncle Frank!

The conference in Albany, organized by bookseller extraordinare Frank Hodge, was a memorable one. I met so many interesting teachers (a second grade teacher who keeps a therapy dog in her classroom, a fifth grade teacher who lived in my house in Pulaski after I moved out of it, English teacher and librarian from a school for deaf students, teachers from Florida who trekked all the way to Albany for the weekend) I can’t stop thinking about them.

Our name tags were futuristic plexiglass that glowed or blinked with blue lights. Frank knew EVERYONE there, and charmed and made us blush in equal parts. There was pumpkin cheesecake. (Hear that conference organizers: pumpkin cheesecake. Yum.) And the hotel had decent bran muffins, which I consider a badge of civility. The schedule allowed time to shmooze. On the gala night we enjoyed champagne and popcorn before dinner. It don’t get no better than that, friends.

Amtrak, bless its pea-pickin’ heart, was late as usual, which gave me more time to read the biography of Alexander Hamilton that is threatening to take over my life.

I came home to find my desk totally awash in mail again. Guess what I’ll be doing for the next two days?

No – wait – there is one thing I will be doing besides wading through the mail.


12 Replies to “Thank you, Uncle Frank!”

  1. I love, love hearing that a teacher has a therapy dog in her classroom.

    My brother thinks highly of Alexander Hamilton. (He may not be related by blood or any relative, but he is, indeed, a brother to me.) I love when he talks about dueling and respectability of that time period.


  2. thank you

    I wish there was a way to really let you know how many people have been touched by Speak. I recently read it for my Adolescent Literature class at Appalachian State University and have spoke with so many people who have read it, including many young teen boys at a camp for kids who have been in trouble (my mom works there – lots of the guys read it and love it). I was touched by this book on so many levels, and for personal reasons also.
    I chose to use this book to design my reader response kit for my final project. I am trying to come up with pre-reading, during reading, and post reading activities. I also have to create a special container to hold everything, one that would illustrate what the book is about. I was thinking of making a box that locks and on the inside I was going to collage women from all walks of life, many who have their mouths taped shut. I was also going to have a “top secret” envelope inside for the post reading activities. Do you have any ideas? I want to also incorporate a tree. Perhaps on the outside of the box I could have a collage of many diffent trees.
    Also, this won’t actually happen, but I want to include an activity that has me sending you questions from my students. Do you ever answer questions from students? I want to make sure the activity is legitimate before I plan it. I won’t actually be doing this (at least not right now) because I am not teaching yet. My student teaching is next semester.
    Thank you so much for writing this book.

  3. Hooray for voting rights!

    On my eighteenth birthday, I stood on the steps of the county courthouse, waiting for the offices to open so I could register to vote.

    Thank you Suffragettes!

    I voted early because I will be traveling tomorrow. Thank you early voting!

  4. Sent in my absentee!!

    I can’t wait until I actually get to vote in a real booth! I will skip classes to do that for the 2008 election, but until then I can just mail in my paper.

  5. I read the other day that women under 25 have the lowest voter turn out. But I get all excited (yes I’m a geek) about voting. Maybe it’s cause I’m an old soul. I never fit very well with my own age group. But seriously, why would someone not vote? I don’t get it. I’m hopeful about the way this election will turn out, but I am also worried because there’s a possibility that things won’t change, or will get worse.

  6. You know, it’s compulsary to vote in Australia, so we get close to 100% turn-out, or we get fined/ jail time.

    Of course, may people hate this and will turn up to vote, but it will be an invalid vote because they either write nothing on the ballot or write something obscene on the ballot.

    I was an election volunteer for a party in the last federal election, and it was depressing to see how many slips of paper got put in a pile that didn’t count.

    So I really love it when people are enthusiastic about voting. Hooray for the Americans that care! I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow. Good luck you guys. 🙂

  7. Re: thank you

    Thank you so much for this kind post, and for the support of my book.

    Are you familiar with the Post Secret project? Maybe you could incorporate something like that.

    If you go through the archive of this journal, you’ll find lots of questions that I have answered from students. If they have a question I have not answered before, I am happy to do it here.

    Good luck!

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